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Re: MS and help files

  The idea of switching away from the proprietary Windows Help tools to HTML
  is not recent and is not anti-competitive. When I was consulting at
  Oracle's Network Computer Inc. (not a hotbed of fans of Microsoft), the
  idea that help files for products on Windows would be written in HTML and
  not in a proprietary MS language was extremely welcomed by writers.
  The tailoring of the files to IE is a different issue. It's worth asking
  whether the files merely look a little better in IE or they don't work in
  There are lots of reasons to criticize Mightysoft. This might not be one of
  -- Cem
  At 04:59 PM 12/4/97 -0500, James Love wrote:
  >This was an interesting note, posted to a discussion on
  >intellectualcapital.com, which concerns Microsoft's integration of MSIE
  >and help files.  
  >11/25/97 Steven Jong SteveFJong@AOL.com
  >Here's another example of Microsoft forcing IE down the throats of the
  >desktop community. Until now, the universal means of providing online
  >help for Windows applications has been the Windows Help display engine,
  >because it's included with Windows 3.1/95/NT and because it's free.
  >Microsoft does not document or support its Help compiler, but a whole
  >industry has arisen to create tools for creating help source files
  >for that compiler. Now, Microsoft has announced that its new model for
  >displaying help is HTML-based. Further, it's moving to an HTML help
  >display engine, and dropping the Help display engine. But it gets
  >better--the HTML isn't vanilla HTML, but HTML extended for use
  >with (you guessed it!) Internet Explorer. The effects are (1)
  >third-party help tools have to be redone; (2) third-party applications
  >developers are coerced into providing HTML help; (3) if they do, they're
  >coerced into providing Internet Explorer as the display engine. I think
  >is as blatant an example of illegally tying a Microsoft application to
  >Windows as any I've read about.
  >James Packard Love
  >Consumer Project on Technology
  >P.O. Box 19367 | Washington, DC 20036 
  >voice 202.387.8030  | fax 202.234.5176 
  >love@cptech.org | http://www.cptech.org
  Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D.				       Attorney at Law 
  P.O. Box 1200           Santa Clara, CA 95052             408-244-7000
  Author (with Falk &  Nguyen) of TESTING COMPUTER SOFTWARE (2nd Ed, VNR)
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