Version 4: Helpinator Team Server

Version 4 will include among other improvements a “Team Server”, which is, well, a team server. Windows-based server app for help file authoring collaboration, and Helpinator will act as a client for this server in multi-user mode.

The Team Server will allow you to:

  • Control what actions users can perform on a project
  • Manage project activities by assigning and controlling tasks
  • Synchronize multi-user access.

The most complicated part is the user permissions system, basically it has the following entities:

  1. User
  2. Group
  3. Role

A User can be a part of no or several groups.

A Role is an abstract set of permissions like “Project Leader”, “Writer”, “Reviewer”, “Guest”. For example, “Project Leader” is able to assign tasks to writers and “Reviewer” is only capable of adding comments with all project altering features disabled.

You can assign one or more roles to a user or a group. Final set of permissions is a combinations of “grants”, e.g. everything is prohibited by default, and a user gets all grants, assigned to him, his roles and groups. Example:

Let’s say we have a “Manage TOC” role that has “Add topic”, “Delete Topic”, “Rename Topic”, “Move Topic” grants and “Writers” role that allows to alter any topic content. By default a new user has no permissions, e.g. he can not perform any actions on the project. When we assign these two roles to a new user, he becomes able to alter TOC and write content.

Why we need “Groups” in our role system? It’s just a comfortable way to organize users. You are not limited on the way you work with permissions, but the recommended approach is to define “Roles”, assign them to “Groups” and then add users to Groups, so a user does not have any directly given permissions and without being a member of a group becomes powerless.

Meanwhile you can pre-order Team Server with a 50% off using the link below:

http://sites.fastspring.com/majormind/product/teamserver?coupon=TSPREORDER

What’s coming up in version 4

Version 4 is in the oven and it will bring in some important additions:

  • More supported formats including Wiki and knowledge base systems, ResponsiveHelp for touch devices and more
  • Focus on team work with new “Team Server” and “Merged Projects” utilities.

Note that with this release we will block ALL one-year keys that were not prolonged. For a long time there was a huge grace period for those who forgot to renew updates but this time all keys more than a year old will be blocked. Sorry 🙂

As always version 4 is a free update for life-time licenses and one-year licenses that are not older than a year from the date of release.

EPUB and MOBI

EPUB and MOBI are very popular e-book formats for handheld devices. Helpinator creates EPUB files directly, but to compile documentation in MOBI format you will need Amazon’s KindleGen command line tool and Kindle Previewer to see how your documentation will look like on Kindle.

To download KindleGen click here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000234621

To download Kindle Previewer click this link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?docId=1000765261

KindleGen comes in ZIP archive so you will have to unzip it, Kindle Previewer comes with installer.

Once you have KindleGen unzipped, run Helpinator, select Main Menu->Tools->Options, “Compilers” tab and path to the KindleGen folder into the “MOBI” field.

QtHelp

QtHelp is Qt’s own help file format provided via Qt assistant. Helpinator creates all necessary project files and calls QtHelp compiler. But you need to install Qt SDK and then go to Main Menu->Tools->Options, select “Compilers” tab and enter path to the one of available desktop BIN folders (the one with qcollectiongenerator.exe)

JavaHelp

JavaHelp is Java native cross-platform help system that can be deployed with desktop and web applications.

Helpinator handles all project xml and html files creation but requires JDK and JavaHelp SDK to compile resulting .jar file.

To obtain JavaHelp SDK visit this page: http://javahelp.java.net/

Once you have JDK and JavaHelp SDK on your machine, select Main Menu->Tools->Options, “Compilers” tab and enter paths to BIN folders of both packages. Then you are redy to compile JavaHelp!

Upgrading Your PDF/RTF Templates

By default when PDF/RTF template contains 3 pages Helpinator omits “Glossary” and “Index” sections in PDF/RTF/Printed Manual output. To enable it you should upgrade your PDF/RTF/Template.

 

If you are using “default.rtf” without any changes:

1. Select “PDF/RTF Templates” node in the project tree view.

2. Select “default.rtf”

3. Click “Rename”.

4. Rename it to “default2.rtf”.

5. Click “Add”

6. Browse to the Helpinator installation folder, subfolder “templates”, select “default.rtf”

7. Select project root in the project tree view.

8. Change default PDF/RTF template to “default.rtf”

 

If you are using custom template:

1. Browse to Helpinator installation folder, open templates\default.rtf in any word processor (MS Word recommended).

2. Copy last two pages (with “%GLOSSARY%” and “%INDEX%” placeholders).

3. Run Helpinator, open your project.

4. Select “PDF/RTF templates” in the project tree view

5. Select your custom template and click “Export”

6. Open exported file in the word processor and paste copied two pages at the end of it.

7. Save under different name, say “mytemplate2.rtf”

8. Go back to Helpinator, click “Add”, select “mytemplate2.rtf” from step 7.

9. Select project root in the project tree view.

8. Change default PDF/RTF template to “mytemplate2.rtf”