9 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2014 12:14 PM by Tatu Mbili

    Recommendations for reducing output size

    Tatu Mbili

      Hello,

       

      My RoboHelp 10 merged project has three SSL outputs: Windows, Linux and Mac versions. Each image in the project therefore has three versions. I have 194 topics, not a huge project, IMO. The generated output for the Windows version is 30.8 MB, which is 1,008 files, about 500 of which are image files, 27 folders. Theoretically, this means that all three versions when published have a total size on disk in the area of 90+ MB. My issue is that I work on the project locally, generate locally, publish to a remote source controlled location and then the network guys copy the published output to a web server. They want me to find out if I can reduce the size of the project so it takes as little time as possible for them to copy it. The copy is the slowest part of the whole thing, including my publish.

       

      One thing I noticed after the last time I published is that every so often, RoboHelp seems to publish extraneous files/folders to the output that should not be there, as in when compared to a local generated version, they are not in the generated version (which clears the output folder each time). When I cleaned up those extra files after our last publish, the size on disk reduced from 45MB to 31MB. Should I just be watching out for the "extra" unwanted/unnecessary folders and deleting them or is there more I can do within my RoboHelp project to reduce the published size?

       

      I've been using RoboHelp since RH8 but just jumped right into it without any training or help, apart from what I've received here (thank you all!) so although my projects look good and perform well, any help would be appreciated! At this point, it is taking so long that the network guys want me to look into switching to another tool that one of them knows. I've invested a lot of time and effort into RH, not really interested in another learning curve.

       

      Thanks!

      Helen

        • 1. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
          Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          What’s the point in having RH publish to a remote source control location when it’s only going to a webserver anyway? Why not just go direct? Or, generate locally (always a good idea), then copy the whole folder up to the source control location & then they can FTP it up to the website – the size shouldn’t change at all in any of those operations.

          • 2. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
            Tatu Mbili Level 1

            Ummm, I am giving answers here that I'm not really sure of, as I am an outside contractor, kinda just do what they say. I believe the publish to source control is so that there is a controlled version they can revert to if necessary, although all my RoboHelp files are also controlled through TFS. I don't know why I can't publish directly to the web server, think there might be some control issues there that I am not privy to. Basically, are there tricks/tips/rules/suggestions I can get so that my output is as smooth and small as possible? For instance, I'm not using a master page, I just use Duplicate Topic.. to create a new page: would a master page make the file smaller? That kind of stuff is what I'm looking for, so that I can tell them it is as small and streamlined as it can be.

             

            Thanks!

            • 3. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
              Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Ok, I thought you were saying that your output was growing as it was copied; re-reading your OP, I see that it looks like the IT guys are not clearing the web server folder before copying your output up there. That’s probably what’s causing the “extra” stuff to appear – it’s just getting left behind from the prior generate action. I’m not sure if it would save you time to generate locally & then copy to the source control location (outside of RH) or just generate straight to the source control location using the publish action. You’ll have to play with that.

              • 4. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
                Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Hi there

                 

                Sort of curious as to why you have so many outputs. You said you have one output for Windows, one for Linux and one for Mac?

                 

                Perhaps you aren't aware, as you openly said you have never had training on RoboHelp, but one output should work for all three of these platforms.

                 

                Cheers... Rick

                • 5. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
                  Tatu Mbili Level 1

                  Sorry, Jeff, I don't think I was clear. I generate locally and then publish to the source control location and then they copy to the webserver. I know that generate clears the output folder, publish does not, so yes, whatever extra there is in the publish folder gets copied to the webserver. I can delete from the publish location so I can keep an eye out for extra stuff (it's only one more step in my checklist to publishing) but don't have rights on the webserver. It is their copy from publish location to webserver they are complaining about so even if the publish location is clean, I want the project to be as lean as possible.

                  • 6. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
                    Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Not much you can do if you’ve already weeded out any dead unreferenced topics/images/baggage files in your project – it’s all naturally lean. Of course, if Rick is correct in thinking you’re creating multiple outputs for running on these platforms, you can save yourself a bunch of room. I suspect, however, that you’re referring to different flavours of your product that runs on different platforms; thus necessitating different CBT outputs.

                    • 7. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
                      Tatu Mbili Level 1

                      Hi Rick,

                       

                      Now you've got me excited! Ok, I already use CBTs for my different outputs so only the relevant images appear for each platform. That was what I got from reading the RoboHelp documentation. If I can generate one output that will give only specific images/text for each platform, that would be great. Let me tell you that I am also not in charge of the web pages where the links to the three different versions are found and for some reason, it seems to be a major thing to change the addresses the links are using, i.e., MyProject/windows/index.htm, MyProject/Linux/index.htm and MyProject/mac/index.htm, so I need to be really sure of what I'm doing before proposing this change!

                       

                      Any help is greatly appreciated!

                      • 8. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
                        Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        Hello again

                         

                        Hmmm, well, after reading your reply, I'm thinking that you shouldn't get TOO excited just yet. We need to clarify some things.

                         

                        For starters, you are saying you have different screen captures that you use for each of the outputs? If so, it would seem that maybe you DO actually need the different outputs. But before we can assume that to be true, we need to know more about the actual information being delivered.

                         

                        For example, what does each of the screen captures show?

                         

                        What I was thinking may have been overlooked with RoboHelp was that maybe you simply needed to present the SAME information to folks, but they might be using a Windows browser to view it, or a Linux browser to view it or a Mac browser to view it. And if that's the case, there isn't a need for specific images to each operating system.

                         

                        Cheers... Rick

                        • 9. Re: Recommendations for reducing output size
                          Tatu Mbili Level 1

                          Hi Rick,

                           

                          Thought it might be too good to be true! No, our application runs on all three platforms, with similar but platform specific windows. I screenshot everything for all three platforms for step by step instructions in my RoboHelp project. It is those screenshots that are my CBTs and thus the separate outputs. I know what you mean, a Mac output can be viewed in a Windows browser, but it will show the Mac screenshots, which is what we are looking for. So I think I still need three outputs...

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Helen