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Subject: Active Help and Popup Content

Greetings colleagues

At our last meeting, I undertook to try to define what "active content"
content might be, and also clarify the types of popup or tooltip
context-sensitive content (to start the discussion as to whether a
specialisation would be required).

Active Help

My first discovery when it came to "active content" was that a patent for a
"live action" scripting editor was lodged in December 2006 by Nadia De Paepe
and Mattias Van Looveren from Agfa in Belgium.


Incidentally, the patent application provides an excellent summary of
Eclipse Help, and nicely defines context-sensitive Help and "active Help". 

Anyway, that's a bit of an aside. The term "active help" seems to be
generic, whereas "live action", "guided Help", "shortcuts", "embedded
commands", and "active content wizard" tend to be associated with particular

I have summarised my findings in:

It seems to me that no special features or specialisations are required for
these features to be included in DITA-sourced Help.

Tool Tips
I have summarised my thoughts on how DITA and tool tips, etc, might work
together in:

My view is that a specialisation for these sort of short, simple pieces of
information would be useful. However, I think that the existing cshelp
specialisation will suit most tool tip requirements.

Feedback and discussion on these two issues would be very welcome!


Tony Self

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