-----Original Message----- From: Diane Gaskill My question is Why?? I suppose this is a little OT, but I cannot imagine needing more than 10 conditions, even when you create PDF for both computer screens and handhelds, and also help, as well as have 3 or 4 models of a product described in the same set of files. How in heck to you keep track of 80 tags, Carla?
Diane ========== Good question! First, to set it up, we have at least 7 different product lines, and then many of those printers have special versions (Customs) for specific customers. Some printers are OEM'ed and need to be rebranded, and may have special programming on them or special hardware features that are different from our standard line. Depending on the printer, it could be rebranded for 1-3 different OEM vendors, there are 5 or more programming guides for different programming languages that work on our printers, and there are 2-3 hardware pieces that attach to the printers, and they have their own guides. To manage all of this, we create a matrix table, showing all the conditions and the various types of docs. Down the left side is each product/product line. A product gets a specific color assigned to it. Across the top are the types of guides -- Programming Guide (PG) User Guides (UG), Quick Ref Guide (QRG), Maintenance Manual (MM) and Maintenance Kits (Kit). Variations on the conditional text style indicate the guide type (plain, overline, underline, strikethrough, etc.) Naming for conditional text is logical: UG Product1 UG Product2 UG Product3 QRG Product1 QRG Product2 QRG Product3 PG ProgLang1 PG ProgLang2 MM Product1 ...and so on... We discussed it as a group, and felt it was more logical to group by guide type than by product name with our stuff. YMMV, and in your situation you may find it easier to group by product name. This table is part of an "import from" document that writers are supposed to use to define the user variables and set the conditional tags to show for a particular document. Because content is shared, conditional tag and variables for a particular topic could be set to anything when you go to generate your book file, so you would use the "import from" file to set these items. A writer would know just by looking at the table which conditional tags are showing (if conditional text is hidden, then no text appears in the corresponding table cell). Oh, and when you're working in a situation like this, the most important thing is that conditions need to be ADDITIVE. NEVER create a conditional tag that is "not this" or "not that," -- you're only setting yourself up for trouble (been there, done that). If a piece of text needs to have 40 conditions applied to it, then that's what it needs. This also puts the conditions in a format that can be managed when we go to XML. This conditional text structure required some forethought and planning to accommodate all of our needs, but now its easily expandable as we add more products and printer lines. I'd be happy to send an example to anyone who'd like to see it. -Carla - CONFIDENTIAL- This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential, and may also be legally privileged. If you are not the intended recipient, you may not review, use, copy, or distribute this message. If you receive this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by reply email and then delete this email.