11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 24, 2010 6:55 AM by Captiv8r

    Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File

    rlSoln

      I've been working closely with a developer who asked me if I could provide him with a merged or combined version of the help that is essentially one big packed file. I have been providing him with a copy of the WebHelp directory. I looked in the project settings and don't see an option that would accomplish this goal. I also read up a little bit on Adobe Air, and this doesn't really seem like the solution I need either. Does anyone have any suggestions?

       

      Thanks!

      John

        • 1. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          Hi John. I think that AirHelp is exactly what you require. Have you read Peter Grainge's excellent introduction to AirHelp? You can find it here.

           


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          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
            Becky Williams Level 2

            Colum is probably right. Even though there is more to be deployed than one file with AIR Help, it is probably the solution you seek. My question would be why does your developer want only one file? Is this for a desktop application or a web application?

            Deploying WebHelp for a desktop application is cumbersome at best. WebHelp is designed primarily for web applications where uncompiled files are typical. AIR Help is similar to the old .chm output, but it packs powerful advantages over .chm.

            AIR Help is an easy deployment for desktop applications. It also provides the following:

             

            • Uniform delivery of Help, Flash, and PDF content without concern about which browser the client is using
            • Cross platform agnostic delivery
            • The ability to deliver updates between product releases
            • The ability to add comments and tag favorite topics

            An updated look and feel

             

            ...just to name a few.

             

            Becky Williams

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
              rlSoln Level 1

              Thanks Colum and Becky ...

               

              It's not so much that the developer wants a single file to deploy to the end user, but that it would be easier for him to work with in our sub-version control system (which is why I didn't think that Adobe Air was the solution). He was thinking that if all the files could be packaged, it would just be the one file that needs updating rather than the hundreds of files in the WebHelp directory. He mentioned that other help systems offer this type of functionality. Maybe there's a better way to provide the compiled help system to the developer. Any thoughts?

               

              I appreciate your help so far.

               

              Best regards,

              John

              • 4. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                lmarden Level 2

                Um, I could be nuts, here, but aren't you just talking about a .chm (compiled Help) file?

                 

                Or am I missing some key piece of the requirement?

                • 5. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                  rlSoln Level 1

                  I though .chm files were just for WinHelp systems. When publishing for WebHelp, RoboHelp generates a bunch of html, javascript, etc. files. Maybe I'm nuts ... can you compile a .chm for use with a web application?

                  • 6. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                    lmarden Level 2

                    ok, well, there's the element I was missing. HTML Help files (*.chm) are meant to be deployed on end-user workstations. I didn't see in prior messages that your developer still wanted to make Help available on the web, just that he wanted to have one compiled file to work with. can't have it both ways, unfortunately.

                     

                    you could place the chm file on your web server and post a link to it, but Windows (Msoft) security standards these days require edits to workstation Registrys, so I have avoided that route.

                    • 7. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                      rlSoln Level 1

                      Thanks everyone ... I'll let the developer know that he's out of luck.

                      • 8. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                        Becky Williams Level 2

                        I use Subversion and submit all the files. It can be done.

                         

                         

                         

                        -- Sent from my Palm Prē

                        On Mar 22, 2010 12:20 PM, rlSoln <forums@adobe.com> wrote:

                         

                         

                         

                        Thanks Colum and Becky ...

                         

                         

                         

                        It's not so much that the developer wants a single file to deploy to the end user, but that it would be easier for him to work with in our sub-version control system (which is why I didn't think that Adobe Air was the solution). He was thinking that if all the files could be packaged, it would just be the one file that needs updating rather than the hundreds of files in the WebHelp directory. He mentioned that other help systems offer this type of functionality. Maybe there's a better way to provide the compiled help system to the developer. Any thoughts?

                         

                         

                         

                        I appreciate your help so far.

                         

                         

                         

                        Best regards,

                         

                        John

                        • 9. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                          Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Why don't you just zip up the resulting webhelp folder that you create & give the developer that?

                          • 10. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                            MergeThis Level 4

                            Is your developer really looking to maintain the output files in a source control product? Why?

                             

                            We manage our project source files through the RoboSource Control product (free in RH8), with no developers involved. Release engineering, on the other hand, package our published WebHelp output into each nightly build of the software product.

                             

                             

                            Good luck,

                            Leon

                            • 11. Re: Merge/Combine WebHelp into a Packed File
                              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              Hi Leon

                               

                              I think I can shed some light.

                               

                              Sometimes we find that the developers use the source control system for all builds. When they create a software build, they get it all from source control. And they often want to include the existing version of the help. So in this case it makes logical sense to them that the help author would place the output file(s) there so that they are included in the build process.

                               

                              I do totally agree with you that as a help author it seems illogical from our viewpoint. But if you think about it, their wanting the help output there does have some merit.

                               

                              Cheers... Rick

                               

                               

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