ASPHelp Web Site Documentation Tool
ASPHelp is a documentation tool allowing developers of active server
professionals, and information architects the ability to document
the paths of execution, including parameters passed, for the ASP and HTML
web pages of their web sites.
ASPHelp produces industry standard HTML Help documentation familiar to
virtually all developers working with Microsoft toolsets. In
documenting the pages as you design them, and by defining an interface
contract for your pages, you can ensure the stability and reliability of
your web application.
Object oriented design techniques have existed for some
time, and they all have a guiding principle of defining the interfaces to
objects, and adhering to those interfaces, often called contracts.
In the world of the web, the interfaces we often need to be concerned with
revolve around how information gets transferred from one page of a site to
another. What are the expected input parameters to a page, and what
is their access method? Are values passed in GETs or POSTs, or are
they passed in a cookie or a session variable? Does the page
redirect to another, or perhaps more than one page, depending upon the
path of ASP execution.
ASPHelp bridges this gap. As explained on the benefits
page and the features page, you can use
ASPHelp to document the input parameters, session variables, application
variables, redirection points, forms and anchors on your pages, without actually writing
the ASP. The resultant documentation can be turned over to the presentation tier developers
to develop the actual script required for the page.
By paralleling the development efforts, and ensuring
interface contracts exist, the time to market for the application, and the
quantity of hard to find bugs are both reduced. Increased code
quality, consistency of code, and efficiency of development time all
translate into lower development costs, and allow for earlier time to
market, which makes you, and your clients money.
Ultimately, you need to determine if ASPHelp offers the
level of service you desire, but given its low cost of ownership, even
saving a few hours of development time makes the return on investment
Version 2.21 Bug Fixes
- Under certain circumstances, colorized source code with includes would lack
the leading single or double quote for the file name
- When listing the include files, certain non printable characters could be
included in the output leading to HTML Help workshop compilation errors
- If an XML project file was specified, but parsing errors occurred loading the project file, the default table of contents and options were not
loaded. Now fixed
- If a parsing error occurred loading an XML project file, this parsing error
is now surfaced to the user.
- If an error occurs writing out an include file, that error no longer causes
ASPHelp to abort processing.
- HTML Help Compiler location is now validated when running ASPHelpConsole.exe
- Added additional location check for HTML Help Compiler.
separated only by whitespace, color coding would become corrupt
Version 2.20 Feature Enhancements
In addition to several bug fixes, version 2.20 of ASPHelp has feature
- Unknown script language files are colorized as HTML
- CSS contained in STYLE tags is now colorized.
- ActiveX (COM) object usage is now included in the table of contents.
- During the expansion of procedures (functions and subroutines), the derived page output lost
synchronization resulting in corrupt output. This corruption was most obvious in large pages.
- HTML tags are now processed using XHTML rules resulting in improved accuracy
- XML and XSL included in the project via HTML inclusion is colorized.
- Summary pages linked from the table of contents now include hyperlinks for items contained below the chapter of the table of contents entry.
- Command line output now includes the compilation steps from hhc.exe.
- Project XML has been expanded to table of contents options for display text, folder name, and data area name. Please see the manual for more information.
- ActiveXObject is now recognized as an object creation mechanism.
- CDATA content is now colorized.
Version 2.10 Feature Enhancements
Version 2.10 contains both new functionality and resolves several bugs
present in version 2.01. The following list summarizes the new
- Includes and script libraries are now defined in a dedicated table of contents section.
If you wish to suppress this new functionality, it can be done using
XML project files. Please refer to the manual section on the XML
table of contents.
- Application and session variables are now defined in a dedicated table
of contents section.
- Cookie usage is now defined in a dedicated table of contents section.
- ASPHelp can now be executed from command line batch files. Please see the manual for more details. Note that this functionality is restricted to
registered versions of ASPHelp.
- Dynamic OBJECT tags are now supported
Version 2.10 Bug Fixes
The following bug fixes were implemented in version 2.10. As always, if
you encounter functionality believed to be a bug, don't hesitate to communicate
your findings with us.
- Overall processing speed has been improved significantly for server side
- If an include was missing enclosing quotes, the include would not be
included in the project.
- If an include used single quote characters for enclosing quotes, the output source would show double quotes.
- If a block help tag encapsulated a zero length string, the contents of
the help tag would be processed as if it were the entire file. Now fixed.
- The description for "Client navigation" was spelled "Client navigation"
- If no ASPHelp.ini, global.asa, or ASPHelp.xml input was defined, then
the output table of contents would be incomplete.
- The source code title in the index would always include the word "Title".
- If a virtual include included a file include, the file include would have
an incorrect path associated with it. Virtual includes including file
includes now have file includes relative to the virtual include location.
- Fixed a variety of bugs related to form location processing.
- Zero length query string values are now represented as "Value is an empty string."
- Fixed HTML attribute colorization bugs relating to mid-tag ASP context switches.
- XML project file is now documented in the manual
Version 2.01 Bug fixes
Version 2.01 is a bug fix release. The bugs fixed occur in three
- The version 2.0 full installer contained some erroneous files, and
was missing other files
- Incorrect UI navigation would occur if ASPHelp was launched by
double-clicking on a project file
- Under certain circumstances, users would be prompted to save project
files containing no changes.
Version 2.0 Feature Enhancements
Version 2.0 is a major update to the ASPHelp documentation tool. While
many of the functional areas are familiar, the capabilities of the product are
greatly expanded. Some of the new functional elements include:
- Integration with DBDocumentor
- Colorized source code
- XML project files, with published XSD schema
- Modern MSDN layout option
- Support for Windows Server 2003 as a development platform
- Addition of new block commenting syntax
- Support for customized tables of contents
Version 1.7 Enhancements
Version 1.7 includes minor bug fixes and a modified user interface to better
deal with long path names during the project selection process. The most
significant bug fix relates to support for the installation method used in the
HTML Help workshop included with Visual Studio .NET.
Version 1.6 Enhancements
Version 1.6 sees several significant additions to the ASPHelp feature set,
including linkage between SQLHelp
and ASPHelp, and the ability to annotate file methods.
The following changes were made between version 1.5 and version 1.6:
- Annotation of object usage. Objects created
within the scope of the current file can now be fully annotated. Both
client and server side objects are supported using a modified JavaDoc
- Annotation of methods defined in
files. Any sub routine or function defined in the scope of the current
file can now be fully annotated. ASPHelp supports both client and
annotation is performed using a modified JavaDoc syntax.
- Support for client side navigational elements. Now the server side
page data flow capabilities of previous versions of ASPHelp are available
for those using client side navigation, be it pure navigation, new windows,
or Internet Explorer Modal and Modeless dialog boxes.
- Support for integrated linkage between SQLHelp and
ASPHelp. ASPHelp now allows you to define stored procedures contained
in SQLHelp files and link between them. Full SQLHelp projects can be
merged at runtime to provide a richer set of web documentation than was
Version 1.5 Enhancements
Version 1.5 sees the introduction of project files and a greatly enhanced
capability to define interfaces in the absence of actual ASP or HTML, making
ASPHelp perfect for interface design specification.
The following changes were made between version 1.4 and version 1.5:
- Project files are now supported with ASPHelp. These project files
contain all the information relating to a project and can be launched by
double clicking on the project file, or loading the previous project file
from the welcome page. All project files have the ASPHelp extension
and are automatically written to disk.
- The maximum number of project files in the recent projects list is 10
- If a project file is loaded, and that project file actually contained
files to process, the Finish button is enabled from step 2.
- If your project file is not listed in the recent projects list, you can
browse for it using the browse button on the welcome page. Project
files are stored in the same folder as the source files and have the
extension of ASPHelp.
- If you select to define a new project, it will have the options of the
most recent project save for the folder and files settings.
- Support for parsing of procedures and subroutines. ASPHelp will
attempt to determine which procedures and subroutines are used in the
generation of a given web page and include them in the ASP being parsed for
- Removal of temporary files. Long time users of ASPHelp have noticed
that ASPHelp creates a large number of temporary files. These can now
be automatically cleaned after parsing is completed.
- Restart option at completion of compilation. When ASPHelp has
completed processing of the project, you have the option of returning to the
welcome screen and rerunning the previous project.
- Detection of open output file. If the output file is open when
ASPHelp begins processing, ASPHelp will display a warning box that offers
the opportunity to close the output file before processing begins. If
the output file is open when the Microsoft HTML Help compiler attempts to
produce the output file, a new version of the output file will not be generated.
- Support for server side script libraries.
- A significant extension of ASPHelp that sees the inclusion of full support
for interface definition.
- Minor issues relating to deeply nested With block processing
- Lack of client side script With block processing with VBScript client
- ASP tags used to build client side script were omitted
- Response.write processing issue with mixed string concatenation
- Potential infinite loop during Response.Write processing
- Reduced sensitivity to poorly formatted HTML blocks (i.e. blocks that
had not been validated by HTML validators)
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