We developed exactly such a system for in-house use, based on HTML Help as
the online help engine. We used our own XML DTDs to provide an authoring
environment for help sources, and XSLT (which we ran using LotusXSL) to
transform XML to HTML Help sources. We used Softquad XmetaL as the authoring
XML gave us two main benefits:
It hid the complexity of HTML Help syntax (all those awkward ActiveX
controls to embed in HTML) from help authors while exposing HTML Help
It enables us to output vanilla HTML from our help sources should we need to
port them to platforms which don't support HTML Help (ie anything that isn't
Apart from the XMetaL editors, all the software we needed was free!
http://www.xmetal.com for XMetaL
http://alphaworks.ibm.com for LotusXSL (and loads of other useful XML
Other XML utilities we needed were hand-rolled using Microsoft's MSXML
parser - although with hindsight life might have been easier if we had used
XML4J/Xerces from IBM/Apache.
From: Premal Mehta [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 11:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Online Help System
Do someone has any idea about the project taken up for development of
On-Line help system using XML. Even the slightest of light on any such or
related projects will be a great help.