I am Generating, not Publishing. Interestingly, the Publish item is grayed out (unavailable) throughout the app for me, no matter which SSL Output source I select. So my only option is to Generate.
Peter, you jogged my thoughts to try something. I moved/copied my existing target directory to another location on my computer. I then recreated the folder into which I generate my files (just an empty folder). I opened RoboHelp and generated the help files once again, into the new (well, to RoboHelp, the same) location. Lo and behold, the new generate did NOT contain the old package .xml files, only the new _xml.js versions. I haven't deleted anything yet but it appears that the old files are not needed any longer. I'll get with my developers and let them test this version on their product servers. But I think that answers my question.
Any further thoughts on this from you would be appreciated.
Indeed the process of generating is completely different than Publishing. Many folks don't fully understand the difference. I typically explain it like this. Think of using RoboHelp just as you use your kitchen to prepare a dish. In this case, compare it to baking chocolate chip cookies. Working with RoboHelp is very similar to mixing cookie dough in the bowl.
When you generate, it's the process where you take little wads of cookie dough and place them on the baking sheet. Shoving the sheet into the oven and allowing them to bake. Then once baked, removing the sheet from the oven and placing it on top of the stove to cool.
But that's where it ends. In order for folks to eat the cookies, you must place them in a place where folks can get to them, right? Perhaps the cookie jar. And that's where Publishing comes in. When you click Publish, the cookies are copied from the cookie sheet to the cookie jar.
For any Single Source Layout recipe, you aren't able to publish until you configure the recipe to provide a path. Basically, you tell RoboHelp exactly where the cookie jar is. Until you do that, your Publish button will be presented in a disabled (or grayed out) state.
Publishing is great once you get it all set up. Without it, you are forced to open the Windows File Explorer application, locate the output folder, select and copy all the files. Navigate to the destination folder. Then paste all the files. Once you get publishing configured, you just click the Publish button to make that happen. But it's even cooler than that! Assuming you have configured it correctly, ONLY the files that actually need to be updated are copied over. So if you were copying before and perhaps it took ten minutes to get the files copied, publishing might take 20 seconds or so. Huge time saver!
Odd as when you generate RoboHelp used to trash everything in the target folder before it started to generate the new output. Perhaps that needs to be tested.
In addition to what Rick has covered, Publishing also had the advantage of not deleting anything from the target folder. That was useful as it allowed you to put in additional files that RoboHelp didn't know about for some reason.
Odd but problem solved.
See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring information