Okay... I think I figured out part of the problem. Apparently every time the linked FM content is updated, the TOC stops working. Is there some way to prevent that amount of rework every time the FM is updated, or do I have to manually repoint the TOC to topics every time I refresh the FM file?
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Keep the following in mind that this is everything I know about Framemaker.
I can say Framemaker.
It is used for creating documents. BIG documents.
It's difficult to learn without help.
It can be used with RoboHelp.
I DO, however, know RoboHelp.
About the time Framemaker was included with RoboHelp in the TCS, a new feature was added to RoboHelp. One that perhaps may come into play here. When constructing a Table of Contents, an option exists to insert something called a "Placeholder". I always understood it was for use with Framemaker somehow. But I'm unsure exactly how. And I'm wondering if this placeholder would maybe be the answer to your issue?
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Love your candor! I've been using FrameMaker since...well...years before Adobe ever acquired it. And, I used RoboHelp before it was bought by Macromedia, which was years before it was bought by Adobe. I never stopped using FM. However, during the evolution of single sourcing in FM, RoboHelp didn't work with FM for a while, and during that time I used WebWorks to do what I think TCS2 will let me do now that one of Quadralay's product gurus is a RH Evangelist who might be driving a more seamless integration toward truer single sourcing with FM. That to say, I kind of approach this with some expectations that maybe aren't, um, Adobe-esque... (Sorry). I do think I see some familiar users from the old WebWorks user forum on this Adobe forum from time to time, though...
That said, I have no idea what the value/leverage is of a Placeholder in the TOC. Kinda thought that was for inserting child projects or something that's probably more complicated than my (barely intermediate) skill level is going to broach...
I should probably mention, I do have condition tags and build expressions fully deployed to manage overlapping content between two separate RH projects that both use the same FM source. I don't *think* that's part of the problem, but maybe it is...?
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This should probably be over in the FrameMaker Integration thread.
Anyway, is your FM ToC set up in the way you want it? Any changes you make in RH to the ToC will probably get blown away when you do a Force Update. If the FM ToC and the RH ToC are ok, then the question comes down to what ToC is the SSL recipe actually using? Because your image shows that they're not looking the same at all. I would try creating a new ToC in RH (as an experiment), mess around with it to show a few levels and topics, then tell the SSL to use it instead. How's it then look in the browser?
Sorry guys, I'm new to the Forum, so I'm not sure where some topics fit. I thought it might be a WebHelp output issue. Thanks, Peter, for moving the string.
I did rebuild the ToC in RH Monday and get it to show as desired in the WH output, but I'm afraid if I refresh the FM linked content in RH, the RH<>FM linkage won't refresh in the RH ToC. This project is very new and content is evolving rapidly. Updated WH outputs get uploaded to the demo/test server sometimes several times in a day.
What's the best practice here? If it's easier to keep the ToC showing updated and as desired by manipulating it in FM and then setting the RH project to use the FM ToC rather than setting it up in RH, I can do that. Or is that the bass-ackward approach...? I guess I'm trying to feel my way through where the strengths lie within TCS2...
Generally, you want it to be a one-way street from FM to RH. The philosophy is that RH is just another publishing output mechanism (like PDF). I don’t link (I’m an importer), so I don’t know if it will “refresh” the RH ToC when the linked FM one is updated (but I think it should).
(Sorry, I got put on another short-term project and had to put this one on pause for a little while.)
The thing is, I have to produce 2 PDF outputs and 2 different help systems from the same set of FM source files, and the product (therefore also the source in FM) is still evolving. I thought that the RH link to FM files was supposed to facilitate that, like it worked with WebWorks, where basically FM becomes the content editor, and you use the conditional build expressions and variable definitions set in the projects to customize the output. I'll try setting it to use the FM TOC instead of doing the TOC in RH and see if that makes single-sourcing the content work better in all outputs...since FM is the mother of them all... then I'll update this string with findings.
Your thinking is mostly correct - FM is to be used as the source content for all outputs, but since RH is also a HAT, content can be created/edited in it also - it's just not the "best practice" when using the FM to RH integration. When stuff changes in FM, the refresh process comes from the RH project end of things as a Force Update All, but the idea is that your FM ToC has already been updated in FM first, then the RH Force Update pulls that change into the project.
Juggling conditional text can be handled in 2 different ways in the TCS - you can either Show/Hide your content in FM and then only bring in the flavour of content you want into your RH project (that's controlled by a flag in the Conversion Settings); or you bring everything over to RH and then use RH's CBTs to create the conditionalized flavour of help. Matt Sullivan's got a good blog post on this topic.
Some content for this project really is only pertinent to the help system, some only to printed doc. So, the ones that are pertinent only for RH I'd rather just author in RH to keep down on FM clutter in my source files used for the printed output. I did get a TOC built in RH that shows the topics the way I want them, and I did get the TOC from FM to import into RH in a usable manner. However, I thought somewhere along the process that I saw something about appending one TOC to another, and now I can't locate that anywhere in the settings. Any ideas?