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1 x global project, 3 x sub-projects, 1 x mega-project

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2019 10:31 am
by writer_sam

I'm looking for a bit of advice.

I currently have a very large project that is soon to double (and then some!) in size. I would like to split this up into 3 smaller projects with a 4th "mega-project" that pulls all 3 in at build time (I got the idea from a Scott DeLoach webinar):


Simple right? Well, not exactly.

Project A needs to be re-built and uploaded to the server on a monthly basis. Projects B and C need to be re-built and uploaded as and when. Mega-Project though, is only re-built every quarter. I'm unsure how to handle the smaller project builds.

I've tested with having everything in a single project and using targets to update only what I need, then with having the separate projects; result = Not great. In both cases, when I copy over just the updated topic files, it breaks my embedded miniTOCproxies, menuProxies, and breadcrumbs.

Should I be re-building Mega-Project every time and just uploading the updated files to the web server? This is going to be tedious when I've only updated 2 topics or a single image. Does anyone else use project-linking like this? Is there a better method of project-linking?


Re: 1 x global project, 3 x sub-projects, 1 x mega-project

PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:21 am
by ChoccieMuffin
Hi Sam

I'm another Scott fan.

By the look of your diagram you've got the right idea. Just to be sure I've got it right, this is what I understand from your post:
* Global contains stuff that all projects need (copyright text, stylesheets, masterpages, common content etc) and your three projects import from Globals. All cool.
* Output from Project A is uploaded to the server monthly. Also cool.
* Projects B and C go to the server whenever you decide they're needed.
* Mega-project imports from Globals and from A, B and C and the output needs to go on the server every quarter.

I don't quite understand what the problem is - it looks more like a problem with how you handle the outputs rather than how you use global project linking. The only comment I have about GPL is that I would make sure that projects B and C are in a releasable condition at the same time as you need to publish the mega-project so that you don't get any development comments into your final output.

How long does your mega-project take to build? Could you schedule it to build overnight, once a quarter and upload the whole thing to the web server?

If you really don't want to update the whole thing, you might want to investigate exactly what has changed between the output from the previous quarter to the output from this quarter. BeyondCompare is useful for this kind of thing as you can compare folders and it'll identify which individual files have changed.

Re: 1 x global project, 3 x sub-projects, 1 x mega-project

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:48 am
by writer_sam
Hi ChoccieMuffin,

I don't think I explained it very well. Sorry about that. I think you're right, it's more a case of the output rather than the GPL - think I got hung up on the wrong angle.

I have a single documentation site, where Mega-project is hosted. Projects A, B, and C form sub-folders within the outputted Content folder (HTML5 output) of Mega-project. At the moment, it only takes 5 minutes to build Mega-project so currently, no biggie - enough time for a fresh cuppa :) so maybe 20 minutes max when I've doubled the number of articles. I'm now battling to keep using Flare to produce HTML5 output because our web devs are pushing me to use WordPress (no single-sourcing, can you even imagine!) so if I have to update the website in its entirety, I think that would be seen as a failure on Flare.

However, I keep coming back to the "this is not possible" thought the more I think about it and I should just stick to a single project, but I'm hoping someone out there has a similar setup.

EDIT: Here's a thought ... should I be using relationship tables and targets instead?

Re: 1 x global project, 3 x sub-projects, 1 x mega-project

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:28 pm
by Psider
Perhaps look at merging: ... ojects.htm

The outputs look like a single help file to the user, but each child project can be updated independently. (I'd recommend a parent project that just manages the toc references to the child projects, with no other content in it (you might need one index entry to get that working - it's been a while.). So you just release the project once, or when you need to add or remove a child project.)

Probably either Merging Flare Projects Using Targets (Recommended) or Merging Output at Runtime Using Server-Based HTML5 or WebHelp Plus (if you run IIS, although I can't offer any advice about how that works or any gotchas).

Do note though, that linking between the projects is a bit of a pain as you have to modify each link to be relative based on the production output location. It's mentioned in the third note of the 'using targets' topic. While not mentioned for server-based merging as far as I could see at a quick glance, I assume it's the same for that method. At a previous job, we got around it by saving all links to other projects in snippets, so we could add them without figuring out the relative path each time, and also so we could quickly update all links if we moved a topic. (there we no reports to detect broken links of that sort at the time, and I imagine that is the case now.)