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Additional content - logical vs physical structure

Topics: Developer Forum, User Forum
Feb 9, 2007 at 5:08 AM
First post here. Eric. Many thanks. The tool is a huge help.

I point to the root directories of additional content in the .shfb file.

The structure that appears in the online TOC mirrors the directory-subdirectory structure of the additional content. Topic names are derived from html file titles and listed alphabetically.

This is fine when authoring additional content from scratch but more difficult when integrating existing content that hasn't been structured in this way.

Would it require much of a program change to also support an xml TOC definition for additional content? (In any additional content's root directory, perhaps?)

For example, 2.0 has a .sitemap xml file that is simple but very powerful. The nesting of <siteMapNode> elements defines the structure of the online TOC. Each <siteMapNode> element has "name" and "url" attributes. The TOC that is generated uses the xml's logical structure rather than the physical structure of files on disk. As long as the relative paths in the "url" attribute are correct, everything works. I can supply an example, if you wish.

Whatever, your work has saved us a lot of time and effort and is appreciated,

Ian Taylor
Technical Writer
SecurityMail Pty Ltd
Qld, Australia
Feb 10, 2007 at 2:53 AM
Edited Feb 10, 2007 at 3:01 AM
Is it that you need to rearrange the items within the folders or that the folder structure doesn't mimic the actual table of content layout? If it's just a matter or rearranging the folders and the topics within the folders and setting the default topic, you can use the Preview option on the Additional Content editor dialog to do that. It lets you move the items around and save the changes. It writes out some custom tags that the help file builder looks for in order to sort the items. You can also add those tags manually. See the help file for details.

Feb 12, 2007 at 12:33 AM

ewoodruf wrote:
Is it that you need to rearrange the items within the folders or that the folder structure doesn't mimic the actual table of content layout?

The latter, Eric. To give just one example: BizTalk Documenter 2006 (by Microsoft SDC UK) produces extremely useful automated documentation from BizTalk assemblies. However, its TOC doesn't mimic the directory structure. Same with some of the better SQL Server data dictionary tools (and, of course, a lot of legacy static content).

I'd like to integrate this sort of content using SHFB if possible as SHFB's the most configurable and already has some support of additional content.

If you'd like examples, please let me know.


Feb 12, 2007 at 4:15 AM
Yes, please send me some examples. Thanks.

Feb 13, 2007 at 10:23 PM
Sent to your .us email address Eric. Thanks, Ian
Feb 15, 2007 at 3:59 PM
This discussion has been copied to Work Item 8281. You may wish to continue further discussion there.