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Re: alias files (was Re: Hosted Help - server specs?)
Subject:Re: alias files (was Re: Hosted Help - server specs?) From:Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com> To:Kathleen Johnson <Kathleen -dot- Johnson -at- visionsolutions -dot- com>, Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com> Date:Thu, 5 Dec 2013 09:47:51 -0800
Hard-coded web help URLs are specific to each authoring tool. If you
ever want to switch from, say, Flare to DocBook WebHelp, you'd need to
edit every individual help call. It took me several weeks to migrate
from RoboHelp to WebWorks since I had to edit hundreds of calls in the
application source code. If we'd been using an alias file, it would
have taken only a few hours.
Similarly, using an alias file lets you reorganize the help (split a
topic in two, fold one topic into another, etc.) without having to
touch the application source code. This is particularly helpful when
the developers won't let you edit the application source and you're
dependent on them to fix things.
On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 5:41 AM, Kathleen Johnson
<Kathleen -dot- Johnson -at- visionsolutions -dot- com> wrote:
> "I strongly recommend using alias files rather than letting developers hard-code calls to specific pages."
> Why? We just had a discussion on this yesterday. Alias files seems so cryptic and high maintenance. If you have a standard naming convention between the application and the help files, it seems easier and lower maintenance to just call a specific page.
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