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MSHA files v CHM files RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been producing help files for a client and have produced both CHM and MSHC files. The CHM files are obviously self-contained and for this application are excellent as I can combine both the XML program documentation and additional documentation using MAML.

    To view the MSHC file, I ran the Sandcastle generate batch load file and used the H3 Viewer at http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/4c360395-6afd-4087-94ed-cbcbebe04a20/ that written by Rob Chandler. Regrettably the MSHC documentation for the client application appears interspersed among the locally installed documentation. Now the the MSHC format is obviously excellent for information that has to be viewed in parallel with Dot Net framework and Visual Studio documentation, but I respectfully submit that is not suitable for stand-lone documentation such as my client's application.

    The application is too complex for the MSHelp 2 compiler (HxS) to handle. The web site format is inadvisable as it produces a multiplicity of files rather than a single file.

    My question is: will the HTML Help 1 (CHM) format continue to be supported for the foreseeable future?

    Thursday, August 30, 2012 10:22 AM

Answers

  • I think you could guess that CHM will be here for quite a lot longer given there is no replacement. MS Help 2 was only for VS 2002/2003/2005/2008 and all development has stopped. MS Help Viewer (.mshc) is promising but difficult to manage ... made mainly for companies like MS who code their help from a database. My tool mshcMigrate.exe does a good job of getting you from .CHM and .HxS -> .mshc

    I agree with you, the current offerings are not very attractive (and no distributable anyway). HV 2.0 is the help engine for Win 8 and VS 2012 .. It has a nice COM API (no more Agent running in the tray) it has potential I think. 

    We desperately need a Unicode capable help system.  :-(
    For the moment we are stuck with .chm (or a third part help system).


    Rob Chandler Help MVP http://Helpware.net/ http://mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com/

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012 4:59 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • I think you could guess that CHM will be here for quite a lot longer given there is no replacement. MS Help 2 was only for VS 2002/2003/2005/2008 and all development has stopped. MS Help Viewer (.mshc) is promising but difficult to manage ... made mainly for companies like MS who code their help from a database. My tool mshcMigrate.exe does a good job of getting you from .CHM and .HxS -> .mshc

    I agree with you, the current offerings are not very attractive (and no distributable anyway). HV 2.0 is the help engine for Win 8 and VS 2012 .. It has a nice COM API (no more Agent running in the tray) it has potential I think. 

    We desperately need a Unicode capable help system.  :-(
    For the moment we are stuck with .chm (or a third part help system).


    Rob Chandler Help MVP http://Helpware.net/ http://mshcmigrate.helpmvp.com/

    Wednesday, September 5, 2012 4:59 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for your guidance Rob.
    Wednesday, September 5, 2012 1:43 PM