Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

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Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:57 pm

I have created a new topic for a new page in our system that is replacing an old page.

I have gone through the steps below, but the page is not showing up in the system. Any help is much appreciated! Thanks,

Eric

How to Create an Alias File for Context Sensitive Help

1. Click on Project Organizer at the bottom of the Flare window.
2. In the Advanced folder click on platform (it has a pick a next to it for Alias).
3. Click on the top drop down to select the header file.
4. Select platformheader.h every time.
5. Sort by the Value column then Click on New Identifier at the bottom of the screen. A new line will appear and will be highlighted blue.
6. Click in the Identifier field and type the end of the url for the page you are using.

Note: If the page is for the administration side the name must begin with DSR. If the page is part of a fly-out and mvc the url will show a forward slash. You need to enter the slash as an underscore for the identifier. For example: AlertDetail/ServerActivity becomes AlertDetail_ServerActivity. (see highlighted identifiers in screenshot below.)

7. On the right side of the alias window select the topic to connect with the page.

Note: You can click the drop down to select a content folder where the topic is to make it easier to find.

8. Click in the number field and type the number of the identifier.
9. In the Skins section, select platform.
10. Click Assign Skin.

Note: When you save your work the header will default back to (all identifiers). If you add an additional identifier make sure you select platform.h again.

11. Add the new topic to the TOC from Content Explorer (Click Project Organizer>TOCs>Primary Master>Drag new topic from Content Explorer to the desired folder). Then add the new topic to Source Control. After that, get latest and check-in in VS and deploy.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby TechnicalDisaster on Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:04 pm

You mention you are replacing an old page, but in step 8 it looks like you are creating a brand new identifier. I assume it does not work because the application that is doing the call is looking for the old topic, not the new one.

If want to replace a topic and use an the original identifier, locate the original identifier in the Alias window and select it. In the right window, select the new topic and choose Assign.

Do your check-in and build, and then go to Tools > Test CSH. Check the link you just edited.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby RamonS on Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:33 am

Or even easier, leave the topic in place and replace its content plus any necessary changes, such as the entry in the ToC.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:02 am

But the URL for the new page is different, does that matter?
It seems like I am creating a new identifier because the new page has a new URL, doesn't that mean I have to create a new Identifier?

A little background. Basically we are replacing the page in the system with pretty much the same functionality, but we are re-doing it with MVC, so it has a new URL and a slightly new look.

Thanks for all your responses!

Eric
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby TechnicalDisaster on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:00 am

Eric,
What happens when you test the CSH calls?

Ensure your webhelp is set to the primary target and build. Return to Flare.
Go to Build > Test CSH API Calls.
Locate your topic in the list and choose Test.

What happens?
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:32 am

Hmmm. Test CSH files link is grayed out, I cannot click it for some reason.

We use Visual Studio in concert with Flare, so I think the only time we actually build is when we do printed out put, does that explain why perhaps?

I really am sorry for being so vague, the other TW quit and I am still behind the learning curve on the CSH.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby TechnicalDisaster on Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:26 pm

Test calls is grayed out for two reasons:
1) The primary target must be the webhelp target.
2) You need to build the primary webhelp target. Flare uses the help from your output folder to test the calls.
I really am sorry for being so vague, the other TW quit and I am still behind the learning curve on the CSH


No problem. It takes a while to learn how to speak Flare. ;)
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:03 pm

I built to the primary target and the Test CSH link is still grayed out, seems odd, any ideas as to why?
I did have Errors in the build saying a Topic was included in Flare more than once, could that be the problem?

Thanks again, I really appreciate the help!
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:09 pm

Any other ideas? I am running out of solutions.

Thanks again for any help.

Eric
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby LTinker68 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:24 pm

EricIngersoll wrote:I built to the primary target and the Test CSH link is still grayed out, seems odd, any ideas as to why?

But is your WebHelp target defined as the primary target (it should appear bolded in the target folder in the Project Organizer)?

EricIngersoll wrote:I did have Errors in the build saying a Topic was included in Flare more than once, could that be the problem?

No, if you call a topic that's in the TOC twice then it'll just go to the first instance of that topic in the TOC.

Also, and apologies if this was mentioned previously, but what type of web server is the help hosted on? Some web servers are case sensitive about topic and folder names so perhaps your call isn't formatted correctly for that server. Although I'd expect it to give you a 404 error -- are you seeing that or just the main page of your help?

One last thing, and again apologies if it was mentioned, but you've verified that the following three files -- default.htm, default_CSH.htm, default_Left.htm -- are on the web server? "default" being the name you gave for the output file. If you had changed it to index, for example, then the files would be index.htm, index_CSH.htm, and index_Left.htm. All three files are required for CSH calls to work. Well, technically the _CSH.htm and _Left.htm are required for CSH calls, but you'd want the default.htm file as a backup and for normal loading of the help.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby Dave Lee on Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:42 am

I don't think it's been mentioned, but the first thing I would check is that the alias file has been selected in the target's properties Advanced tab.
Make sure it's set to your alias file, and not set to (default).
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:30 am

LTinker68 wrote:
EricIngersoll wrote:I built to the primary target and the Test CSH link is still grayed out, seems odd, any ideas as to why?

But is your WebHelp target defined as the primary target (it should appear bolded in the target folder in the Project Organizer)?

EricIngersoll wrote:I did have Errors in the build saying a Topic was included in Flare more than once, could that be the problem?

No, if you call a topic that's in the TOC twice then it'll just go to the first instance of that topic in the TOC.

Also, and apologies if this was mentioned previously, but what type of web server is the help hosted on? Some web servers are case sensitive about topic and folder names so perhaps your call isn't formatted correctly for that server. Although I'd expect it to give you a 404 error -- are you seeing that or just the main page of your help?

One last thing, and again apologies if it was mentioned, but you've verified that the following three files -- default.htm, default_CSH.htm, default_Left.htm -- are on the web server? "default" being the name you gave for the output file. If you had changed it to index, for example, then the files would be index.htm, index_CSH.htm, and index_Left.htm. All three files are required for CSH calls to work. Well, technically the _CSH.htm and _Left.htm are required for CSH calls, but you'd want the default.htm file as a backup and for normal loading of the help.


Hmmm, concerning your first comment, the target is not bolded in the Project Organizer. How do I make it defined as the primary target?

As for the type of webserver, I am not sure. There is not a 404 error appearing, just the main page is showing.

The help is hosted on a Windows 2008 IIS7.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby LTinker68 on Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:51 am

EricIngersoll wrote:Hmmm, concerning your first comment, the target is not bolded in the Project Organizer. How do I make it defined as the primary target?

In Project Organizer, expand the Target folder, then right-click on the WebHelp target and select Make Primary Target (or something like that) from the popup menu that appears.

EricIngersoll wrote:The help is hosted on a Windows 2008 IIS7.

Windows isn't case-sensitive (unless that changed with 2008), so you just need to make sure those three files mentioned above are available on the web server.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:01 pm

LTinker68 wrote:
EricIngersoll wrote:Hmmm, concerning your first comment, the target is not bolded in the Project Organizer. How do I make it defined as the primary target?

In Project Organizer, expand the Target folder, then right-click on the WebHelp target and select Make Primary Target (or something like that) from the popup menu that appears.

EricIngersoll wrote:The help is hosted on a Windows 2008 IIS7.

Windows isn't case-sensitive (unless that changed with 2008), so you just need to make sure those three files mentioned above are available on the web server.


Whoops, the Primary target is bolded, I was looking under Advanced instead of the Targets folder.

Again, thanks for bearing with me.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:03 pm

Dave Lee wrote:I don't think it's been mentioned, but the first thing I would check is that the alias file has been selected in the target's properties Advanced tab.
Make sure it's set to your alias file, and not set to (default).


How do you check this setting? I see an Advanced folder, but no Advanced tab.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby Dave Lee on Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:13 pm

EricIngersoll wrote:
Dave Lee wrote:I don't think it's been mentioned, but the first thing I would check is that the alias file has been selected in the target's properties Advanced tab.
Make sure it's set to your alias file, and not set to (default).


How do you check this setting? I see an Advanced folder, but no Advanced tab.


The setting is in the target's properties; open the target file (from the project organiser), and you'll see an Advanced tab.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:19 pm

Ok found the Advanced tab. It does say Default, but it is grayed out...I am not able to edit it.

The only section I am able to edit is the Stylesheet Medium. Any idea why that would be the case?
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby Dave Lee on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:59 am

EricIngersoll wrote:Ok found the Advanced tab. It does say Default, but it is grayed out...I am not able to edit it.

The only section I am able to edit is the Stylesheet Medium. Any idea why that would be the case?


You should just be able to click on the list (i.e. where it says Default), and select your alias file.

Ignore the Edit button - it just edits the selected alias file in the list, so it will be greyed out if nothing (Default) is selected.


That would be the cause of the problem; your alias file hadn't been selected for that target.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:06 am

The drop down doesn't open, it's grayed out. That seems odd doesn't it?
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:51 pm

I figured it out! I wasn't checking out the Alias file from source control, I was just checking out the file I changed the name of. Once I checcked out the alias file, made the change, then checked it back in, it seems to be working!

Big thanks to all of you guys for your help. A lot of this stuff is new to me.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Thu Jan 20, 2011 3:38 pm

The bread crumb and TOC don't seem to be working however. Any clues as to why that might be?
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby LTinker68 on Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:16 pm

EricIngersoll wrote:The bread crumb and TOC don't seem to be working however.

Could you provide more information? What do you mean they don't seem to be working?
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby EricIngersoll on Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:02 am

I was actually able to fix it with some hardcoding. The TOC in Flare didn't want to recognize that I had replaced the topic with the correct one, not sure why. I would change it and Visual Studio wouldn't aknowledge that anything had changed, so I went into the code and did it that way. Not very graceful but it worked!

Again, big thank you to everyone for your help.
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Re: Alias file for Context Sensitive Help not working

Postby LTinker68 on Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:40 am

The TOC doesn't link to the heading in the topic, so if you've changed the text in the topic heading then you'd either need to manually change the text in the TOC entry (via the Topic Properties screen or double-clicking on the entry to rename it), or you'd need to remove the TOC entry and drag the topic back to the TOC to get it to pick up the new heading text. The reason it's that way is because sometimes you might want headings in your topic that are longer than the TOC entry as it appears in the generated output, so you're able to rename the TOC entry if you want.

If you renamed the topic file within Flare then it'll ask you if you want to update any links so the TOC would be updated if you clicked Yes. If you work outside of Flare in VS and rename the file, then not only will the TOC not pick up the new file name, but any cross-references or hyperlinks to that topic will be incorrect. So if you want to change a topic file name, change it from within Flare.
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