To deliver help on multiple platforms, you need a solution that runs on all those platforms. This solution helps you avoid complications of each platform and allows you to deliver one solution that meets the needs on all your platforms. This common solution can save development time and effort.
The Oracle Help format is a Java-based help format that produces the complete set of files required to deliver online help based on the Oracle Help for Java technology. Oracle Help for Java is a set of Java components and an API for developing and displaying HTML-based help content in a Java environment. Oracle Help is recommended to produce help for an application written in the Java programming language.
Note: Oracle also offers a separate technology called Oracle Help for the Web. ePublisher does not support Oracle Help for the Web.
To view Oracle Help, users must have a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed. If you produce help for a Java application, the JVM will be installed on computers running the application. The Oracle Help components must also be installed on the computer.
The Oracle Help output format produces content that conforms to the HTML 4 and XHTML 1.0 standards and uses Cascading Style Sheets that conform to the CSS1 standard. This output format also produces files that are specifically required for Oracle Help. For more information about the Oracle Help technology, see the Oracle Web site at www.oracle.com/technology/tech/java/help.
When deciding whether to use the Oracle Help output format, review the following considerations:
Oracle Help is one of the output formats you can use to produce help for a Java application. You can also use the Oracle Help output format to produce content for the Web if all your users have, or are prepared to install, a Java Virtual Machine.
If you need to produce help for a pure Java application, you may also consider using the Eclipse Help and Sun JavaHelp output formats. Each output format has slightly different requirements, appearance, and behavior.
If you need to produce help for a Web-based application hosted on a Web server or on an intranet server that is not a pure Java application, you may consider using the WebWorks Help output format.