Flare glossary for terminology management?

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Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby owenf on Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:32 am

Hello folks,

has anyone used a flare glossary for terminology management? I'm trying to create something that we can use internally as a reference for terms, definitions, allowed synonyms, disallowed synonyms, and possibly links between them. It's not exactly a glossary, not exactly an index, but the idea is we'd like to be able to maintain one resource that contains the definitions for users and also the keywords & recommended terminology usage pattern for authors.

is the spec of the catapultglossary available somewhere / is it extensible?

any ideas would be appreciated,

thanks,
owen
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby rlauriston on Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:00 am

I evaluated Flare's Glossary feature recently and found it wanting.

The default is a simple two-column table (terms and definitions) with no formatting, no links, just plain text strings only.

You can define some or all of your definitions as links to topics instead, but having a separate topic for each term seems pretty unwieldy.

I also had some issues with PDF output.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby i-tietz on Wed Jul 20, 2011 6:44 am

Terminology management needs A LOT MORE than the Flare glossary has to offer.
You should use a database, maybe even with a web-based frontend (everyone has a browser) or use a spreadsheet software.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby owenf on Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:12 am

i've since dug a little deeper and discovered that it is indeed quite basic and won't do what we need. i suppose that's a difficult wheel to reinvent anyways. thanks for your replies.

owen
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby sanjsrik on Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:24 am

In the 4 years since this topic was last answered, the glossary functionality of Flare is still VERY POOR. Has anyone come up with any workarounds for the following:

    lists in glossary terms
    formatting glossary terms (including line breaks)
    showing a glossary term with a link that works at the bottom of the term, not an OR function that only lets me choose a term OR a link to a topic. I need both.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby Nita Beck on Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:22 pm

For one of my clients, my preferred method is not to enter the definition of a glossary term directly within the glossary file (.flglo). Why? Because like you, I want to put more than just flat text in a glossary definition. I might have tables, images, lists, and links to other glossary terms.

Rather (and admittedly there is a bit of overhead to set this all up), I put each of my glossary terms in a snippet. Why? So that I can build, by hand, a topic with the heading "Glossary" followed by all the term snippets, and I include that topic in my print targets. (I suppose I could have come up with a different solution, but it's the solution in place, so I maintain it.)

But I also then set up a topic for each glossary term, and the only thing in each topic is its corresponding snippet. Why this much overhead? So that then, in the glossary file, I can link a glossary term to a topic. (I've put in a feature request to have Flare allow one to link a glossary term to a snippet, but no love yet.) For my HTML5 tripane targets, Flare builds the glossary tab from the glossary file.

For another of my clients, we don't use glossary files at all. Instead, we have a topic for each glossary term, and we include each of the glossary terms on a TOC. In our HTML5 tripane output, we don't include a Glossary tab, but instead we make the glossary available from a Glossary book in the Contents tab.

I don't think I've used the glossary file itself to contain the definitions of terms for many years now.

I hope something here sparks an idea for you.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby lp_tw2 on Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:41 am

Nita, In the snippet that contains the glossary definition, do you include both the term and the definition, and what style do you apply to each? I'm using a similar approach, and the existing topics use a Heading 1 for the term and a p tag for the definition, but I wondered if the content would be better identified using <dt> and <dd> tags, or whether it even matters? Thanks for any info.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby Nita Beck on Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:32 pm

I included both the term (set to a custom style h2.DefinitionTem) and the definition (set to plain old p), and I put both in a div. But I don't see any reason you couldn't use the dt and dd styles.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby Bfdonnelly on Mon Feb 15, 2016 4:44 pm

I've been racking my brain on this, because indexes are handled so well, and glossaries are handled so poorly.

It occurred to me too (and I made a suggested feature of it) that snippets would be useful. Then it occurred to me how the whole thing could be set up to simplify the way terms are managed.

Combine variables, indexes, glossaries, and snippets together. Each term would have a tab corresponding to each of those possibilities.

Let's start with the variable tab. The term would have a term name, which would be like a variable name. Then it would have a main entry. For instance, if there's a special wrench you need for something, the "term name" might be "nmSpecialWrench." The main entry would be "Wrench." there would be a place to fill in variants too: "Wrenches." Then you would be able to select a <span> for capitalization. That is, if it's mid-sentence, you might choose "lowercase" to make it "wrench." Since it is a kind of variable, you could change the text for "nmSpecialWrench" from "Wrench" to "Torque wrench" at any point. (The variants might vary between parts of speech. For instance, if the term is "Transect calibration" then "calibrate the transect" might be a variant.)

Now the index tab. The index could pick up all the variations of those terms easily, because the terms actually appear as something like "<MadCap:term name="nmSpecialWrench.plural.firstcap"/>" The default would be to display the term in the singular capitalized form: "Wrench." The default sorting would be to sort it there, but you could sort it otherwise if desired. The rest of the tab would be similar to the options now, except that it would be easier, since all the variants would be picked up. You wouldn't need to add additional entries as you do now.

For the glossary tab, the options would be much more powerful than now. There would, of course, be a blank field for a definition _and_ one for an xref.* If the glossary is set to, it would pick up either the first, or all instances of the linked term in each topic. In this case, it might pick up "wrench" or "Wrenches," whichever is first in the topic. Then the style of the glossary definition would dictate how it is displayed. Right now, the "default" (only) behavior for definitions in print is to change the style of the linked term _and_ to put the definition in the footnotes. The style would control whether or not the formatting is changed and whether or not a footnote/endnote is generated. Then it would also control whether it is a footnote, endnote of the topic, section, etc. These options supposedly exist, in the stylesheet, but they are not honored in the output. (At least nobody has been able to make them work).

Finally, there should be an option to permit a really useful behavior. It would be to create what I call "mini-topics." These would be like glossary entries, but would be followed (or I guess preceded) by index entries. It would look something like this:

Torque wrench. The special wrench supplied with the repair kit.
Main entry: p. 7;
additional entries pp. 10, 16, 55.
**

The main entry would be an xref to the topic dealing with the term. This could be a third type of automatically generated content, with its own proxy. Presumably there would be a checkbox in the target for "Combined index and glossary." Then you could set the name of that auto-generated content through Language, as you do for indexes and glossaries.

Recall the suggestion to make the definition a snippet? That would let you include the definition in that main entry on p.7 in the example.

I'm sure this all seems very complicated, and it is too long to put in the suggestion box, but I think it would actually be simpler in practice. If this seems sensible, maybe I should suggest it, though.


*It occurs to me that another way to simplify things would be to make a hyperlink a special case of an xref. Just provide the option for a hyperlink in the xref box.
**The software would have to be smart enough to insert "p." if there's just one other index page and "pp." otherwise.
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Re: Flare glossary for terminology management?

Postby Scotty on Wed Feb 17, 2016 7:27 pm

One single regular topic, titled Glossary. One heading per term, followed by the term. Formatting/linking added as needed.

Done.
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