The On-Line Document Conversion Newsletter

Back to Article Index

February 1996: Volume 2, Issue 2

Installing and Using WebWorks Publisher 2.1.0.b

by Jo-Anne Whitfield, AT&T Laboratories Technical Publications

I would like to extend warm thanks to Jo-Anne Whitfield, a technical writer at AT&T Laboratories, for contributing this article. Jo-Anne participates in the New Jersey FrameMaker User's Group and trains new users in HTML for the Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey. She is also the leader of the PC User Group SIG for ACGNJ. Jo-Anne has converted mountains of documents to both HTML and Adobe Acrobat as a sideline in her career as technical writer. Contact her at Jo-Anne Whitfield, AT&T Labs Tech Pubs. DBD, Editor

First the good news: it gets much better. I have been evaluating the Quadralay WebWorks Version 3.0 beta for Windows 95 and several of the problems Jo-Anne experienced may be corrected in future commercial releases. Please stay tuned in the future to this newsletter (set a bookmark here) for an in-depth article evaluating Version 3.0. DBD, Editor

Installation Angst

Recently I had to install Quadralay's WebWorks Publisher on my PC at work. Following is what I went through in that process, and what you can look forward to if you install it on your PC.

The Install program says you need Win32s installed on your system, but doesn't mention that it has this available and will install it for you if you just click on Continue. I had to call up my computer support line and request Win32s. I then had to call up Quadralay to inquire which version of Win32s and that's how I found out all I had to do was click on Continue and it would be installed.

Toward the end of the install program, the dialog box got very sketchy in feeding back to me what it was doing to my computer. Near the very end of installation the mouse pointer was returned to the ready state instead of displaying the hourglass, but the install was NOT finished. I had to wait another whole minute or two for Install to finish up. I assume it was expanding compressed files. I saw it create a program group very quickly and then it gave me a final/completion of install dialog box message.

When I double-clicked on the WebWorks Publisher icon to start up the program, I got the following error message:

Warning Dialog: Can't open .INI file C:\WINDOWS\QWPUBRC.INI. Using default preferences.

I assumed this was just some first-time start-up problem, so I started up the program and clicked on File/Preferences. In that window I saw that the default preferences were to use Netscape Navigator rather than Mosaic, and to use FrameMaker rather than FrameBuilder. I clicked on OK to let the program know that I approved of these preferences. I then clicked on Help and got an error message that the program could not find Netscape, and had I put Netscape in my PATH? Well no, I hadn't. So I got into Notepad, called up AUTOEXEC.BAT, and added Netscape to my PATH statement. Then I exited Windows and booted my system and re-entered Windows.

Once again I started up WebWorks Publisher 2.1. I got the same warning message about the C:\WINDOWS\QWPUBRC.INI file, so evidently setting my preferences did not fix that problem. Next I clicked on Help, looking for any information about the .INI file.

WebWorks started up Netscape. It appears that WebWorks Publisher Help is available only via a Web browser.

So here I am at the WebWorks Publisher Help page and right away I see two spelling errors in the opening window. The <TITLE> is spelled wrong (Publisher is spelled Puiblisher) and the first hotlink, Updated Fetures in Publisher 2.1, spells "features" incorrectly. I start wondering if Bizarro wrote the Help, and start to lose confidence in the potential Helpfulness of the Help.

But I'm trying to find out about the .INI file. I'm looking for an index or a Windows Help style Search function but I'm not finding it. I go all through the Table of Contents link but not a word about .INI files. The Table of Contents appears to be the same as the hard copy manual I have.

I try the FAQ next. Using the Find icon, I quickly determine that .INI files are not mentioned in the FAQ.

There are only two choices left on the Help opening page, and I don't think the .INI file is an updated feature, so I'll try the Release Notes hotlink next.

The Release Notes point out the interesting fact that you need at least 20 megabytes of swap space to run the program, and at least 12 megabytes of RAM.

Another interesting fact in the Release Notes is that if you are converting text that contains color graphic images, you have to first set your printer selection to Seiko ColorPoint PS Model 14, even if you don't have that printer, or else your color images will all be grayscaled. You must also make this printer your default printer in Windows before converting. Those who use screen dumps in their FrameMaker documents will have to do this.

The Release Notes do not get into the .INI file but do go on at some length showing changes in styles between version 2.0 and 2.1.

Just for kicks I looked in the New Features hotlink. Here I found more spelling errors. But no information on the .INI file, so once again I must call up Quadralay.

On Down the Road a Bit

Later, I tried out using WebWorks Publisher.

Be warned: it takes up all the processor's capacity in Windows. You won't be able to do anything else when you are converting files from FrameMaker to HTML. This strikes me as a poorly written program since it takes up all the processor capability. Windows programs are not supposed to be so greedy.

In the midst of converting, I got an error message:


I clicked on OK and wondered what this will do to the conversion.

Although FrameMaker was already open, WebWorks did not recognize that and repeatedly tried to start FrameMaker.

There is no easy way to stop WebWorks Publisher once it gets started converting a bunch of files. It takes over control of your computer, ignores keystrokes and mouse clicks and goes on its merry way. I got tired of waiting for control to be returned after about 15 minutes and hit CTRL/ESCAPE to bring up the Task List. I was ignored. I don't like this.

When the Task List finally came up after 5 minutes, I had no control over the mouse. The window was not active, so the keyboard had no control either. Then WebWorks sent the Task List away because it used FrameMaker to print another document.

Even though I cannot control the cursor/mouse pointer, it does not take the hourglass shape all the time that it is unavailable. It looks like a pointer, an available pointer. But when I click on something with it nothing happens.

This program takes up so much processor time that it won't let my screen saver run.

ALT/F4 does not work. Neither does CTRL/F4.

Ah ha. It DID finally take. WebWorks heard ALT/F4 (Exit) and asked did I want to save the changes. Having lost about 45 minutes to this runaway program, I was not eager to see what would happen if I said Yes, so I said No.

Next time I will leave FrameMaker closed.

Much Later...

After using WebWorks to convert 3 manuals, I have learned a bit more about the program. It does hear mouse clicks and keyboard strokes, but does not necessarily respond to them right away. You can fill up the buffer with clicks and strokes and they will get executed eventually.

When you have finished converting a document, WebWorks activates the View Results command. Click on this to see your results. But be advised; you will be using Netscape to view your results. Make sure your copy of Netscape is NOT running before you click on View Results. If Netscape is open, close it.

If you are trying to run WebWorks on a 486, give up and get a Pentium.

As of this writing, for what it does (convert FrameMaker documents to HTML), WebWorks is the best available program that I am aware of. I would add they have plenty of room for improvement.

Back to Article Index

Send any comments to: Jo-Anne Whitfield, AT&T Labs Tech Pubs