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No Winhelp support in Windows Vista

PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:58 pm
by HPW
Just read the release history of Inno-setup 5.1.8:

... with Windows Vista, which does not support WinHelp-based help files at all (as of RC2).

Important for all who have still winhelp-files in use.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 8:39 am
by Wrangler
Yup. From the MS site:

Windows Help (WinHlp32.exe) is a help program that has been included with Microsoft Windows versions starting with the Microsoft Windows 3.1 operating system. WinHlp32.exe is required to display 32-bit help content files that have the ".hlp" file name extension.

However, the Windows Help program has not had a major update for many releases and no longer meets Microsoft standards. Therefore, starting with the Microsoft Windows Vista and the Microsoft Windows Server Code Name "Longhorn" operating system releases, the Windows Help program will not ship as a component of Windows. Also, third-party programs that include .hlp files are prohibited from redistributing the Windows Help program together with their products. Users who want to view 32-bit .hlp files must download the program from the Microsoft Download Center, and then install it on their computers. The download for Windows Help is still in development. It will be available in time for the consumer release of Windows Vista scheduled for early 2007.


We strongly recommend that software developers stop using the Windows Help application in Windows Vista. Software developers who ship programs that rely on .hlp files are encouraged to transition their Help experience to an alternative Help file format, such as .chm, .html, or .xml. You will also have to change your calls from the WinHelp() API to the new content source. Several third-party tools are available to help authors in converting content from one format to the other. The WinHelp.exe program is a version of Windows Help designed for 16-bit .hlp files. The WinHelp.exe program will continue to be included with Windows Vista.

I suppose they have a good reason for this. Note that they also will not allow developers to distribute WinHlp32.exe with their programs. I've seen MS do some stupid things, but this takes the cake. Breaking past software developments in the release of a new OS is ridiculous. My daughter says MS stands for Me Stupid. I think she's right.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:07 am
by HPW
Today I read another news in a german computer magazin. Windows Vista 64 Bit edition will not allow to start unsigned apps, so every developer must sign his app with Versign (a 500$ per year) to deliver for that platform. This would hurt many small developers!

(I hope this source will not be right, but if so what shall we think of MS?)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:10 pm
by Wrangler
I too hope your source is not right. It wouldn't surprise me, but I don't think MS could be THAT stupid. Simply because it is difficult enough to get small developers to develop for a new platform. Yes, all the big guys will convert their software, but just the big guys a successful OS will not make. It is one of the downfalls of Linux. Great stable operating system, and getting better every day, but few wish to develop software for it. Explains it's reluctance to take off, and compete with MS.

Well, I guess we'll see. The more of this kind of stuff MS does, the stronger the insurgency towards another OS. It could be just the little kick that Linux needs.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 11:19 pm
by HPW
After some Googling it might be that I misread that article.
I found some post about the fact, that vista 64 bit does not allowed to install unsigned drivers (not apps).