2 -> 1

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2 -> 1

Unread postby olgarev_tw » Thu May 30, 2019 2:28 pm

Hi!

We have 2 web-help projects with many cross-links between them (interface reference guide and how-to manual). Now we intend to consolidate both of them into one project, to improve search and UX. I'm puzzled, what should be the workaround - it cannot be just a module project because of the cross-links. So what steps do I have to do? May be anyone had already solved such a challenge?

I'm thinking about group replacement of all the links in xml files using smth like Notepad++ (I mean, replacing the old folders names with the new folder name).

Any ideas appreciated )
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Re: 2 -> 1

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu May 30, 2019 5:01 pm

Hi Olga,

If your links are currently Internet links to a specific URL you will probably need to do a Notepad++ search and replace on the source code. However, it absolutely can be a modular project. That is not a problem, so long as you don't have duplicate topic IDs -- and you would need to fix that anyway even if you merge the projects completely. When the modular project is published together with the master project it becomes a single WebHelp, just like a single project. You will just need to change the Internet links to topic links referencing topics in the other module.

The best way to get the search/replace arguments is from the XML editor tab: First save a couple of examples of the links as they are now -- you will need the URL reference to be able to find them. Then insert the second project as a module and make a couple of dummy links to topics in it. To do that you select the Link tool and select the other project in the Link dialog to show its topics. You then link to a topic in the other project that way and look in the XML editor to get the pattern for the code you need to replace to.

Your Internet links will look something like this:

Code: Select all
<link displaytype="text" defaultstyle="true" type="weblink" href="../webhelp1/index.html?introduction.htm" target="_blank" styleclass="Normal" translate="true">Link Text</link>

Your inter-project links to the modular project will look like this:

Code: Select all
<link displaytype="text" defaultstyle="true" type="topiclink" href="Introduction" domain="LightStyles.hmxz" styleclass="Normal" translate="true">Link Text</link>

The differences are as follows:

  • The type needs to change from "weblink" to "topiclink".
  • The href needs to change from the full URL to just the filename, without the .htm or .html extension. You don't need to worry about upper/lower case. Leaving it all lower case as in your weblinks will still work.
  • Directly after the href attribute you need to add a domain attribute with the name of the project in which the other topic is located.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: 2 -> 1

Unread postby olgarev_tw » Thu May 30, 2019 11:13 pm

Thank you, Tim, that means I'm thinking in the right direction (with Notepad++).

But may be it is better to completely consolidate two projects into one - to append one project to the other, without maintaining the modular structure? What is your opinion? What can be the reasons for keeping two projects instead of one? All of them are hmxp.
And if this is a good decision, how can we do it (without adding the second part of the TOC manually, several dozens of entries)?
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Re: 2 -> 1

Unread postby Tim Green » Fri May 31, 2019 8:27 am

Hi Olga,

When you publish the result is identical and you can set it up so that the module can be edited directly from within the master. The main problem is that search and replace only work within the current project, not across all modules.

Merging projects completely can be a little tricky, because Help+Manual currently doesn't do that for you, and you do have to recreate the TOC structure. The best way is to set up a new folder in Topic Files from within Help+Manual, then close the project and copy the topic files into that folder in Windows Explorer. When you re-open the project you can create TOC entries for the topic files by dragging them into the TOC, and after that you will need to organize the structure.

So merging can potentially be a lot of work, because you have to re-create the TOC structure, which you keep with the module approach. With the module approach you lose global search, but maintain a lot of flexibility, because you can still manage the module on its own or even use it in other projects. You need to know which disadvantage weighs more heavily for you. :?
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: 2 -> 1

Unread postby olgarev_tw » Fri May 31, 2019 6:59 pm

Thanks again for your advice! We tried to merge the projects, seems to be OK, it still has some bugs, but I hope we'll manage it ) Hope it was the right decision )
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Re: 2 -> 1

Unread postby Tim Green » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:41 am

Hi Olga,

I forgot to mention that there is also an alternative method: If you open two instances of Help+Manual with one project in each instance (this is easier than both projects in one instance) you can copy and paste directly from one TOC to the other -- also entire chapters. When you do this Help+Manual checks for duplicate IDs and adds a number to the duplicates to prevent conflicts. This doesn't update links, but it does keep the TOC structure and avoid problems with duplicate IDs.

Sorry for not mentioning this in the last mail -- it was a busy day and I was thinking about too many different things at once. :?
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Re: 2 -> 1

Unread postby olgarev_tw » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:30 pm

Thanks a lot, do not mind, duplicate topic names is not our issue, we didn't have many of them )
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