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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] DocBook XML and helpsets

Oracle Help for the Web provides a Java Servlet that mimics JavaHelp and
can be delivered via any browser.  I haven't used it but ran across it
while investigating Oracle Help for Java.  It uses the same type of
source files that Oracle Help for Java uses, which are close enough to
JavaHelp that the DocBook transforms can be tweaked to produce the
required output.  We went to Oracle Help for Java because the render
engine is better than the native JavaHelp one.  Might be worth a look.

The framework appears to be freely distributable, without licensing
(although I haven't pursued it in enough detail to guarantee it).

Information is available at:


Larry Rowland

On Tue, 2006-04-04 at 14:21 -0700, Alan C. Oehler wrote:
> I've just worked through a project for which I generated a JavaHelp
> helpset from my source doc via the DocBook XSL. Now, moving forward, for
> various reasons we are likely to switch our application from being a
> Java client app to a Ajax-style web app that will run in Mozilla and IE.
> It's been a while since I was using RoboHelp for making help systems and
> I'm a bit fuzzy on where or not there are any other decent frameworks
> within which one can display help-like content in any browser. Microsoft
> WinHelp and HTMLHelp are out because they require the Microsoft
> help-viewing machinery; so is JavaHelp and OracleHelp; I know of a
> Mozilla Help Viewer but it's usable just in Mozilla... Netscape Help
> died a long time ago as far as I can tell...
> The closest thing I've seen to what I want is the WebHelp framework that
> RoboHelp made, but last I messed with it (almost two years ago) it was
> fairly buggy and proprietary to whit. I can't seem to find any
> open-source type of help frameworks like this using JavaScript.
> What are people using these days? I notice that, for example, Google
> Maps has a help system that basically looks more like a traditional web
> site, sans the collapsing/expanding TOC and other helpset niceties...
> Maybe that's my best bet...
> Any tips or advice from anyone doing similar things?
> Regards,
> Alan C. Oehler
> Sr. Technical Writer
> XenSource, Inc.
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