4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 17, 2008 1:21 AM by RoboColum(n)

    Multiple calls to the same mapid

    RoboColum(n) Level 5
      I have a scenario where there are six dialogs each of which have a Help button and therefore need a CSH topic. My initial thinking was that I just had a help topic for each dialog but then I discovered that each of the six dialogs are more or less identical and so can easily be handled by a single help topic. So from where I sit, my options appear to be:

      • Multiple topic ids going to a single mapid (and therefore topic).
      • One topic id and mapid and let the developer do all the hard work ;-)

        Before I go down one of these lines, I was wondering how others have dealt with similar scecnarios. What is "best pracice" and the pitfalls of each approach. I'm producing a CHM file. Many thanks in advance.
        • 1. Re: Multiple calls to the same mapid
          Ben Minson Level 2
          My vote would be for the single map ID and topic if you can easily account for all versions of this dialog without confusing the user (a possible pitfall from a writing perspective). Less work for you and the developers, right?

          I guess I'm not sure what you mean by multiple topic IDs, though. Wouldn't you just point each dialog to the same topic using the same map ID? Why multiple topic IDs?

          Erin go brea

          --Ben
          • 2. Re: Multiple calls to the same mapid
            RoboColum(n) Level 5
            Hi Ben.

            Thanks for your vote. My reason for thinking of the multiple topic ids pointing to a single madid was if there is a change to one, but not all, of the dialogs in the future. Then all I'd have to do is create a new mapid and change the CSH call. With a single topic id you'd have to create a new one of those as well. Horses for courses I suppose. I was just interested what others did as I've not had this scenario before.

            Erin go brea - indeed it is.
            Colum
            • 3. Re: Multiple calls to the same mapid
              Level 2
              Colum,

              I have a lot of map numbers that are automatically generated by our development tool and that all are mapped to a single topic. Since, in our company, I do both the .hh and .ali files, I can give you some perspective on both ends.

              The developer should not be the one to determine if the multiple dialogs can be described in the same topic. My experience with developers is that they think every dialog is intuitively obvious. The developer will most likely have their development tool automatically assign map numbers and every dialog will be different.

              It is not possible for the .hh file to contain a single mapID for multiple map numbers - the developer cannot define one mapID to be two different map numbers - so you will need to do it at the .ali file level. You can easily direct multiple mapIDs to a single topic although I don't know how RoboHelp handles this because I do all of the Context Sensitive Help in WordPad (which is not as difficult as it might sound). I know that the EditMapIDs dialog in my old version (v.8) of RH is terrible but I expect much improved over the last half century or so...

              John
              • 4. Re: Multiple calls to the same mapid
                RoboColum(n) Level 5
                Ben/John. Thank you very much for your input. I've decided to go with multiple mapids (and associated aliases) mapped to a single topic. This was purely because of possible future GUI changes so I have the scope for these if they happen. Directing multiple mapids to a single topic is easy with RHX5 so I'll stick with doing it there.