permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

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permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby DocuWil on Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:08 am

The following is a request from our programmer's department:

Currently when one wants to deep link into a certain webhelp documentation tree, one has to use URL's like this:
.../webhelp/ilnpld.htm#StartTopic=/Content/Object%20Features/Object%20Types/Text%20related%20objects/Decision%20object/Decision%20object.htm

Where "Object Features" and "Object Types" and "Text related objects" etc.. are topics created by the documentation author. Once he/she changes those, especially the names, the deeplink url is broken.

It would be nice to have a 'permanent url' type feature, where once a page is created within flare, it gets assigned a more permanent name than the page title, so that an external url could read something like this:

.../webhelp/ilnpld.htm#StartTopic=decision_object

Moving around the page or changing its page name should not alter the permanent url, unless specifically requested by the documentation author.

Does someone has experience with this?
Wil Veenstra

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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby RamonS on Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:10 am

Isn't that what aliases and / or map IDs are for? As long as the map ID does not change you can call a specific topic using the default_csh.htm#<mapid> URL call.
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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby DocuWil on Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:25 am

Thanks Ramon,
You are right, it works and I could have known that.
But, it is meant to be used for CSH and I use that too. Therefore you have to assign the topics to the aliases manually.
However, in this case I am looking for something automatic.

The intention for our programmer's department is to have always the latest help available at a Wiki for internal use. I leave out details here, but I publish my stuff to 3 places: at my local station, to a server for release to customers and to a location at another server.
The latter one is used by the programmers by creating a link. The deep link they use for certain subjects. For instance, they create an object with certain parameters and put some technical stuff in the Wiki. At the same time they want to have the link to the stuff I wrote. That makes it easy for the other programmers in the group to understand and they don't have to navigate through the complete help system to find the correct subject.

Now they pick up the file 'Alias.xml' from the 'Data' directory and intent to make a little program to create the links they need.
The problem that occurs now is that

1 - There is only one alias file to publish from a single target (well, I could make a special target for them)
2 - I have to assign every single topic in the alias file and that is a lot of work

Of course it is a great advantage that when I rename the topic, the alias is updated automatically.

Maybe there is a better method to use?
Wil Veenstra

Documentation and Training Centre
Infologic Nederland
(Using Flare 11.1.2, Capture 7.0.0 and Mimic 7.0.0 in Windows 10 64-bit)
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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby RamonS on Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:45 am

So, for the help that gets released to customers you do not use CSH?

One other option using the default_csh.htm file is to reference the topics by file name. That way you do not need aliases and map IDs, but need to keep the folder structure and file names untouched. If you keep the folder structure fairly flat linking should not be too difficult.
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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby DocuWil on Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:47 am

Misunderstanding, I do use CSH for the customers, not with all projects, but some of them.

Do you mean something like:
http://<servername>/<directory>/ilnpld_CSH.htm#Rules.htm

If that is the case: it does not work.
Wil Veenstra

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Infologic Nederland
(Using Flare 11.1.2, Capture 7.0.0 and Mimic 7.0.0 in Windows 10 64-bit)
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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby RamonS on Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:17 am

I asked about CSH for customers only because at that point you need to craft the aliases and map IDs anyway, but that would only apply to those projects that will require CSH. Setting up the aliases / IDs now or later will be the same effort.

In regards to the call by file name, you need to specify the path to the file (less the Content folder) as well if there is any. Taking an example from the MadCap knowledge base, the call would be as such:
Code: Select all
http://kb.madcapsoftware.com/default_csh.htm#/Flare/User%20Interface/UI1002%20specific%20term%20search%20with%20tags.htm


Agreed, that is not much different than linking straight to the topic other than that this way it loads the entire framework.
Other than that, I cannot think of any other way from within Flare. You might be able to use rewrite rules on the server to automatically rewrite any request to a given folder. That way any request to http://<servername>/usethisfolder/<filename> will be resolved to http://<servername>/use/this/folder/buried/in/a/long/directory/structure/<filename> . I read that this is possible, I never did it, and it varies from server to server I assume (I know it works using Apache).

The only other though I'd have is to craft the CSH call using the file name and pull that through TinyURL to make it less intimidating, but I guess that is about the same amount of work as specifying IDs or aliases (you can do without the IDs and only use the aliases) and would be one more thing to maintain - I don't see the savings here, but it's an option.
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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby DocuWil on Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:17 am

Thanks for all your good advice Ramon,

I will put this through again to our programming department and, if you like, I inform you when a 'clever' solution turns up.
Wil Veenstra

Documentation and Training Centre
Infologic Nederland
(Using Flare 11.1.2, Capture 7.0.0 and Mimic 7.0.0 in Windows 10 64-bit)
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Re: permanent url's for deep linking into flare webhelp

Postby RamonS on Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:10 am

If you found a clever solution post it here. Maybe it helps someone.
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