I'm curious. Has anyone found a way to have an HTML5 help layout also give search results from peer to peer forums?
We have a peer to peer forum that gets A LOT of traffic from our users and there's a lot of great shared content. We'd love to find a way of showing forum results along with help topic results when a user types something in a search prhase.
Has anyone done that?
I looked into Zoom Search on Peter's site, but not sure if that tool can do forums.
I think it was fairly limited, but what about that option in the SSL layout about allowing external sites?
Where is that option? I'm using the Responsive HTML5 SSL.
In my RH11 copy, it shows up as "Enable External Content Search" in the Search branch of the tree - YMMV ;>)
You also have to set up search terms. How is covered in RoboHelp's own help, search for External Content.
I am doubtful that will do what you want as you have to set up search terms and I'm thinking you want to search on anything that is in that forum.
Zoom can search on a quite a range of source files. Probably the easiest way to find out would be to email Wrensoft telling them what you use to create the forums. I'm sure they will be able to advise on that.
You will need to bear in mind Zoom creates a database at the point you run the tool. New posts will not get added automatically. However the search is quick so updating it daily or weekly would not be a major problem.
See www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp and Authoring information.
Just to provide a bit of context here. The External Content Search works like this.
The RoboHelp author chooses specific search terms that are found when the end user searches. Assuming that the help author had enough foresight to actually include one or more terms that the end user may choose to use when searching, they will then find that link that would then link them to whatever has been assigned to the external location.
I'm with Peter in thinking this won't be a solution you are looking for. (reminds me of the scene from Star Wars - These are not the droids you are looking for)
I'm doubtful you will find anything that will fit what you seem to be wanting. And I'm guessing what you are wanting is the ability to just type a search term into the RoboHelp search field, and not only search your help system but also this forum of yours. Maybe it could be done using that Zoom search tool, but I would think that it would become a constant challenge to keep that updated. Just thinking about the very dynamic and ever changing nature of a forum.
It makes me wonder if you wouldn't do well to consider creating a "portal" type of topic. One that has a large Inline Frame that presents a window to the forum, where the forum search could then be performed inside that window without leaving the help system. As far as I'm aware, Inline Frames still work just fine should you find yourself in the HTML 5 realm.
Thanks Rick. My mind was actually along the same lines of an iframe.
I find it hard to believe that big software companies like Microsoft or Adobe are using something like Zoom Search and are manually rebuilding a database of search terms. They're doing something more dynamic and direct with the actual site or database. This makes me think that RoboHelp's own help file isn't using use it's own help technology.
In fact, when I looked into the guts of RoboHelp's html5 search with a developer on our team, he was surprised Adobe is packaging all the search tearms up during compliation instead of just naturally and dynamically seaching through the folder structure at run time. It seemed somewhat backwards to me as well.
I wonder if there's another approach though. In our forums, for example if I type Ithe word "interface" and search for it, our forum appends something like this onto the URL in the address bar, and that is what gives a page of search results of those posts:
Could there maybe be a way to via .js code or something to have the normal html5 search field send out the search phrase to the forum and return the results to the html5 search results dynamically without the use of an iframe? I don't know. Sounds like you'd need to have a custom layout and some sort of server-side scripting...
Yeah, who knows what's possible?
Developers. Developers know.
All we can really do is to work within the confines of what we know about. And since we aren't developers in the true sense of the word...
I'm sure something like that would require some manipulation of the code RoboHelp is using. And most of the time that stuff is so far beyond what I know it isn't even funny!