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I maintain my product docs, including help files in CityDesk but, as opposed to a separate help .chm etc., I have incorporated a Help/documents Program mode that displays a hierachy of Domain specific docs and Help files.

What would be the best way to access these files from within the app?  I don't want to maintain two instances if I can avoid it.


Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Say what what?

I have no idea what you're asking, but have you toyed with Audience at all?
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

No, what is Audience?

I'm a html newbie, so maybe I don't understand how CityDesk functions.

I have a browser control incorporated within my app.  This allows me to view my help file directly within the app as opposed to having a chm or other separate help window.

I maintain these files within CityDesk along with Articles(?)for the domain specific documents that are needed.  When I say domain, I mean industry domain and not

How do I access these CityDesk articles from my app?

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Woah, still not sure what you're talking about.

You can use CityDesk to publish .htm files to any location you choose via file transfer or FTP.

Is there any way you could then load those into your APP or browser?
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

The real question seems to be, how you want to bundle the help files with your app.

You could ship a folder with a bunch of individual .HTML files, then have your webbrowser control do a .Navigate to the full path of the top file.

Or you could ship a single .CHM file. I suspect that there is probably a way to get the webbrowser control to display a .CHM file, but I don't know what it is.

If you're willing to be sophisticated, you can compile each of the HTML files into resources which are attached to your EXE, and direct the web browser control to load them from resources by navigating using the res://... style URLs.

In any case you're going to be losing some of the nice functionality that the HTML Help Viewer (hh.exe) provides, like searching and tree contents on the left hand side. At best it will look like the library at, with an awkward tree "control" on the left implemented with DHTML. Is this really worth it to avoid help coming up in its own window?

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, April 29, 2003

I think you are presuming that I display the hierarcy within the browser.

I have a separate treeview that displays the file hierarchy.  This allows the user to arrange the files, drag/drop in anyway they choose.  It also allows them to include any html based document, product specs, safety sheets (chemicals), procedures, or anything short of... well you know.

I included the help files for the same reason as well as I run a feature tutorial directly in the app as well as adding annotations, etc.

"Click to watch the 'How to Export Data' feature"

The files can be updated or synchronised when web access is available, which is not always the case.  And locked down when there are access limitations req'd.

As far as indexing and searching... good point!  What I do is have context tips that allows the user to click on any portion of the screen and go directly to that help file.  I will have to improve the searching features.

Anyway, enough yammering...  If you are at all interested, this is what I mean. sample/jos example.htm

Forgive the icons,  still working on them <g>

Now all that remains is the ability to create, edit, etc. the doc.  I wanted to, somehow incorporate CityDesk but it doesn't look like this will be possible so the search continues.  Know of any good WYSIWYG html controls?

Maybe 2500 CityDesk licenses?!? <g>


Tuesday, April 29, 2003

for a wysiwyg html control, you just put in a MSHTML control, and set the contentEditable property of the body element (in the DOM) to true.

Joel Spolsky
Tuesday, April 29, 2003


Wednesday, April 30, 2003

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