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Creating Effective JavaHelp by Kevin Lewis

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Chapter 3. Planning the JavaHelp Project

The secret of any successful project, whether it’s writing online help or building a house, is good planning. Imagine you want to drive across the country, and you decide to just jump in the car and start driving. Unless you’ve made the same trip several times in the recent past, you probably won’t reach your destination without encountering major problems.

Developing online help is no different. Unless you have a solid plan for your project, you will likely encounter many problems. These problems can add up and negatively affect your final online help system. Project planning helps ensure that your JavaHelp project runs smoothly and that you end up with a usable online help system. It won’t remove all obstacles, but good project planning will help you avoid unforeseen problems.

This chapter is about JavaHelp project planning. If you are an experienced help author, you may already have a project-planning system that works well for you. If so, you may want to skim through the chapter and look for sections that are specific to JavaHelp development. If you are new to help-authoring, you should read the entire chapter. It provides a general explanation of project planning by discussing the following topics:

  • General planning tasks

  • Planning tasks specific to JavaHelp

When planning your project, consider using a third-party help-authoring tool to make help-authoring easier. Third-party tools automate many of the tasks for JavaHelp that would otherwise ...

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