Activate track changes for all files in folder

<oXygen/> general issues.
Fredrik_Lönn
Posts: 22

Activate track changes for all files in folder

Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:29 pm

Hi,

Is there a way to easily activate/deactivate track changes for all files in a folder, including subfolders, or in a project?

Doing it one by one is rather tedious or if done "when needed" rather unreliable (I am posting because I just realized I forgot to...).

Best Regards,
Fredrik Lönn
Costin
Posts: 275

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:43 am

Hi, Fredrik_Lönn!

Currently, it is not possible to activate change tracking on multiple documents or on specific folders.
However, I added an improvement request in our internal improvements/issue tracking system.

Our development team will analyze this feature for a possible implementation in a future version of oXygen.
In case this gets implemented, we will let you know right away.

Best Regards,
Costin
Costin Sandoi
oXygen XML Editor and Author Support
Fredrik_Lönn
Posts: 22

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:18 pm

By the way...

I notice that files that have track changes activated have this line at the end:

Code: Select all

<?oxy_options track_changes="on"?>


Could I simply parse my dita files and add this line at the end of every file (except any files where it is already there)? That would be a simple workaround until this feature is added.

Best Regards,
Fredrik
Costin
Posts: 275

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:58 pm

Indeed, that is the Processing Instruction that enables or disables the change tracking over a specific document.

Therefore, adding it to all of your files you would like to have change tracking active for could be a workaround.
The only "problem" is that you should also eliminate the PI in case you need to disable change tracking for some of them at a later time.

Regards,
Costin
Costin Sandoi
oXygen XML Editor and Author Support
Fredrik_Lönn
Posts: 22

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:41 pm

Removing the instruction shouldn't be an issue, but accepting all changes is worse. That will still need to be done one by one I guess or was that functionality already added?
/Fredrik
Radu
Posts: 5213

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:07 am

Hi Fredrik,

We've had previous requests about "Accept All Changes" being done on an entire set of resources (all topicrefs in a DITA Map for example.
I added your contact details on the opened internal issue.
I have to admin I'm skeptical to implement this because I do not quite understand the use case.
If you want to batch accept changes (meaning that probably you did not even need to look over each of them), why enable change tracking in the first place? Could you tell us more about your use case and workflow?

Regards,
Radu
Radu Coravu
<oXygen/> XML Editor
http://www.oxygenxml.com
Fredrik_Lönn
Posts: 22

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:39 pm

Hi Radu,
I am sorry for not responding earlier.
My work flow for revising a document is as follows (starting from an approved and released version of my document):

  1. Reset all tracked changes
  2. Perform requested updates
  3. Generate PDF copy of updated document, including highlighted changes.
    Iterate items 2 and 3 until all stakeholders agree on the document.
  4. Publish PDF version of document, without highlighted changes (we do use a version history section).

I like to keep tracking on all changes from the previously released version at all times.

After having tried to use the track changes function for a while, I have however turned it off. The reason for this is that it doesn't help much when I work with profiled documents. Imagine for example that I have two configurations of my document. If I do as listed above when updating one configuration of the document (the versions are typically not updated at the same time), I will loose tracking of the changes when later updating the other configuration.

What I (think) that I need more than track changes, is the ability generate a PDF with all changes compared to an arbitrary previous version. I was recently in contact with Oxygen Support and was told about a DeltaXML plugin that I have not yet had time to investigate.

With the above in mind, I don't think that you should spend a lot of time on the track changes feature, but rather on enabling highligthing of differences between two arbitrary document versions.
Radu
Posts: 5213

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:36 am

Hi Frederik,

Thanks for the details.
About your use case, you probably want something like this:

Compare two sets of folders, each one being the user manual at a certain version. Produce only one merged set of folders containing Oxygen change tracking in each topic showing changes which occurred from one version to another. Publish that merged output to PDF showing the change tracking in the PDF output.
As far as I know Delta XML could compare two files and generate a third file containing Oxygen change tracking marking the changes between them. So they did not have an entire directory comparison tool doing the same thing in batch mode and it is not practical for you to manually call the merging for each topic in the map. But I did not work much with their plugin.

I will also add an issue on our side along the lines you mentioned.
In my opinion you have workflow problems, reviewers (SMEs for example) are stuck reviewing the documentation in the PDF at the end of the cycle instead of reviewing the documentation in XML format as it is being written.
Here's how we are using DITA internally for our user's manual:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BBhiAkBVUA

We have an issues repository (JIRA) and on each issue we can see what topics in the documentation have been changed to accommodate it.
So when we verify the documentation (usually this is done by engineers - SMEs) we verify the changed topics for each issue, we do not create a huge PDF containing marked changes. And we verify the documentation for each issue as a continuous process, we (engineers) receive automatic emails that an issue that we added has been documented and we take some time to verify the docs, we do not have a separate stage before the release when we go through the documentation.

Regards,
Radu
Radu Coravu
<oXygen/> XML Editor
http://www.oxygenxml.com
Fredrik_Lönn
Posts: 22

Re: Activate track changes for all files in folder

Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:23 pm

Radu,

Thanks for your advice. I agree that we could improve our workflow and I hope to be able to do that over time. Although there are two aspects to a review. A topic that is technically correct may need adaption depending on the customer. I think that the technical review can be handled on a change by change basis, but each release to a customer would require a review of changes with that particular customer in mind. At least that's the reality I work in.

We also use Jira by the way so I am interested to see how I can get more out of it then I do today.

Best Regards,
Fredrik

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