In my template that is applied to each topic, I have a header and a footer. The footer contains copyright info and links to our support page and this code:
<p class=footertext><span style="font-size: x-small; font-style: italic; x-condition: Not_Print;">Last
modified: <variable name=date x-format=default x-constant=TRUE x-value=40381.572928>July 23, 2010</variable></span>
That updates the date on the topic when the help is generated. For example:
Much less complicated that all of that JS!
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Chances are, the unmodified file had some connection to at least one modified file (a hyperlink to or from the other file), or the unmodified file had at least been "touched" (opened but not edited).
You did say files, and not topics, so I'm wondering if you're talking about the files in the whdata, whgdata, and whxdata folders. Those files are constantly being redone according to some internal RH load-balancing algorithm, which provides for faster displays of the TOC, Index, and Search info contained within these folders.
Actually, I was referring to topic files, not the supporting files. Your answer really sheds some light on this. I'm guessing that a See Also reference would likely qualify as a "hyperlink to or from the other file." I'm going to have to check that lead out when I get back into the office.
You've really shed some light on this problem. It's a shame that RoboHelp doesn't provide for this automatically; it should be a part of any help system.
I wasn't aware of the "variable" tag. Is it something that's built into RoboHelp? How does the x-value get entered? It looks like a serial date; if one has to enter that manually, then it would be just as easy to manually enter the date. Ditto for "July 23, 2010." Is it automatically produced by the code?
Yes, I have the code in the template and when I generate and publish WebHelp, the date is updated.