7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 11, 2007 8:54 PM by lcjohn

    Wiki editing and publishing

    JasonKl
      Hello,

      We are seeing more and more content being captured in Wikis, however, Wikis have very poor capabilities for outputting documentation. We think HATs would be the best solution to edit and republish Wiki data to other formats. The best solution would be a mashup between a HAT and a Wiki. However, this product does not yet exist.

      In the mean time, we could create the reverse of our RoboHelp2Wiki conversion tool to roundtrip the content out of MediaWiki. At a high level, one would create a Wiki Article listing all the article desired and the order to present the information (i.e. Table of Contents). On conversion, the new tool would read this Table of Contents article and create a XML file of the Table of Contents and each article page listed. This XML file can then be imported to RoboHelp or other HAT. The results would be a new project file with all the desired articles and the table of contents.

      What I am wondering is how much interest in there is this type of tool?

      Thank you,

      Jason



      MediaWiki Extension: RoboHelp2Wiki
        • 1. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
          lcjohn
          I'm not sure that I'm on the same wavelength, but I would be VERY interested if such a tool allowed me to turn my very large RH project into a wiki that selected users could contribute to. My worry is that I've used RH to create a lot of dhtml effects (e.g. popups and layers) and I don't see how most users could edit this without using a tool that is at least compatable with RH (and themselves being fairly sophisticated RH users).
          • 2. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
            Roger N Level 2
            Jason -

            That would bring the RoboHelp/MediaWiki conversion full circle, wouldn't it? It would also allow true collaboration for many authors on a single Robohelp project. Sweet. The Content Management fans will be totally jazzed.

            lcjohn -

            Jason was talking a bout a Wiki2RoboHelp module; he's announced a RoboHelp2Wiki tool already: you can see his original post at:

            http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/webforums/forum/messageview.cfm?forumid=65&catid=447&threadid =1227483&enterthread=y

            it's all good!
            • 3. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
              lcjohn Level 1
              I looked at his description. It's very interesting, tho I worry about javascripts being discarded.

              I have a similar problem with publishing to pdf: I like the idea for the security it offers. Unfortunately, the only choice is to convert everything to normal text (popups, expanding/drop down text etc.).
              • 4. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
                Roger N Level 2
                It's true, but wikis, and projects most suited for conversion to wikis, are usually content-focused.

                When multiple authors collaborate on documents to get the best of their collective knowledge, layers and popups are not a high priority. Those DHTML bells and whistles are usually among the last of the tweaks to a help system. Content usually comes first.
                • 5. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
                  lcjohn Level 1
                  Yes, of course, it's all about content! In my case, the javascript is not just bells and whistles: my readers are non-native speakers at various language levels, with varying needs and abilities to access the content. To avoid creating different versions, I subsume/nest content. I also include quzzes as part of the content, so that, for example, the suer clicks to see the answer, more details, etc.
                  • 6. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
                    JasonKl Level 1
                    lcjohn

                    I truly understand your concern. As a software product manager (and writer), I do know that sometimes it is not always all about content. Good presentation is required. Popups and other effects are necessary to focus end users and get points across.

                    Doug Worsham may have summed it up the best (paraphrasing) ..On a Wiki Content is more important then form. This is remarkable because Wiki’s becomes information rich. This is unsettling because Wiki’s are not pretty. ..

                    With respect to this project, I do not foresee users contributing effects in the Wiki. I expect them to add new content and then when done the information is converted back to the HAT. We as editors and writers then add the effects to produce the new completed documentation. For example, consider converting documentation for a Version 1 from RH to the Wiki. Developers update the Wiki as they work on Version 2. When complete the Wiki is pulled back into RH. Part 1 is done in RoboHelp2Wiki.

                    • 7. Re: Wiki editing and publishing
                      lcjohn Level 1
                      Jason, your idea makes a lot of sense. You've convinced me to take the plunge and try out your tool for my project. I Thanks.

                      John