Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: truly "dynamic" online help

Expand Messages
  • Hanna Nelson
    Thanks for this idea. I have actually produced Eclipse help plugins (using Webworks Publisher 2003 + some custom tweaks), so it s not completely foreign ...
    Message 1 of 6 , Oct 15, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Thanks for this idea.

      I have actually produced Eclipse help plugins (using Webworks
      Publisher 2003 + some custom tweaks), so it's not completely foreign
      :-) As I recall, Eclipse help has a way to filter to just relevant
      bits (not sure how granular it can be, though).

      I saw an interesting presentation that included a help system that
      allowed the user to filter the documentation themselves - presenting
      all information, but making it easy to sort through just the relevant
      info - building "books" on the fly (and output to PDF, if desired). I
      didn't get an answer as to whether you could ship it with just the
      relevant info displayed, but it seems like you could. Yet another
      question for Marketing....

      Hanna


      --- In xml-doc@yahoogroups.com, "Robert R. Sanders"
      <robert.sanders@...> wrote:
      >
      > It might have a strong learning curve, but the eclipse help framework
      > (which I believe can be essentially used as a stand along help browser)
      > can now use 'raw' DITA and present it as html. You'd have to work out
      > some mechanism to either only deliver the DITA files needed or to
      use an
      > additional (custom) eclipse plugin to hide or disable the topics that
      > weren't available. There maybe some commercial tools that cover
      > everything you need out-of-the-box, so maybe someone else on the list
      > can clue you in to one of them. The good news with the eclipse
      stuff is
      > if needed you should be able to hire a free lancer at reasonable rates
      > to do some custom code should you go that route.
      >
      > Hanna Nelson wrote:
      > > My problem in a nutshell: Deliver dynamic online help for a dynamic
      > > platform.
      > >
      > > Background
      > >
      > > We produce software that allows people to create applications for a
      > > variety of platforms (multiple interactive TV platforms, Blu-ray,
      etc).
      > > Marketing has submitted a requirement that the documentation be
      > > "platform-specific". That is, if a customer buys and installs a
      license
      > > allowing them to develop applications for Blu-ray, only the
      > > documentation applicable to Blu-ray is available.
      > >
      > > No problem, right? Conditional text, generate the Blu-ray only
      > > documentation, have a beer.
      > >
      > > But, what if the customer licenses Blu-ray and, say, OpenTV? If I
      could
      > > clone myself, I could just build a slew of different combinations of
      > > help systems and let the installation engineer figure out which one to
      > > install. But, I'm a lone writer (80%) and I don't have time for
      that.
      > > And what about the situation where the customer licenses the Blu-ray
      > > platform and then decides to become an iTV application developer?
      > >
      > > My initial thinking is that we should provide the help in XML (DITA?),
      > > tagging each platform-specific topic with the platform. But then
      what?
      > > The help system would somehow need to be able to show/hide topics
      based
      > > on the tag and license used to install the product.
      > >
      > > Has anyone encountered (and solved) this problem? Can you point me in
      > > the direction of help delivery systems that might be able to serve up
      > > platform-specific help? Consultants that might help me with this
      > > problem?
      > >
      > > Oh, one other variable: I'm told that the next generation of the
      UI will
      > > hide (not just stipple/disable) elements that are not available with
      > > the existing license.
      > >
      > > I'm currently using Framemaker (7) and WebWorks 2003 and looking to
      > > migrate to a new tool (Frame 8 + Flare or RoboHelp or ePublisher Pro).
      > >
      > > Thanks,
      > > Hanna
      > >
      > --
      > Robert r. Sanders
      > Chief Technologist / CTO / COO
      > iPOV
      > (334) 821-5412
      > www.ipov.net
      >
    • Hanna Nelson
      Hi Gareth - Thanks for the info on Arbortext. I m not familiar with it - I ll check it out. From what you said (filters the content down to the relevant set
      Message 2 of 6 , Oct 15, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Gareth -

        Thanks for the info on Arbortext. I'm not familiar with it - I'll
        check it out.

        From what you said (filters the content down to the relevant set of
        elements BEFORE publishing), it probably doesn't do what I need. I'm
        looking for something that actually "publishes" on the fly
        (republishing automatically if the installed software functionality
        changes).

        Thanks again,
        Hanna



        --- In xml-doc@yahoogroups.com, "Gareth Oakes" <lists@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi there,
        >
        >
        >
        > I'm not sure if Hanna is familiar with the Arbortext product suite
        but the
        > Arbortext "profiling" feature is exactly what is needed. It filters the
        > document down according to a definable set of criteria. In XML
        terms, the
        > applicability of certain XML elements (the criteria) are assigned using
        > attributes. The profiling tool then filters the content down to the
        relevant
        > set of elements before publishing to PDF, HTML, Help, etc.
        >
        >
        >
        > I've attached a screenshot of the out-of-the-box Docbook XML sample.
        >
        >
        >
        > I believe the XML editor by itself is $695. You can then add-on
        print or web
        > publishing features.
        >
        >
        >
        > http://www.ptc.com/products/arbortext/editor/
        >
        >
        >
        > Cheers,
        >
        > Gareth
        >
        >
        >
        > From: xml-doc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:xml-doc@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of
        > Robert R. Sanders
        > Sent: Tuesday, 14 October 2008 10:22 PM
        > To: xml-doc@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [xml-doc] truly "dynamic" online help
        >
        >
        >
        > It might have a strong learning curve, but the eclipse help framework
        > (which I believe can be essentially used as a stand along help browser)
        > can now use 'raw' DITA and present it as html. You'd have to work out
        > some mechanism to either only deliver the DITA files needed or to
        use an
        > additional (custom) eclipse plugin to hide or disable the topics that
        > weren't available. There maybe some commercial tools that cover
        > everything you need out-of-the-box, so maybe someone else on the list
        > can clue you in to one of them. The good news with the eclipse stuff is
        > if needed you should be able to hire a free lancer at reasonable rates
        > to do some custom code should you go that route.
        >
        > Hanna Nelson wrote:
        > > My problem in a nutshell: Deliver dynamic online help for a dynamic
        > > platform.
        > >
        > > Background
        > >
        > > We produce software that allows people to create applications for a
        > > variety of platforms (multiple interactive TV platforms, Blu-ray,
        etc).
        > > Marketing has submitted a requirement that the documentation be
        > > "platform-specific". That is, if a customer buys and installs a
        license
        > > allowing them to develop applications for Blu-ray, only the
        > > documentation applicable to Blu-ray is available.
        > >
        > > No problem, right? Conditional text, generate the Blu-ray only
        > > documentation, have a beer.
        > >
        > > But, what if the customer licenses Blu-ray and, say, OpenTV? If I
        could
        > > clone myself, I could just build a slew of different combinations of
        > > help systems and let the installation engineer figure out which one to
        > > install. But, I'm a lone writer (80%) and I don't have time for that.
        > > And what about the situation where the customer licenses the Blu-ray
        > > platform and then decides to become an iTV application developer?
        > >
        > > My initial thinking is that we should provide the help in XML (DITA?),
        > > tagging each platform-specific topic with the platform. But then
        what?
        > > The help system would somehow need to be able to show/hide topics
        based
        > > on the tag and license used to install the product.
        > >
        > > Has anyone encountered (and solved) this problem? Can you point me in
        > > the direction of help delivery systems that might be able to serve up
        > > platform-specific help? Consultants that might help me with this
        > > problem?
        > >
        > > Oh, one other variable: I'm told that the next generation of the
        UI will
        > > hide (not just stipple/disable) elements that are not available with
        > > the existing license.
        > >
        > > I'm currently using Framemaker (7) and WebWorks 2003 and looking to
        > > migrate to a new tool (Frame 8 + Flare or RoboHelp or ePublisher Pro).
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > > Hanna
        > >
        > --
        > Robert r. Sanders
        > Chief Technologist / CTO / COO
        > iPOV
        > (334) 821-5412
        > www.ipov.net
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.