OK XARA users, all your pros and cons are nice, BUT:
The Win Help System is superior to anything else you can get. It's advantage: you don't have to install resource hungry browser with a 30 meg footprint on your system and **keep it open** all the time. That means the XARA HELP is just there when you need it, even on a machine without a browser.
As fas as I remember, the XARA upgrade sells for US$ 69 and not for hundreds of US$ - a very fair offer, don't you think so? In addition, XARA is far better in programming than 99% of the rest of the packages in this area. It comes with one of the smallest footprints on the harddrive, hence the most elaborate tools I've ever seen in the Mac and Win world.
If you want an elaborate Help System embedded in Win Help, check out Rino 3D (www.rhino3D.com) - no html help system can beat this one. Excellent screenshots, hyperlinks etc, step-by-step guides - but this packages carries a totally different price tag.
Don't expect everything for free. Sit down yourself and try to write a help system...Soooo, either calm down or promise to pay a higher price! I think the developers deserve an income and revenue as well as you designers who use the tools they develop for **you**.
Believe it or not, I would even pay an extra amount for a full featured help system that includes step-by-step guides etc. Aren't you spending extra funds for plug-ins? Consider a fancy help system being a separate plug-in or module, and decide if you would pay for it. Be honest: you charge your customers for the extra little martian in the upper right corner as well!
Too bad that XARA has to hit the market with low prices, just to keep the market share. The products are far superior than any other packages on the market, but the biggies only want to pull the funds out of your pockets (yes, I mean Adobe or Corel or Macromedia).
I will support XARA, because if you only have a hammer, everything starts looking like a nail...
This is my 5 cents worth of comment.
jens g.r. benthien
Genesis II Networks, LLC
Charlotte, NC 28208
We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.