Help system for Java application

Subject: Help system for Java application
From: Debbie Pesach <debbie_pesach -at- attune-networks -dot- com>
To: "'Techwr-l'" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>, "'java'" <JAVAHELP-INTEREST -at- JAVA -dot- SUN -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 10:20:15 +0200

Hello again,

Greetings all, it's good to be back (new job, new challenges)!

My new job involves creating an online help system for a Java-based
application that is totally platform independent. I have previously
written help in pure HTML (as a newbie using HomeSite, an HTML editor)
for a Windows-only browser-based program, this help need to be totally
platform independent and also needs a very professional look. I see
that there is a current thread about these issues (but I've only
resubscribed in the last day and maybe I've missed some points).

I would very much appreciate a starting point: Does anybody out there
have any experience with JavaHelp? Do you have any good references
(literature, Web sites on JavaHelp, Web examples of JavaHelp files) to
get me started?

What have I already looked at? The Java (JavaHelp) site
(, at Gamelan
(, and I have subscribed to the
JavaHelp-Interest mailing list (mail to listserv -at- javasoft -dot- com -dot- In the
body of the message type SUBSCRIBE JAVAHELP-INTEREST).

One person has advised that my best bets are WebHelp (a generated format
which you can only create using RoboHelp HTML Edition) or JavaHelp (a
customizable format which requires users to install the JavaHelp browser
classes and JRE on their computers). Do you agree?

Another has listed disadvantages of JavaHelp (considering it not ready
yet for commercial applications): Do you agree?
- It doesn't support DHTML and cascading style sheets
- The current version supported in ForeHelp 99 and the new RoboHelp 2000
(isn't available yet in international version) is based on JDK 1.0,
which doesn't support print topic
- It takes Lon.......g time to upload (that's the reason why the Java
logo is a cup of coffee. You have to take a long cup)
- There are problems with bullets and numbering

The above summarizes that if I need cross platform browser independent
help I should consider using:
-Jelp - (this is a WinHelp to Java based help system)
-OHJ - Oracle JavaHelp
-InterHelp - by ForeFront (requires a browser)
-WebHelp - by Blue Sky (requires a browser)
With the last two formats check the compatibility of browser.

Debbie Pesach
Manager, Technical Publications
debbie_pesach -at- attune-networks -dot- com
04-9594333 Ext. 227

Attune Networks Ltd.
P.O. Box 305
Yokneam Elite 20692 Israel

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