Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management?

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Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management?

Postby JRtechw on Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:49 pm

Hello Flarefolk,

Flare 2019 R2
HTML5 output, hosted on Azure

We are soon to roll out our first web-based application, but still in the desktop space. The dev cycle is a standard two-week sprint cycle of continuous transparent updates, rather than punctuated major and dot on-premises releases that point to a matching version of the online help.

This means the online help for the web-based app ('the app') will not consist of distinct published versions, but will be a continuous project updated synchronously with the developer updates. Because of this, the doc cycle will focus more on 'curation' over being driven by development: tagging content with a creation date, setting an expiry date, reviewing content based on expiry reports, that sort of thing. I do this informally now, but I like the idea of programmatically conducting curation.

I have not noticed any out-of-the-box facilities in Flare for that sort of doc cycle. Each article has a created and modified date, but these are file properties rather than article properties. If you just pulled a project down from source control, the file creation date will be that day.

I was just wondering: do any of you Flare users have a curation-like cycle for your projects, and if so, do you maintain curation metadata inside Flare somewhere or outside, such as a spreadsheet? Or is this something that Analyzer is useful for?

I'm not a huge fan of putting a visible creation date on all articles in a knowledge base, because they can unfairly skew user perceptions of usefulness. I could hide a creation or modified date in non-displayed content in the HTML, but I'd rather use an internal metadata field if available, and you're relying on author memory to update it. It would be great if the File Tags function allowed you to create simple custom fields instead of binary tags. I could fudge a solution by whacking a variable inside a snippet and setting the value at the article level, but I can see that being more work than the payoff.

Thanks for any ideas.
JRtechw
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Re: Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management

Postby Beaver on Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:35 am

We have a month cycle in our scrum team.
1 In the TOC i marked the new items / topics
- by Properties > tab General > Mark as New = Yes
- So users can see which topics are changed or new
2 I add a topic History in which i added new or changed topics
- If you want a example, please send me a private message
3 we use also a release notes web page
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Re: Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management

Postby JRtechw on Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:09 pm

Thanks for your reply Beaver.

However, I'm after more of a long-term strategy for noting when articles were created and received their last major update, so that (for example) articles can be automatically tagged for a "review for continuing currency" 12 months after their last major update, or since creation.

At the moment this process is kind of naturally taken care of through regular update work, but I need something to hang off so that at the end of every quarter I can bring up which articles are 12 months old and need an eye run over them. The industry we are in sometimes moves quicker than we do.

Cheers.
JRtechw
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Re: Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management

Postby Psider on Tue Dec 10, 2019 5:19 pm

Just spitballing, I haven't tried this. Create file tags for each month, and then a few file tags for years. As you create or update topics, you select the applicable month tag and year tag (and clear any previous selection). Then you run a report each month to check for anything with that month and the previous year tag? I'm not familiar with what options are available for reporting on file tags, but in theory it might work. Or maybe the topic list can be sorted or filtered by file tag?
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Re: Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management

Postby JRtechw on Tue Dec 10, 2019 10:06 pm

Hm, might be worth a shot, but it's a bit of setup to get around something. I'm honestly a bit surprised you can't create your own metadata free-text fields that you can fill out for a topic. I probably should request this as a feature.

I suspect I'm going to go with having CSS-hidden metadata text in the article itself. I doubt I'd be able to report on it, but you could at least do a big manual review.

Thanks.
JRtechw
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Re: Any inbuilt facilities for curation or expiry management

Postby doloremipsum on Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:22 pm

You should be able to enter in <meta> tags for information just like any HTML page. See https://www.w3schools.com/tags/tag_meta.asp

But putting hidden content on the topic itself would be more obvious... You might consider using snippets? Create one snippet per month/quarter and put it onto each page that you create/edit in that time. Then you can view the links for that snippet to get everything last updated then.
I wrote that, then I realised that you can't actually export from the Link Viewer. Maybe look at the Reports editor or Analyzer for inspiration - anything in there you can run a report on and export out for review. File tags might be the way to go.
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