Help files/RoboHelp/Organization problems

Subject: Help files/RoboHelp/Organization problems
From: Susan Brown <sbrown -at- JSCSYS -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 09:00:40 -0500

Hi, Hi!!

Another organization/methods problem. We are in the final stages of
the help project, and are now forced to face how to handle the translation
portion. My questions are how best to handle this.

We are not finished the English language version yet, but pressure
is mounting to start on the translation into French (basically, we've been
told we have to). There are two basic problems I am concerned with:

1) The mechanics of controlling updates. My solution has been to give our
translator a version of the help system as it currently stands. This will be
stored in a common directory on the network server called Current. When
significant changes have been made to it, the common version in Current will
be moved to Previous, the new one to Current, and the MS Word Compare will
be run and saved, so that she will have a marked up version of the new text,
so that she can quickly find the changes. Danielle's concern is that we are
not using an automated Version control system, but my feeling is that with
only two of us involved, with desks right next to each other, a little
communication will go a long way, and we don't really need to to try to
automate everything. But I may be missing something. Comments?

2) The mechanics of actually creating the French version of the Help system.
This is where I am on shakier ground. I see no point in reinventing the
wheel (i.e. the structure of the help system, including links, secondary
window specifications, browse sequences, etc.), and my idea was that she
take the English Language version, translate the text straight, and use the
RoboHelp Macros to change titles, hotspot text, and the keywords. I see no
need for anything else to change. She wants to use MS Word (sans RoboHelp
macros) to type in the translated text, then cut and paste into the English
version. That strikes me as being more time consuming, but lack of
experience in this type of thing on both our parts is making this difficult
to sort out. Again, comment????

The two help systems will stand separately: they are NOT
interconnected. The user will have a choice of English or Francais. The two
versions of the help will be identical in both content and structure: only
the language will change.

In addition to the two items above, I would appreciate any
additional comments you have about how stupid I am being (or not being,
hopefully), pitflls, past experiences you have had with this type of thing,
etc. etc.

A final question: Is there some way with RoboHelp 3 that I can use
the same file names in both the French and English version, but change the
name of the compiled files that is created (as in ITFSV2, and ITFSV2_F)?

Thanks in advance for you time.

Susan Brown
JSC Systems Corp.

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, very gravely, "and go on till you
come to the end: then stop."
- Lewis Carroll

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