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IS THIS DEAD TECHNOLOGY?

We've invested heavily in making OHJ work, and we've had great results. However, powers on high are asking why we're using a technology that eHelp and Oracle seems none too interested in improving or supporting into the future. Is there a development or release schedule that I can point them to? Is Oracle still actively coding and improving this product? If not, what are the possibilities of getting the source code?

Thanks,
Jason Holmberg
EMC Corporation

Comments

  • 312396
    312396 Member Posts: 165
    Hi, Jason. We appreciate your concern and would like to reassure you that the Oracle Help products are alive and well. In fact, OHJ 4.1.15 has been released internally througout Oracle, though we've yet to post it on OTN. We may wait to post OHJ 4.1.16 to OTN instead since it contains a few fixes for running OHJ with JDK 1.4. We intend to release OHJ 4.2 later this fall, which will be certified to run against JDK 1.4. Anyway, you can point the "powers on high" to this post to reassure them that we remain interested in improving OHJ and maintaining happy customers.

    - Ryan
  • 153220
    153220 Member Posts: 23
    Great! Seriously, anyway we could get a potential feature list for 4.2?
  • 153220
    153220 Member Posts: 23
    Also, we've been waiting a long time now for Javascript support. Any chance of that soon?
  • We are working on a new branch of OHJ (it will be version 4.2).
    OHJ 4.1 works on JRE/JDK 1.1.8 or later, however OHJ 4.2 will
    require JRE/JDK 1.3.1 or later and will be certified against
    JDK 1.3.1 and JDK 1.4.1. We have been using Java 2 features
    for years through reflection, but we have been required by
    our users to maintain JDK 1.1 compatability. Now the time
    has come where we can require JDK 1.3.1 or later and make
    better use of Java 2 APIs. The first use of this will be
    an improvement in how help is displayed from modal application
    dialogs. Currently, when help is requested from a modal
    dialog, OHJ detects the situation, re-parents itself, and
    shows help in a modal help dialog to avoid being blocked
    by the application dialog. The disadvantage of this is
    that the modal help dialog has be closed before interacting
    with the application dialog. In OHJ 4.2, we will still
    have to reparent the help to a dialog to avoid being
    blocked, but you will be able to interact with the
    requesting application dialog. I know that many OHJ
    users will be glad to have that enhancement.

    Here is a quick rundown of other features coming
    in the OHJ 4.2 branch:

    - Upgrading the topic display to an Oracle-modified
    version of ICESoft's ICE Browser 5.2.3
    - Allowing applications to register callbacks for
    special links in help topics (i.e. a link in the
    help system that launched an application wizard).
    - Providing an example callback that launches a link
    in an external native browser
    - Switching over to a more standard XML Parser
    (perhaps via JAXP) but keeping the current parser
    as an option for backward compatability
    - New Copy and Zoom/Font Size menus
    - Better documentation for building custom navigators
    and embedding OHJ Navigators and TopicDisplays in
    applications
    - Performance tweaking
    - Bug fixes

    First to come will be the modal help improvement and
    the ICE Browser 5.2.3 integration.
  • As for Javascript support, I talked with the director of the
    Oracle Help products to get an update. I recently did an
    evaluation of the Javascript module provided by ICESoft,
    in particular the integration with the Browser's DOM (this
    is what ICESoft provides on top of the Open Source Rhino
    JavaScript engine). ICESoft has been working hard to fix
    bugs in the Javascript integration layer, but in my opinion
    it is still failing many tests. However, it may meet the
    needs of a help viewer depending on what you wanted to do.
    The managers of the Oracle Help product are reconsidering licensing the technology from ICESoft.
This discussion has been closed.