I had a look at the Java Help API today, hoping to use it in an application that I’m writing, alas no. Despite claiming to be interface based, and coming with a reference implementation from Sun, what we now call the service provider pattern, it’s irrevocably tied to Swing. This means that you couldn’t use it to say, provide a help system on an interactive web based system, or an SWT based client side app, which is what I’m interested in.
Sun seem to be more interested in pushing their own ideas onto others than in producing a solid solution. Here’s hoping version 3 of the API solves this, but don’t hold your breath.