Getting ready for on-line documentation

This tip is the first in a series of tips dealing with on-line documentation in the Comet98 environment. In this tip, we discuss the MTB documentation and its integration with the Comet Editor (CED). In future tips, we'll discuss other documentation from Signature Systems and offer some ideas for your applications documentation.

Here's a little background about MTB documentation and CED. Back in Comet 503, we added an on-line MTB manual to the CED program. At the time, this was breakthrough technology. In fact, it was one of the first major applications of the Comet Help System (and the ENTER/EXIT approach to MTB programming).

When we updated the MTB documentation at the 504 level, we changed its format to hypertext documentation (we used the hypertext engine from the CVIEW program). We also added context sensitivity to CED -- you can type an MTB command, press the help key (F1), and CED will lookup the documentation for the MTB statement on the current source line.

Last year, when we updated the MTB documentation to the Comet98 level, we changed its format once again. This time, we used HyperText Markup Language (HTML) for all of the MTB documentation. Our reasoning was simple: HTML is the worldwide standard for on-line hypertext.

Until recently, these HTML files were available only one way: you had to run a web browser and link to the technical documentation section of Signature's web site.

The latest release of CED (version 99.02), when running under Comet98, provides the following ways to access the MTB documentation:

Note: Both of these options take advantage of the recently-released (Launch) mnemonic (included in REL release 99.01).

To enable the first option, use the INSTALL command in CED. At the "Enable HTML Help?" prompt, choose the "I" option, as shown below.

Subsequently, when you press the F1 key, CED will launch your web browser (and connect to the Internet if you're not already connected) and display the table of contents page for the on-line MTB manual.

To enable the locally-installed version of the MTB documentation, follow these steps:

Subsequently, when you press the F1 key, CED will launch your browser and display the intro page for the locally-installed MTB manual.

Here are a couple of final comments:

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