יום שישי 09 מרץ 2012 12:16
I am currently working as part of the Quality Assurance team at a prominent software company. I have been tasked with generating a help file for a Windows Application.
I've read a lot online that MS Help Viewer can only be installed if Visual Studio 2010 is already installed. But at the same time I've read that a standalone help system can also be created, in the sense that MS HelpViewer can be used outside the Visual Studio environment.
What I understood was Help Library Manager and Help Library Agent are part of the new help system, but the prerequisite for installing these components is to have Visual Studio already installed.
How then can HelpViewer be used outside the Visual Studio environment. We would like to create an independent help file product to ship with the application, as well as embedded context-sensitive help within the application itself.
Can anyone point me in the right direction? My boss is reluctant to use .chm files; he says they are becoming outdated.
Thank you for your support.
יום שישי 09 מרץ 2012 17:07
Alas, it is true that the new Help viewer is a Visual Studio support feature and not a redistributable independent application. Visual Studio provides an Isolated Shell product (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb685691.aspx), a core development environment, that other products wrap, which contains the Help viewer. The Help viewer is not redistributable (available to be consumed and delivered by non-VS or VS ISO Shell based products) as a stand-alone application/product. Note that for Visual Studio 11 the Help viewer is an update, Help Viewer 2.0, which does not replace the Visual Studio 2010 Help system, but runs side-by-side with the Visual Studio 2010 Help system. The Visual Studio 11 Help system follows the same distribution model as the Visual Studio 2010 Help system – only available in Visual Studio 11 family of products, including VS 11 ISO Shell based products.
יום שישי 09 מרץ 2012 20:09מנחה דיון
In addition to Malcolm's comments, I wish to elaborate on this:
"I've read a lot online that MS Help Viewer can only be installed if Visual Studio 2010 is already installed. But at the same time I've read that a standalone help system can also be created, in the sense that MS HelpViewer can be used outside the Visual Studio environment."
We are shipping a Help Runtime in Windows 8 which has a public API. The Help Runtime is not equivalent to the VS 11 Help Viewer, but it is the same underlying information retrieval engine that VS 11 Help Viewer uses. With the public API, it is possible to build a user interface like the VS 11 Help Viewer that uses the same help format that VS 11 uses.
So, if you are only targeting Windows 8 boxes, and have the resources to build a Help Viewer on top of the Windows 8 Help Runtime, then you can take advantage of many of the new features of the MSHC format in VS 2010 and VS11. Unfortunately, this does not include content discovery from online, downloading and updating; it only covers the primary common features of Help clients; e.g. TOC, Index and Search APIs.
I hope that clarifies a little more on what you may have read concerning the ability to create a standalone help system with the new Help Viewer bits.
Paul O'Rear, Microsoft Corporation http://blogs.msdn.com/TheHelpGuy
יום רביעי 14 מרץ 2012 07:33
yes surely that clarifies the issue a bit more for me. Most probably we will stick to .chm for now.
Thank you for your support; it is much appreciated :)