Why Focus on Looks when the Data isn't there... RRS feed

  • Question

  • I agree with a recent post before me, but instead of correcting certain semantic issues, my problem is reference.   Reference, reference, reference.  You search, look, scan, investigate, and still there are some technologies that are not documented.

    Take, for example, the HTML Help system.  Granted it appears this system is going away in deference to a newer better system, but it is very simple and easy to do, and yet there is no documentation fully explaining how to do a vast number of advanced concepts. 

    Oh, there are API references that explain how to Call to the HH API and display your help file.
    There are ActiveX guides to the ActiveX extensions to the HtmlHelp system.
    There are even HTML references that explain how to write HTML tagged files for viewing in the HTML Help system.

    What It Lacks:

    NO explanation of how the system (API) interfaces with the actual file, to better understand What is possible and What is not. 
    NO explanation about Indexes, and how to create them so they actually work.  There are quite a few CHM files out there that have a Tiered index list, to help organize the index, but guess what, when you create one like that in HTMLHelp Workshop, you can't jump to any index but the root except when clicking with the mouse.  Where is the documentation of these things?
    Some Help Files allow for the Creation of an index with sub indexes where the parent doesn't have a location, forcing only sub indexes to be chosen.  How does one do this?  Again no documentation.

    And please, it is very frustrating for people to come back and say: oh that documentation is here...blah, blah, blah. 
    Have you ever tried searching for the keywords: HtmlHelp CHM Index
    that's a joke....

    it is a simple thing really:  I want an index file that I can actually USE to cause the html help system from VB.Net to offere Dynamic Topic Selection from the F1 key being pressed on a specific control.  Using the HTML help system, I can assign multiple documents to a single Index, and then from the application request that index be displayed, which causes the HtmlHelp system to display it.  However, the html help system does not recognize the index: "preferences, general" because the comma does not mean anything to it.  Oh, if you click on the "general" entry that is a sub index of the "preferences" main index, it displays the path as "preferences, general" but it doesn't accept it as a valid parameter.

    Enough.  I'm just frustrated because I'll have to rethink my entire help design and limit the access the User has to it, praying the user will actualy investigate on their own, because the system has not allowed me to do what I want it to do. 

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008 3:50 PM