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JavaHelp Overview
JavaHelp Tips & Tricks
Key Resources
Recommended Reading
Online Communities & Discussion Lists
JavaHelp Development Services

JavaHelp Overview

JavaHelp is a browser-independent, platform-independent, pure Java solution for delivering online Help for applications written in Java.

To create JavaHelp, authors create topic files in HTML format. Control files are used to define the table of contents, index, and mapping for context-sensitive Help. JavaHelp systems can be delivered as a collection of individual files, or they can be compressed into a Java Archive (JAR) file. Help authors can use a variety of tools to produce JavaHelp, including RoboHelp, Doc-To-Help, ForeHelp, and WebWorks Publisher.

In order to view a JavaHelp system, users must have the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) installed. Through the use of a client-side browser plug-in, JavaHelp can be launched from, but not viewed in, a browser.

Internal Link See a screen shot of JavaHelp
Internal Link View a sample JavaHelp Help system

Key Resources

Note: If you are authoring JavaHelp systems, you will benefit from having at least intermediate-level knowledge of core Web technologies, especially HTML and CSS. This is true even if you are using a Help authoring tool. For more information about HTML and CSS, look under Web Technologies to the left (under the Knopf Online logo).

Internet Link Sun's JavaHelp Web Site - Ground zero for JavaHelp Developers, this is the Sun's JavaHelp Web site. Here, you'll find the latest information about JavaHelp, including the JavaHelp FAQ.

Internet Link JavaHelp 1.1 User's Guide - It's all in there ... really!!! Read it!

Internet Link Sun's Java Developer Connection - This is Sun's web site for Java developers. Go here to download the latest Java2 Software Development Kit (formerly known as the JDK).

Internet Link ORACLE Help for Java - Another contender for developing and deploying online Help for Java applications, Oracle's OHJ is set of Java components and an API for developing and displaying HTML-based content in a Java environment.

Recommended Reading

JavaHelp User's Guide by Sun Microsystems. It's all in there ... really!

Creating Effective JavaHelp by Kevin Lewis, O'Reilly, ISBN: 1-56592-719-2. This book gives a solid basic overview of JavaHelp. It covers JavaHelp 1.0, though, and is now a bit out-of-date.

Online Communities & Discussion Lists

JavaHelp-Interest - This is an unmoderated mailing list for discussion of anything related to JavaHelp. Members of Sun's JavaHelp team are active list participants. This is the best place to get answers to your JavaHelp-specific questions.

Internet Link Find out about JavaHelp-Interest

HATT - The Help Authoring Tools and Technologies group is a moderated discussion list for topics related to Help authoring and online information design and development. The HATT group was formed when the old WINHLP-L discussion list was closed. Discussion topics include help technologies like WinHelp, HTML Help, JavaHelp, WebHelp, and WinHelp 2000, authoring tools from various vendors, and issues related to design, development, and deployment of online Help systems. You can participate in the group through its Web interface or subscribe and receive messages by e-mail. David Knopf is a moderator of the HATT list, which has more than 2,000 subscribers worldwide.

Find out about HATT / Visit the HATT home page