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Subject: RE: [dita-adoption-help] definition of Help
Here are some thoughts.
>> Modular--relatively short topics<<
Modular might not be the right term to use, because “modular Help” is used commonly to describe multiple Help systems that are merged at runtime to be delivered as a virtual single Help system.
>> May help with a user domain separate from its software vehicle.<<
Do you mean that Online Help doesn’t have to be associated with a piece of software? Or do you mean that some content in a software’s Help might describe indirectly-associated concepts, business rules and the like?
I think we also need to define “online”.
I see http://wiki.oasis-open.org/dita-adoption/DITA_Help_Technologies_Guide_Allocation that I am on the hook for a definition of Help. Here's a quick draft for comment.
What is Online Help?
These characteristics usually compel the Help developer to address the problem of relevance that is central to all documentation: access to the relevant topic from the context of need.
All user assistance documentation is part of the user interface; a Help system only more obviously so.