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Does anyone know what these package xml files in the whxdata folder are and why I might have so many of them? I did have about 1100 files in this folder and then something (I'm not sure what) happened and now I have 2444 files.
That is really something only the Adobe developers can answer. As someone once said on being asked if all the files were necessary, "only if you want the help to work".
I'm not trying to be flippant. It's simply not a question that can be answered here. To the best of my knowledge RoboHelp only creates what it needs so if the number has gone up, there has to be a reason, just don't know what it is.
Of course, I'm not an Adobe developer, but I believe I may be able to offer up a clue on the files.
The process of generating an output such as WebHelp or Responsive HTML5 causes many processes to unfold. During these processes, the information that comprises the TOC, the Index, the Glossary, and the Full Text Search is analyzed and is broken into smaller and more easily served chunks of information. Generally speaking, each of those files contains a small segment of the TOC or the Index and suchlike.
I believe this helps make the overall project "speedier". For example, if your TOC has lots of nested levels, the top level items are loaded from those chunks first, then later the other levels are backfilled in the background.
Yeah... I saw that, but it doesn't explain what those files are for or why I have a varying number of them. I haven't come across any information that spells it out. As it makes a difference of over 1000 files that we need to include with our applications, I'd love to be able to minimize it as much as possible.
Yes it's fewer files but at the expense of functionality for the user. That's a call for you.
Other settings may also have an impact but I suspect that one would have more than others. Is there a space issue here as it's rare nowadays with big drives for anyone to worry much about this?
So I played around with some of the settings and it turns out that when I made a new HTML5 Output preset, I had the Enable Substring Search option checked. When I unchecked this option, it generated with 1355 fewer files in the whxdata folder. So that one option, for us, is a difference of 1355 files.
Our Online Help files are attached to our software application, so the more files there are, the longer it takes to install. We're already sort of testing the patience of people with the number of files that we have. We also need to upload these projects to our company SharePoint, which has a 5,000 file limit per library. Without unchecking this setting, we were in excess of 5,000 files for the project, so I guess we had reached a practical limit.
Your other alternative is to zip up the output, include the zip file in your installer & then unpack it when the installer runs.
I wondered if uploading to customers or installation might be your answer. On that, given the size of these files I wonder if it makes any significant difference. The Sharepoint library limit would still be a killer. Thanks for explaining.