RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?

Subject: RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: "Leonard C. Porrello" <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 May 2010 10:29:52 -0400

Leonard C. Porrello [mailto:Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- SoleraTec -dot- com]
> For "multiple 'browse sequences' that might involve the same page for
> several user approaches, while other pages might be unique to just
> one-or-another browse sequence," I probably use the same technique you
> use in Flare. If we are talking a few pages, I have them
> folded into one
> "story" and use page level conditional tags to define what gets built
> where. Where I have several unique pages that compose an
> entirely unique
> workflow, I have several "stories" and use conditional tags to build
> each.

Actually, in this case, I meant alternate sequences within a
single published Help.

Say you've got a config procedure that involves 11 topic/pages
in your ToC. Each page is a multi-step activity along with
some explanatory text. Then it points to the next topic/page.

That is, it could all be presented in one enormous single
topic/page, but the customer's scroll button would start
to smoke. Instead, major steps are broken out into
individual pages in the overall flow.

But there are some variants of the product or some early
config steps that set it into one major mode or another,
which in turn affects how _some_ later activities are handled.

So, the big procedure trundles along for three or four
pages with common material. Then it hits a sub-procedure
that takes six neat steps for one previously-set configuration,
but that takes 18 intricate steps with accompanying
illustrations and screen-caps for the other previously-set

Similarly, the next two topics in the overall procedure
are for the same general action, but continue to be
done in such different ways that there are two topic
fours, a topic five in only one branch, a topic six
in only that same branch, then back to a common topic
seven (which is actually topic five for the less-complex
path), and so on.

That's what I mean (and RH and Flare mean) by "browse
sequences" - a path that one customer might follow
through a clump of pages, while a different customer
would follow a different set... though only partly
different... not enough to justify a completely
independent set of pages for each one (too much
redundancy there; too many nearly-identical pages to

Now, you do the above splitting and recombining a
couple of times in a lengthy and varied procedure,
and you add some in-page optional stuff handled
by expanding/drop-down text.

I was interested if there were ways to include all
the material in one published Help, but actions by
the customer dynamically determine whether they see
stuff that's not relevant to them, once they've
made certain major choices.

My output/published format is WebHelp only.

- Kevin

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Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?: From: Leonard C. Porrello
RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Context-sensitive - menu-item topic or... Clippy?: From: Leonard C. Porrello

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