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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
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.
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...
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.