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Subject: RE: [dita-adoption-help] Criteria for determining which tools to include in the DHTG...

One key characteristic is that you access Help when you have a problem,
and you locate one or more topics that are relevant to the problem. Help
delivery, then, is mostly about relevance. Another is that Help delivery
is carried out by an application. It is possible to search out a CHM and
launch it as one would launch a PDF book, but then there's a strong
argument that you are using it as a standalone publication and not as
online help.

If we can assume that users expect context sensitive help integrated
with the application, then PDF becomes harder and harder to justify.

We could just list typical Help formats and rule out PDF by fiat.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Scott Prentice [mailto:sp10@leximation.com] 
> Sent: Monday, September 27, 2010 3:32 PM
> To: dita-adoption-help@lists.oasis-open.org
> Subject: [dita-adoption-help] Criteria for determining which 
> tools to include in the DHTG...
> Hi...
> This action item of mine is a bit overdue. Here's what I'm 
> thinking should be the criteria ..
> - A tool can be included in the DHTG if that tool can consume 
> or create DITA, and can export out-of-the-box, through the 
> tool's UI, at least one "Help" format.
> Even if that tool is just using the OT to generate this Help 
> format, as long as it installs the OT to do that, it can be 
> in the DHTG. This probably opens the door to many DITA 
> authoring tools, but excludes tools that do not themselves 
> consume DITA in some way. It would not include a tool that 
> just converts from one format to another, since this would 
> have nothing to do with DITA.
> Then there is the issue of defining what constitutes a "Help" 
> format. I think that for the purposes of the DHTG, a Help 
> format is one that's described in the "Help Delivery 
> Technologies" section of the DHTG. How we decide what to put 
> in that section .. well, I suppose that's up for discussion. 
> There are two formats that I can see might be considered "on 
> the fence" of being a Help format or not .. PDF and ePub. 
> There are people who use PDF as the "online Help system," and 
> therefore this would be considered a Help format (I'd think) 
> .. even though I personally think this is a bad use of PDF. 
> But what about ePub? What exactly does make something a Help format?
> Something for further discussion, I'd think.
> Cheers,
> ...scott
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