Browse Prior Art Database

Improved Technique for Implementing Web Help

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000118983D
Original Publication Date: 1997-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 32K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Allen, J: AUTHOR

Abstract

The improved technique for implementing Web help uses JavaScript to display context-sensitive help in a small two-frame help window. Additionally, all help topics reside in one file, instead of the usual one help topic per file. This technique works with Internet Explorer* and Netscape**, and it degrades to three-frame, full screen help that is not context sensitive if JavaScript is not enabled.

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Improved Technique for Implementing Web Help

      The improved technique for implementing Web help uses
JavaScript to display context-sensitive help in a small two-frame
help window.  Additionally, all help topics reside in one file,
instead of the usual one help topic per file.  This technique works
with Internet Explorer* and Netscape**, and it degrades to
three-frame, full screen help that is not context sensitive if
JavaScript is not enabled.

The technique is as follows:
  1.  A hidden form field is set in the work frame of the product
       web interface.  The value of this field corresponds to the
       heading name of the appropriate topic in the help topic
       file.  This is analogous to setting a control ID in Windows
       application help.
  2.  When help is requested, the hidden field value is pulled and
       set as the window name of the two-frame help.
  3.  A small help window opens.  The help window is another
       instance of the web browser.  A non-scrolling region at
       the top contains links to the contents and index.  The
       contents link goes to the three-frame, full screen help.
  4.  As the help topics file is being opened in the two-frame
       file, the window name (heading name in the topics file)
       is pulled programatically, and the topics file is opened
       again and redirected to this heading.  A check ensures
       that the...