RoboHelp and "Essential Files" for CM

Subject: RoboHelp and "Essential Files" for CM
From: Steven Oppenheimer <Steven -at- OppenheimerCommunications -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2005 12:51:18 -0400

Hope someone can Help me out with a RoboHelp X5 question.

I'm on a contract where my client, a company where the staff is otherwise sane and wonderful, but which has a slight fixation about automating virtually everything. In particular, when they build the software (from source files), they also want to build the associated Help files, using RoboHelp to generate the target Help file. So, I have two questions:

1. First of all, my past experience is this is problematic in general. Taking RoboHelp source files, and moving them back and forth from one machine to another, seems to cause problems. A RoboHelp Help system which is authored on one computer, and built on one computer, and works fine that way, tends to get messed up in various ways -- formatting gets messed up, links to graphics disappear, all sorts of "whacky shit" happens -- if the source files are ported to another computer. My question is, does this square with other people's experience? I'd like to be able to offer testimonial evidence when I tell my client that what they want to do is a bad idea -- but only if it's honest testimonial experience.

2. Assuming they insist on doing things Their Automated Way, can anyone tell me what are the essential RoboHelp sources files that have to be checked into their configuration management system? I know that at a minimum, the following are essential: the .doc file, the .rtf file, the .hh file, the .hpj file, .cnt, and the .hh file. Anything else? (The other files that I see out there are: .akw, .hpt, .kkw, .prs, .qwm, .rbh, .trk. Are these essential too? Have I missed anything? Do I need to store the source files for graphics as well?)

Thanks in advance for all replies.

Steven Oppenheimer, M.A.
Oppenheimer Communications
Technical and Business Writing: From Complexity To Clarity (SM)
Steven -at- OppenheimerCommunications -dot- com (301) 468-9233


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