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XML-L  June 2000

XML-L June 2000

Subject:

Re: Online Help System

From:

Paul Kelly <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

General discussion of Extensible Markup Language <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 7 Jun 2000 15:26:55 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (87 lines)

Currently the only search facilities for end-users of the help system are
those provided by HTML Help itself. Longer term, we plan to store the
sources on a Content Management System which will give us powerful search
facilities when creating the help, and which will enable us to automate
functions like checking link integrity, browse chain set up etc - but these
functions are for help authors rather than end users.

For DTDs we customized the XHTML DTDs available from W3C, adding our own
container structures to define things like "chapter" or "help topic", and
elements to map to HTML Help constructs like the Alink command.

Paul Kelly
MERANT Interactive
+44 (0) 1635 565362

 -----Original Message-----
From:   Premal Mehta [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent:   Wednesday, June 07, 2000 2:51 PM
To:     [log in to unmask]
Subject:        Re: Online Help System

Hi Paul

Thank you for the input.  Did you also have search system on the help
databse like any other online help system??

Also, can I have a look at you DTD if its not too much of a problem. I
assure you that this is for academic purpose only.

Regards
Premal

----- Original Message -----
From: Paul Kelly <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 6:56 PM
Subject: Re: Online Help System


> 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
> tool.
>
> 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
> functionality.
>
> 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
> Windows).
>
> 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
> software).
>
> 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.
>
> Paul Kelly
> MERANT Interactive
>
>
>  -----Original Message-----
> 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
>
> Hi all
>
> 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.
>
> Regards
> Premal

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