OK, for starters I figure that working this way would be a very bad idea. Unfortunately I know very little about version control and networks. So when my manager and the techies ask me why I just cant check files in and out of the Development server via Explorer, I cant explain this to them in terms they understand or appreciate.
I'm just trying to get somebody to set up my system so I can access version control and collaborative authoring from within RoboHelp.
First off somebody suggested using the development server. But they also suggested I do all the CHECKING IN / OUT from Explorer. I said RoboHelp version controlling / collaborative only works if you initiate it from within RoboHelp. But they dismissed this, saying something like "they're only files and it doesn't matter where you do it from" I don't know enough about version control and networks to explain to them, in terms they will appreciate, that this is not how RoboHelp works.
I've tried publishing to our Office365 /SharePoint and only managed it by dragging and dropping the folder from explorer onto the Office 365 workspace. Colleagues say from there why don't I just check in and out the files and work on the ones I want to. I've explained there are hundreds of them and I doubt RoboHelp would function normally if I just checked out a few topics. Furthermore my Example project which I am using to test these ideas only has about 40 topics and is about 1/500 the size of the project I will be building for them.
My understanding is that RoboHelp deals with Projects, not individual topics anyway, so I couldn't just "Check out" introduction.htm, work on that page and check it back in (unless I used notepad!)
So, could somebody please tell me what to say to these techies to convince them they need to set up a version control system which works from within RoboHelp and that it wont work if I check in/out via explorer (or put me straight if I am wrong)?
They are beginning to get a bit impatient with me.
What do I need to ask them to do, step by step, in order to make this work?
They are using a tool called GIT / Tortoise to do the version control. But seem insistant I should use this from an Explorer window. Do I just need to ask them to connect this to RoboHelp in some way, so I can see it when I hit the Add to Version Control button? (and use other collaborate options)
Sorry, I've worked this out for myself now. Its because RoboHelp automatically checks out all the files which are affected by the file/s you are working on: TOCs indexes, browse sequences, stylesheets etc. and updates them all. If two authors are working on a project, RoboHelp keeps track of who has got which files checked out to avoid conflicts and accidental overwriting of edits.
They seemed to respond to this better than me umming and aahing and pointing to various sentences in the user guide.
You can work with using third-party source control tools, but as you said, Robohelp will check out certain files as it needs them, whereas with a third party tool you'll have to do this manually. Just a bit more work and with multiple authors it may need more defined communication processes.
Note: Using the integrated RH feature to add a project to source control also ensures certain files ARE NOT checked in.
If you do this manually, make sure the following files aren't added to source control: *.cpd, *.ldb, *.pss. Possibly also exclude the following: *.trl, *.hhp, ehlpdhtm.js (the last two I used to include, but your mileage may vary). These files contain local information and cause Bad Things(tm) to happen when they are source controlled.