When to use the various condition out techniques

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When to use the various condition out techniques

Postby Gary Niemen on Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:36 pm

It is possible to:
* Condition out from the source
* Condition out from the TOC
* Build different TOCs

Does anybody have a view on when to use which method?
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Re: When to use the various condition out techniques

Postby KevinDAmery on Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:47 am

* Condition out from the source - use this when you don't want the content to appear in a target's build at all, neither in the TOC nor in search.
* Condition out from the TOC - use this when you need two or more targets to have almost the same TOC but not quite (e.g. a print TOC may need topics that would be irrelevant in an online help TOC). Content that is excluded from the TOC will still be included in online format builds but not in print builds - this means that in online formats the content could still be found using search or the index.
* Build different TOCs - use this when you have targets that need significantly different content (e.g. a getting started guide would be very different from the online help) or a significantly different sequence of topics. Again, doesn't affect search or indexes in online formats.

You can also use multiple methods in conjunction with one another - you could use two TOC each with conditions applied to topics and apply conditions to the source files as well. Doing all that might get confusing, but if you have a complex array of products and output formats it may be necessary (and is probably less work than trying to use multiple projects each with their own sets of content to try to keep in sync).
Until next time....
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Re: When to use the various condition out techniques

Postby SteveS on Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:34 pm

[quote="KevinDAmery
* Condition out from the TOC - use this when you need two or more targets to have almost the same d guide would be very different from the online help) or a significantly different sequence of topics. Again, doesn't affect search or indexes in online formats.[/quote]

That gives me a sudden thought about build times - I wonder if users complaing about slow build times are using heavy conditional tagging, rather than using a seperate TOC :?:
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Re: When to use the various condition out techniques

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:15 pm

If they have a lot of conditional tags inside a topic then it might -- it doesn't seem to particularly slow it down if the tags are applied at the topic level.

Whether or not they had a separate TOC wouldn't matter. Which conditional tags to include/exclude is specified in the target. The TOC only comes in if they conditionalize TOC entries and including/excluding TOC entries wouldn't take long since that doesn't affect whether or not the topic is included in the output or what parts of that topic are included/excluded.
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Re: When to use the various condition out techniques

Postby bbuchko on Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:25 pm

Yup, the conditions on the topics affect my TOC so I rarely use conditions in the TOC itself. However, if I have a topic that I want to use in multiple locations within the TOC, I sometimes have to put a condition on some of its entries if they appear underneath a conditional topic.

For example, my project applies to multiple access levels. All of them can "Save Favorites" so that topic has no condition associated to it. However, the favorites process applies to different tasks, so I include it as a sub-topic under other topics in the TOC. Well, some of the topics it appears under only apply to specific access levels and I was getting lots of errors when I built my project. It was driving me nuts.

Finally, I realized I had to add a condition to the "Save Favorites" TOC entries. Since the topic itself had no condition associated to it, Flare was trying to make it appear while at the same time trying to exclude the TOC topic it was listed under... KERBLOOEY! :shock:
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