7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 14, 2008 9:35 AM by RoboColum(n)

    Two or more contributors to one project


      I am a technical author who writes online help and manuals in Norwegian. Our program is also translated into Swedish, and will have online help and manuals in Swedish - possibly eventually also in English.

      All text will (probably) be contained in one project - and different kinds of help documents in different languages will be created from one single source, using conditional build tags. I imagine I shall have "parallell" help topics in each language, tagged with a "language" tag. I shall edit the Norwegian help topics, and my Swedish collegue would keep the Swedish ones up to date.

      However, how do I solve the problem of conveying to the Swedish translater what changes I have made to the Norwegian help topics?

      I have read on the forum that RoboHelp does not have "track changes" facilities, and I have read how one could do things manually - but that requires an attention to detail that I feel is nearly impossible in a large project.

      Can RoboSource Control be of any help? Or any other source control tool?

      Could someone working in a similar manner to what I do give me some tips?

        • 1. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi Isabella.
          Can you tell us how you normally work? Do you update the Norwegian topics and then tell your Swedish colleague to update the Swedish topics? And what level of detail do you need to provide them with? Do you tell them exactly what needs changing (e.g. Step 5 needs to be changed to say x or just a more generic Topic A needs updating to reflect enhancement B)? Is it possible that both of you will need to be working on the project at the same time?

          These are the sorts of questions you need to consider and the answers will help us determine the best way forward. Sure RH does not have any track changes feature but is this needed? All any source control application will do is control the source code of the application. You can add comments when you check files in/out but it sounds like you'd like a lot of deatil here and for a large project this would be very cumbersome.
          • 2. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
            MergeThis Level 4
            You could try a conditional build tag on the content you change. To find the topics containing those changes, the other user would simply right click the tag (in the Project folder) and select Properties to get a "Used in Topics" list. Each piece of content within these topics could then be easily identified for translation.

            Good luck,
            • 3. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
              Well, we haven't really started this yet. At present I am trying to figure out the smoothest way to work .

              Normally though, I would probably make changes to the Norwegian "version", i.e. new/changed help topics, TOC, index entries a.s.o. Anything from minor cosmetic changes to whole new chapters with index terms and screen dumps.

              I would then tell my Swedish collegue to update the Swedish version. In an ideal world he would be able to check out the project, and instantly see what has been changed compared to the last version he has been working on (showing up in red or something ).

              The point is: I should like to feel free to do any alterations in Norwegian without having to "remember" them or logg them in any way. If this could be possible . I'll have a look at the tip of using conditional build tags. It might be a solution - thanks.

              I don't think it would be necessary for us to be working simultanously on the project. And also I am not quite sure wether he needs to have RoboHelp himself, or just translate the htm-files separately - is this possible? (Probably I would do the final compiling of online help and manuals for the release anyway.)

              Any tips from people working with translators is welcome.

              • 4. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
                RoboColum(n) Level 5
                How about this approach...
                When you create or amend a topic use the status in the topic properties to set a status of "In Progress". In the topic itself, add some drop down text at the top which says what has been changed. This can be removed later by your Swedish pal. Alternatively you could use Leon's suggestion with the Status flag.
                • 5. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
                  ElisaFnord Level 2
                  I use Word's Compare feature to track my changes, because it does it all at once at the end of the process.

                  1. When the RoboHelp project is final for a software release (call it R4), I create a printed document, including all files.

                  2. When I update the project for the next release R5, I create another document the same way.

                  3. I open R5.doc in Word and then do a Compare with R4.doc.

                  Caveats: If you do a lot of work with tables, this method is compromised, because Word does not compare tables well. Also, if you rearrange topics a lot, Word gets confused, and the comparison isn't valid.

                  But if you're doing mostly changes to existing topics, this is a good way to work.

                  • 6. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
                    Ms_Robohelp Level 1
                    Hello again,
                    and thanks for all good tips! I am looking into the solution of using Word's Compare function. This would probably mean that I handle all work in RoboHelp, and my Swedish translator just gets a Word-file with all changes marked, and returns the translated paragraphs to me for implementation.

                    Does this mean I don't have to keep both the Norwegian and the Swedish help topics in one project? They would need their own TOC and Index anyway, and the project would be huge - maybe I should have two projects? Are there advantages or disadvantages that I am overlooking here?

                    Thanks all, so far :-)
                    • 7. Re: Two or more contributors to one project
                      RoboColum(n) Level 5
                      Hi Issabella.
                      As the projects require their own index and TOC I'd go for separate projects. You could import the Word documents complete with the Swedish amendments straight into your project. The disadvantage would be the fact that Word created some pretty awful HTML code. I'd definitely read Peter Grainge's excellent topic on the pitfalls of importing word documents.