Topics

Looking for more modern alternatives to Eclipsehelp Infocenters #next-generation #content-delivery

Jeff Hooker
 

Hi all,

About 12 years ago I started deploying Eclipse Infocenters at the semiconductor design house I work at. We had huge register data sets that I needed to make searchable as well as a growing Docbook-based CMS, and freestanding Eclipse Infocenters served us well as a way of mashing these two things together.

Today we still have huge register data sets, but the CMS has moved to DITA and the number of places to which we deploy our content has grown by leaps and bounds.

Infocenters, unfortunately, have stayed the same. While they are still great for accessing content via a browser and their search feature is unmatched, we need to be able to serve content to phones and tablets and an increasing number of default browser settings conflict with the needs of the Infocenter interface.

Therefore, I'm looking for the next mass-distribution tool. I'm not so optimistic to think that it's going to be free, but fortunately I have a lot more budget that I did at the beginning.

Here's what I'm looking for: 
1. Responsive design.
2. Supports context sensitive help (via topic numbers; not via embedding URLs in code).
3. A strong search feature (supports phrase, AND, OR at the least)
4. Allows help packages to be added and removed without having to regenerate the whole help system.
5. Can handle help sets of over 100,000 topics.
6. Can be run on a desktop or from a web server.
7. Licensing available for unrestricted distribution (not reselling, obviously, but I don't want to have to deal with the noise of having to purchase and track a new license every time I find a new use for it)

Does anyone have any names for me?

Thanks,
Jeff.

Dan Vint
 

I think oXygen's webhelp format answers your needs. Free to produce from standalone oxygen installations and there is a server version for batch operations. No fee to distribute.



Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: Jeff Hooker <jeff@...>
Date: 11/22/19 7:23 AM (GMT-08:00)
To: dita-users@groups.io
Subject: [dita-users] Looking for more modern alternatives to Eclipsehelp Infocenters

Hi all,

About 12 years ago I started deploying Eclipse Infocenters at the semiconductor design house I work at. We had huge register data sets that I needed to make searchable as well as a growing Docbook-based CMS, and freestanding Eclipse Infocenters served us well as a way of mashing these two things together.

Today we still have huge register data sets, but the CMS has moved to DITA and the number of places to which we deploy our content has grown by leaps and bounds.

Infocenters, unfortunately, have stayed the same. While they are still great for accessing content via a browser and their search feature is unmatched, we need to be able to serve content to phones and tablets and an increasing number of default browser settings conflict with the needs of the Infocenter interface.

Therefore, I'm looking for the next mass-distribution tool. I'm not so optimistic to think that it's going to be free, but fortunately I have a lot more budget that I did at the beginning.

Here's what I'm looking for: 
1. Responsive design.
2. Supports context sensitive help (via topic numbers; not via embedding URLs in code).
3. A strong search feature (supports phrase, AND, OR at the least)
4. Allows help packages to be added and removed without having to regenerate the whole help system.
5. Can handle help sets of over 100,000 topics.
6. Can be run on a desktop or from a web server.
7. Licensing available for unrestricted distribution (not reselling, obviously, but I don't want to have to deal with the noise of having to purchase and track a new license every time I find a new use for it)

Does anyone have any names for me?

Thanks,
Jeff.

Harald Hermann
 

Hello Jeff,

we are currently working on a prototype of a modernized Eclipse help web UI (mobile ready).
We were hoping for a long time that the Eclipse community will update the infocenter but this was never a priority for them.
Finally, we started to work on a prototype this year and suggested it to Eclipse in a comment in Eclipse bug 501718 with good feedback from the Eclipse platform team.

The code is work-in-progress but can be accessed already from https://github.com/howlger/Eclipse-Help-Modernized.

Best regards,
Harald

Harald Hermann
 

Hello Jeff,

 

we use Eclipse help for ~10 years and were always hoping that the Eclipse community is adding more features or updates the Eclipse infocenter.

 

As this was not their priority we (Holger Voormann and myself) started a prototype on our own of a modernized Eclipse help web UI.

The target is to improve the search results and to make it mobile ready.

 

We suggested it to Eclipse by responding to Eclipse bug 501718.

The feedback from the Eclipse platform team at the EclipseCon Europe 2019 was also positive and the platform team said they are willing to integrate it once we are ready and the reviews are completed.

 

The prototype is still work in progress but published on https://github.com/howlger/Eclipse-Help-Modernized/

 

Best regards,

Harald

 

 

 

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Harald Hermann

 

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www.advantest.de

 

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