2 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2009 3:04 AM by Radha Renga

    Multiple language/English approach-RH8

    Radha Renga Level 1

      As we are trying to setup our help system, I already got quite a few valuable suggestions from you all on my initial questions. Here are some more queries. Please help.

      We are starting our help system with UK English. We are also looking at Australian English in the first release.
      We will look at US English in the later releases.
      We are also looking at Chinese(Hongkong) and may be Arabic (Does RH support this? :( I don't think so) in the later releases.

      Our current help system is a pure html help. They have used 2 database tables to load a particular topic for a screen, in the right pane of a window. With Java code, the developers still want to use the same setup and call my html pages. Well... In our Proof of Concept exercise this worked well.

      Now to plan for the future, we have the following questions:

      - I understand that my base version of the help system is UK English. This has a generated WebHelp output folder that I give to my developers.
      - For each language, will I be giving a separate folder like the one above?
      - How will be the folder structure? Like this?

      Our application is Web based. thin client; resides in and loads from an Application server through a Web server. Depending on the geography from where the user logs in, it is going to display the regional UIs. There is going to be a parameter in the Web server that would identify the location. The help folder is going to reside in Web server or Application server - not yet decided.

      - What is the programming effort to invoke the help system for multiple languages?

      Any links/literature on multi-lingual approach for a help system with RH is appreciated. I have done and am doing quite an amount of googling.

      - How to call the specifc language help files?
      - Are differnet flavors of English treated like different languages as well? (Translation and folder structure maintenance and program calls)
      - When a MAP ID or file name (I think we will be using file names) for a topic is same in different languages how to call the correct main html file and the correct language topic?

      This is a long question. Thanks for your patience.

      Radha Renganathan
        • 1. Re: Multiple language/English approach-RH8
          RoboColum(n) Level 5
          Hi Radha.

          Some of our colleagues in the US and Australia may disagree but there is not much difference between our three "languages". We document for our US offices (we don't have any in Australasia) but just say we will stick with UK english. If you really need the three versions, I'd tend to think the best way would be in a single project. You could handle the different spellings by using conditional build tags and only including the required tag when you generate the output. Another way would be to use the RH variables feature remembering to change the variable value before generating.

          As far as the output is concerned, both the above approaches would need a separate ouptut folder. You could duplicate your Webhelp single source layout and just change the build tag statement to save you having to change it each time. You should also be aware that right to left languages (e.g. Arabic) were not supported in RH7. I think it is the same in RH8. Maybe someone else can confirm this.

          If you adopt this approach, you'd only have a mapid for each help call. You'd have different output but the structure and file paths would be identical. Therefore you'd only need a single application call using the mapid for the call to work. The caveat is that the help output would have to be installed in exactly the same location regardless of the location.
          • 2. Re: Multiple language/English approach-RH8
            Radha Renga Level 1
            Hi Colum,

            Ok. I understand that to base the help system on a specific English is better. I shall still await details on handling different languages. Thanks for your time.