7 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2013 1:54 AM by Peter Grainge

    RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure

    namedujour Level 1

      I know that you cannot embed a child project within a child project. When the parent displays in the browser, Child Project 1 is on the TOC, but Child Project 2 simply isn't in the Child Project 1 book.

       

      Now I have a situation where I am trying to restructure my help system to display child projects in multiple different ways for different audiences. We've already had the discussion about why I don't combine 40,000 topics, video files and PDFs into one project and use categories to sort them - the project is too big. Robohelp only handles 2 gigs of files in one project before it crashes. So that is not an option.

       

      What I did was create multiple parent projects, and publish each child project to multiple destinations using multiple single source layouts. Each parent displays only the child projects that audience needs to see. That part works fine.

       

      However, now I have a problem on the server that reminds me of embedding child projects into child projects, and I'm wondering if I can even do this.

       

      A parent project apparently needs to be on the root of the server, or its child projects don't display. In other words, you CANNOT put a parent project into a folder. That means you cannot separate the parents from one another because they all need to be in the same location. So, you cannot have multiple parent projects on one server - you actually need a separate server for each one.

       

      Am I correct about this? That's what I found out when I tested the scenario. I just want to verify this with someone before I send my progress report.

       

      Thanks

        • 1. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          I would need to read through it myself to refresh my memory but have you seen this page on my site?

           

          http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/merging_webhelp/multiple_outputs.htm

           

          It was written by Phil Wells who needed what sounds like the same setup you want.

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

           

           

          @petergrainge

          • 2. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
            namedujour Level 1

            Thanks but he only covers the design aspect that I already have up and running - I've already created the multiple parents and generated multiple outputs for the various child projects. Phil says he has different "output folders" but these would have to be on the C:\ drive - that part works.

             

            The rest of what he describes is what I'd envisioned for the project structure, but in actual fact it doesn't work. The instant I publish a parent project into a folder on the webserver, one level down from the directory root, the child projects do not display on the Table of Contents. They only display at folder Level 2, never at Level 3 , which is where they would be if you embed a child project into another child project - Parent Level 1> Child Level 2 > Child Level 3 - or Level 4, which is where they are in a mergedProjects folder.

             

            Let's call the webserver "S". Your published output must be to S:\ - the "root," or "Level 1" -with your start file as S:\index.htm and the project files at that same level (except for a few folders, like SSL).

             

            If you publish to S:\Parent1\index.htm, and publish all its child projects to S:\Parent1\mergedProjects\Child1\index.htm, the child project files are at Level 4 and don't display. Only the parent displays, without any children ot its Table of Contents.

             

            My problem is that child projects don't display on the server because the parents apparently all need to be published to the root directory - Level 1. Phil doesn't say how he managed this. If he actually did this successfully, I'd be interested in knowing how because I'm out of ideas.

             

            If I publish all parents to the same directory root, only the first one in alphabetical order displays, and the rest of the parents are lost. So it appears that you need multiple servers with multiple roots to pull this off.

             

            My question is : Do parent projects HAVE to be at the root of the webserver directory structure in order to display child projects? My testing says "Yes." I'm just looking for someone to confirm that Robohelp isn't coded for the design Phil and I had envisioned so I can go to the executive team with that information.

             

            Or, if Phil actually successfully did this, can he please tell us how? What were his target paths to the webserver, and how did he structure the folders and output on that webserver?

            • 3. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

              I am going to have to read your posts and Phil's thread in detail so it may be a day or two before I can get back to you.

               

              Off the top of my head the requisite structure in the source is

               

              Parent 1

               

              Parent 2 etc

               

              Projects \ Child 1

               

              Projects \ Child 2 etc.

               

              Then you publish to

               

              Parent 1

               

              Parent 2

               

              mergedProjects \ Child 1

               

              mergedProjects \ Child 2

               

              That could be

               

              Subfolder below root \ Parent 1

               

              Subfolder below root \Parent 2

               

              Subfolder below root \ mergedProjects \ Child 1

               

              Subfolder below root \mergedProjects \ Child 2

               

              The whole trick is that the relationship between parents and children must maintain the same relative path.

               

              If that is not it, post back and I will look at the thread again.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

               

              @petergrainge

              • 4. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
                namedujour Level 1

                The relative path is fine - that doesn't change.

                 

                But you're saying "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" as if you're publishing them to folders of that name, with the children in subfolders. Once you create the Parent 1 folder and publish to it on the webserver, the children don't display because they're buried a level too deep.

                 

                Thanks for looking into this.

                • 5. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                  Parent 1 and Parent 2 are simply convenient names for the purposes of explanation.

                   

                  I don't follow why you say they are too deep a level. Can you screenshot your folder structure? Post it direct to me if you are concerned about publishing it here. See Contact on my site.

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                   

                   

                  @petergrainge

                  • 6. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                    Now that I have been able to read through this again in detail, I can see that my earlier reply was going down the wrong track. Hopefully this will now explain things more clearly.

                     

                    Let's say you want to create two merges out of the same projects. We will call them Output 1 and Output 2. This is what you do.

                     

                    In the parent you create two TOC covering the child projects that will be in the outputs. Let's say Output 1 will comprise Child 1 and Child 2 while Output 2 will comprise Child 1 and Child 3, create TOCs accordingly.

                     

                    Now create two webhelp layouts in the parent, they will differ by generating to Generate 1 and Generate 2 and publishing to Publish > Output 1 and Publish > Output 2 and referencing the appropriate TOC.

                     

                    Within Publish > Output 1 you will have the parent with a mergedProjects sub folder containing folders for Child 1 and Child 2.

                     

                    Similar in Output 2 but you will have folders for Child 1 and Child 3 here.

                     

                    Now go to Child 1 and create two webhelp layouts there. One will generate Child 1 to the appropriate folder in Output 1 and the other to the appropriate folder in Output 2.

                     

                    Child 2 will only publish to Output 1 and Child 3 will only publish to Output 2.

                     

                    I hope that explains it. I will try to create a demo project tomorrow.

                     


                    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                     

                     

                    @petergrainge

                    • 7. Re: RH10 Parent/Child Directory Structure
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                      You can download a demo from http://www.grainge.org/downloads/rh9_multiparent_merge.zip

                       

                      Note the parent has two SSLs, Output1 and Output2 and two TOCs. These are referenced in the SSL so Output1 uses a TOC that points to Child 1 and Child 2 while Output 2 uses a TOC that points to Child 1 and Child 3.

                       

                      When you generate and publish the parent layouts, note that the mergedProjects only contain the relevant child projects.

                       

                      Note when you publish, the Publish section of the layouts has two targets, one for each output.

                       

                      Child 1 goes to both outputs so it too has two outputs and two targets to publish to.

                       

                      Child 2 and Child 3 are in one output only so they only have one layout and one target each.

                       

                      I have not created separate indexes and I have not removed cross project links. You will see that unless you do that too, you will get broken links.

                       

                      It is very time consuming to set up and you have to be VERY methodical. Once set up though, it is straightforward.

                       

                      I hope the demo helps, let us know how you get on.

                       


                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                       

                       

                      @petergrainge

                       

                      The content has been revised. Work from web version rather than the email.