Need help with WinHelp 
Author Message
 Need help with WinHelp

I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
browsing to it using the browse buttons.

What is my problem and how can I fix it?
Stan Hilliard

I have Win98SE, VB6, VB HelpWriter v4.3.3, Windows 95 Help Workshop
and Help Authoring Kit.



Wed, 29 Jun 2011 06:02:00 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp


Quote:
>I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
> bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
> on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
> browsing to it using the browse buttons.

> What is my problem and how can I fix it?
> Stan Hilliard

> I have Win98SE, VB6, VB HelpWriter v4.3.3, Windows 95 Help Workshop
> and Help Authoring Kit.

Probably best to ask this in the help authoring newsgroup
(microsoft.public.helpauthoring or microsoft.public.vstudio.helpauthoring)
since this really has nothing to do with VB. However, you'll probably be
lucky if you can get any assistance with WinHelp in either of those
newsgroups.

You really should probably at least consider creating an HTML Help file for
your app.  WinHelp has essentially been dead for quite some time and is not
even supported anymore in Vista (although you CAN download the WinHelp
engine...if you consider that being support).  You gotta remember that
WinHelp is from the Win3.x days. It's ancient.

And just an anecdote....very amusing you're still using Win98!  You do
realize that hasn't been a supported version of Windows for several years,
right? *Might* be time for you to upgrade.  <g> But, I guess if it still
suits your needs....why upgrade?

--
Mike



Wed, 29 Jun 2011 09:21:47 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
   This doesn't exactly answer your question,
but I'm also running Win98 and also still use
.hlp files. (As far as I can see HTML help added
little more than security problems and compatibility
issues -- unnecessary complications all just to
make help pages look like webpages.) I use
Shalom, a free product that's very simple and
doesn't need MS Word or RTF files. I've had good
luck with it. You might try Shalom if you don't
work out your problem with VB HelpWriter.
Quote:
> I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
> bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
> on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
> browsing to it using the browse buttons.

> What is my problem and how can I fix it?
> Stan Hilliard

> I have Win98SE, VB6, VB HelpWriter v4.3.3, Windows 95 Help Workshop
> and Help Authoring Kit.



Wed, 29 Jun 2011 10:19:32 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp


Quote:
>   This doesn't exactly answer your question,
> but I'm also running Win98 and also still use
> .hlp files. (As far as I can see HTML help added
> little more than security problems and compatibility
> issues -- unnecessary complications all just to
> make help pages look like webpages.)

What "security problems" are you referring to ?
If anything I would say .hlp files are less secure as they can run macros
and there is no checking on that (although I think they might be disabled in
Vista)


Wed, 29 Jun 2011 10:21:48 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp


Quote:



> >   This doesn't exactly answer your question,
> > but I'm also running Win98 and also still use
> > .hlp files. (As far as I can see HTML help added
> > little more than security problems and compatibility
> > issues -- unnecessary complications all just to
> > make help pages look like webpages.)

> What "security problems" are you referring to ?
> If anything I would say .hlp files are less secure as they can run macros
> and there is no checking on that (although I think they might be disabled
in
> Vista)

Maybe what he meant was HTMLhelp source can be viewed/extracted.  Perhaps
it's the MS view that "everything but ours should be open source" (Yeah, I
know it's just HTML script for the most part... big whoop).  Also, IIRC, you
can embed ActiveX.  I also recall something about it being able to be used
remotely (i.e., from the internet, etc.) to execute code (or something like
that... but I'd assume that was likely remedied with some Winders Update or
whatever).

Also, isn't MS dumping HTMLhelp for some other new help thing (MAML?)?



Wed, 29 Jun 2011 14:31:02 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
I used to use Shalom for WinHelp.  Good app, but I've had to move to
HTMLhelp.  I had thought that MS should have continued to evolve WinHelp,
but I guess they needed something to tie IE into Winders after the Netscape
suit.  IIRC, their new help thing (MAML?) is tied into the dotnet framework.


Quote:
>    This doesn't exactly answer your question,
> but I'm also running Win98 and also still use
> .hlp files. (As far as I can see HTML help added
> little more than security problems and compatibility
> issues -- unnecessary complications all just to
> make help pages look like webpages.) I use
> Shalom, a free product that's very simple and
> doesn't need MS Word or RTF files. I've had good
> luck with it. You might try Shalom if you don't
> work out your problem with VB HelpWriter.

> > I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
> > bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
> > on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
> > browsing to it using the browse buttons.

> > What is my problem and how can I fix it?
> > Stan Hilliard

> > I have Win98SE, VB6, VB HelpWriter v4.3.3, Windows 95 Help Workshop
> > and Help Authoring Kit.



Wed, 29 Jun 2011 14:42:04 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp

Quote:
> IIRC, their new help thing (MAML?) is tied into the dotnet framework.

   It seems to be connected with the .Net IDE(s) in
the sense of being the official help format used for
that, but it doesn't require .Net. They call it "HTML
Help 2". HTML Help 2 appears to be little more than
a new, incompatible, HTML help file format. I don't
know much about it, or whether MS had anything
more ambitious than forced incompatibility in mind
when they created it.

  I only know about it because awhile back I came across
the Win2003 Server DDK, with help contents composed
of hxi and hxs files.

   After some searching I found a program named Help
Explorer 3 that can open those files. Help Explorer works
fine for me and I don't have anything related to .Net on
my system. (It actually uses a mini Mozilla install for its
viewer.) I haven't figured out the current status of it,
though. Some sites list it as free, others as shareware.
The help file says that one should either delete the install
or pay for it after a month. But all signs of the program
seem to be gone from their home site, kamasoftware.com.
Some software download sites list it as coming from
help-explorer.com, but that now connects to what looks
like a Russian webpage. So I don't know what to think.

  Maybe someone else has a link to a good, free HH2 reader.
I've thought of researching the file format to build a
reader myself, but then I realized that there's probably
nothing but new Vista APIs in HH2 format, anyway, so I
probably have no real use for it. :)



Wed, 29 Jun 2011 22:44:07 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp

Quote:
> > IIRC, their new help thing (MAML?) is tied into the dotnet framework.

>    It seems to be connected with the .Net IDE(s) in
> the sense of being the official help format used for
> that, but it doesn't require .Net. They call it "HTML
> Help 2". HTML Help 2 appears to be little more than
> a new, incompatible, HTML help file format. I don't
> know much about it, or whether MS had anything
> more ambitious than forced incompatibility in mind
> when they created it.

I haven't explored MAML, just what I've heard/read.  I just found with a
quick Google...

"Some of its features have been available in .NET Framework 2, but more
options shipped with the release of .NET Framework 3"

...which is similar to what I recalled seeing/hearing.  I don't really know
if that applies to the rendering engine, or if the rendering engine is
shipped with net, or whatever.

Anyhow, I get a chuckle pronouncing the acronym "MAML" <g>



Thu, 30 Jun 2011 04:29:09 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp

Quote:
> I haven't explored MAML, just what I've heard/read.  I just found with a
> quick Google...

  I got curious again with this thread. It turns out
that one can download something called

Microsoft? Visual Studio .NET Help Integration Kit

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=3eaeb657-98d...
b946-9719fec3a3ce&displaylang=en

found here:

http://helpware.net/mshelp2/h20.htm

  After downloading VSHIK.exe and renaming it to
VSHIK.zip, I took out vshik_setup.msi and upacked
it. There are some command line utilities in there,
most notably hxcomp.exe and hxcserv.exe which,
after being registered, can supposedly be used to
decompile Help2 files to webpages. So far I'm getting
errors. hxcomp seems to think the .hxs files I give
it are "invalid". This is mostly an academic exercise,
though, for future reference, with the idea that I
might want to download an SDK at some point and
convert it to readable files without having to install
the whole .Net mess. From what I've been able to gather,
the Help2 format seems to be limited to .Net IDEs
and seems to have no redistrbutable plugin for use
with distributed 3rd-party help files. Even if it did,
it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to ship
a "kit" for reading hxs files when they can use .hlp
or .chm.



Thu, 30 Jun 2011 05:30:53 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
Hi, Stan,

Quote:
> I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
> bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
> on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
> browsing to it using the browse buttons.

It sounds like there is a broken entry in your contents (.cnt) file. Using
HelpWriter  or Help Workshop, you should be able to verify that you have
specified the correct topic ID for this entry; it should match the ID that
you entered via a # footnote in the source RTF file.

There's a test facility in Help Workshop that you can use to check for other
broken contents entries (Test > Contents File).

Pete



Fri, 01 Jul 2011 02:14:01 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
Hi, all,

Quote:
> Also, isn't MS dumping HTMLhelp for some other new help thing (MAML?)?

Hopefully, I can clarify a few things with regard to the Help 2.0 (.HxS)
format and Assistance Platform Help (the MAML-based format).

First, these are two distinct formats. Help 2.0 dates back to 2001/2002 and
is essentially an HTML-based format, although the supporting files (table of
contents, index, etc.) are all XML-based. Assistance Platform help made its
first appearance with Vista, and the content is authored using the Microsoft
Assistance Markup Language (MAML).

Help 2.0 was originally intended to replace HTML Help, but Microsoft
abandoned this idea back in 2002. It's now used primarily by component
developers who want to integrate their help content into an existing Help 2.0
collection, such as the Visual Studio .NET Help system.

As far as Assistance Platform (AP) Help is concerned, Microsoft has
published very little information on its plans to release a public version of
this technology. OEMs and system builders can integrate their help content
into Microsoft's Vista Help system by using the AP Help SDK, but that's about
it at present.

Microsoft appears to be working on a new help platform (see
http://blogs.msdn.com/aprilr/default.aspx), but I believe this is primarily
intended as the replacement for Help 2.0 rather HTML Help. For the time
being, anyone wanting to develop help for an application should continue to
use HTML Help, in spite of the fact that it's been in "maintenance mode" for
five or six years!

Quote:
> Maybe someone else has a link to a good, free HH2 reader.

You could try this one:

http://frogleg.mvps.org/helptechnologies/mshelp2/h2view.html

Also, the shareware tool FAR can open and decompile Help 2.0 files.

http://helpware.net/FAR/index.html

Pete



Fri, 01 Jul 2011 02:51:00 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
Hi BeatFish,


Quote:




>>>   This doesn't exactly answer your question,
>>> but I'm also running Win98 and also still use
>>> .hlp files. (As far as I can see HTML help added
>>> little more than security problems and compatibility
>>> issues -- unnecessary complications all just to
>>> make help pages look like webpages.)

>> What "security problems" are you referring to ?
>> If anything I would say .hlp files are less secure as they can run
>> macros and there is no checking on that (although I think they might
>> be disabled in Vista)

> Maybe what he meant was HTMLhelp source can be viewed/extracted.
> Perhaps it's the MS view that "everything but ours should be open
> source" (Yeah, I know it's just HTML script for the most part... big
> whoop).

Right.  The idea of help files is to provide content to the end user not try
to hide things from them ;)

Quote:
>  Also, IIRC, you can embed ActiveX.

Right and .hlp fiels have macros that can execute any code.  At least
ActiveX is limited in its action by zone etc.

Quote:
>  I also recall something
> about it being able to be used remotely (i.e., from the internet,
> etc.) to execute code (or something like that... but I'd assume that
> was likely remedied with some Winders Update or whatever).

I think that would only apply when you point to content on the web.  That
is, if you are only having local content like you do in .hlp, then there's
no added security risk.

Quote:
> Also, isn't MS dumping HTMLhelp for some other new help thing (MAML?)?

Really not sure.  I know help 2.0 is staying a MSDN/Visual Studio only thing
at this point in time.  so unless you are writing documentation for Visual
Studio tolls or components etc, then I'd stick with html help.


Fri, 01 Jul 2011 11:06:42 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
On Sun, 11 Jan 2009 10:14:01 -0800, Pete Lees

Quote:

>Hi, Stan,

>> I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
>> bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
>> on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
>> browsing to it using the browse buttons.

>It sounds like there is a broken entry in your contents (.cnt) file. Using
>HelpWriter  or Help Workshop, you should be able to verify that you have
>specified the correct topic ID for this entry; it should match the ID that
>you entered via a # footnote in the source RTF file.

>There's a test facility in Help Workshop that you can use to check for other
>broken contents entries (Test > Contents File).
>Pete

Thanks Pete,
As you said, my problem was with the topic ID of that page. I had
taken an unneeded topic page and used it for new content. I changed
the topic ID but did not realize that with VBHelpwriter you have two
places where the topic ID has to be changed -- in the topic
information dialog and in the contents editor. All is well now.

Stan Hilliard



Sun, 03 Jul 2011 09:31:16 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp


Quote:
>> I have a WinHelp file that I initially created by VB HelpWriter. The
>> bug is that when compiled, one page will not open when I double click
>> on it's name in the contents window. But I can access that page by
>> browsing to it using the browse buttons.

>> What is my problem and how can I fix it?
>> Stan Hilliard

>> I have Win98SE, VB6, VB HelpWriter v4.3.3, Windows 95 Help Workshop
>> and Help Authoring Kit.
>   This doesn't exactly answer your question,
>but I'm also running Win98 and also still use
>.hlp files. (As far as I can see HTML help added
>little more than security problems and compatibility
>issues -- unnecessary complications all just to
>make help pages look like webpages.) I use
>Shalom, a free product that's very simple and
>doesn't need MS Word or RTF files. I've had good
>luck with it. You might try Shalom if you don't
>work out your problem with VB HelpWriter.
>mayayana

Thanks for the reference to Shalom. I downloaded it but haven't used
it yet because I solved my problem with VB Helpwriter (explained
elsewhere in this thread.
Stan Hilliard


Sun, 03 Jul 2011 10:18:55 GMT  
 Need help with WinHelp
Besides others suggestions, you may want to check this site:

http://frogleg.mvps.org/helptechnologies/



Sun, 03 Jul 2011 10:44:48 GMT  
 
 [ 15 post ] 

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