How do you ship the documentation for your product, HTML or PDF?
PDF is great if users want to print all the documentation, but PDF is more or less useless for online presentation. I usually find it very frustrating reading large PDF documents online and I tend to get lost while reading the documentation.
HTML is much more flexible when reading documentation online, but a problem with HTML is that a document usually contains a number of HTML files and images. Non technical users might have a hard time unpacking and reading the documentation.
BarracudaDoc was a tool, created in 2006, that unified all HTML and images etc. into one file. The tool created a small Web-Server with the documentation embedded into the executable. The Web-Server automatically opened an instance of the users default browser, when started, and directed the browser to index.html in the root of the documentation.
Sorry, we pulled the plug on the old BarracudaDoc tool. See the alternative below.
An alternative to the above solution is to use the Mako Server, which lets you mount/map a ZIP file as a read only file system. This solution requires that you deliver/install two files: the Mako Server executable and the ZIP file with the documentation. The Mako Server is available for many platforms. Another benefit with the Mako Server is that it can be installed as a background process on all supported platforms.
The Mako server can mount a ZIP file as follows:
You can then use a browser, navigate to the computer running the Mako Server which is http://localhost if the browser and server is on the same computer, and view the documentation in the browser. See the Mako Application Server web site for details.