Find and replace in the current ditamap with Oxygen in an IXIASOFT CCMS environment?

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Find and replace in the current ditamap with Oxygen in an IXIASOFT CCMS environment?

Post by Graham Hannington » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:13 pm

I'm familiar with, and value the rich features of, the "standalone" Oxygen XML Author Windows desktop application.

I'm aware of, but I have not used, the Oxygen XML Author Eclipse Plugin and Oxygen XML Web Author.

I have studied the Oxygen XML Feature Matrix.

I have read about, but have not used, IXIASOFT CCMS. According to the IXIASOFT CCMS docs I have read, the Oxygen Eclipse plugin is integrated with IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop, and Oxygen XML Web Author is integrated with IXIASOFT CCMS Web.

I believe that neither the Oxygen Eclipse plugin nor Web Author support find and replace in the current ditamap. That is, in a single action, finding and replacing a string across all topics in the current map.

In an IXIASOFT CCMS environment, how would I perform one of the "multiple file edit" actions, such as (among others) "find and replace in the current ditamap", that I can perform using the Oxygen XML Author standalone Windows desktop application?

Based on the IXIASOFT docs that I’ve read, I think the answer is: export all relevant source files out of the IXIASOFT CCMS, edit them using the standalone Oxygen XML Author app, and then re-import them back into IXIASOFT CCMS. But I’m not sure, and I’d prefer to be wrong about that.

bertrandb
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:33 pm

Re: Find and replace in the current ditamap with Oxygen in an IXIASOFT CCMS environment?

Post by bertrandb » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:13 pm

Hi Graham,

I'm with IXIASOFT support. To answer your query, for Eclipse you can do a search and replace via DITA Map view: https://www.ixiasoft.com/documentation/ ... 91185.html

For IXIASOFT CCMS Web, search and replace is something that will be added in the future.

Let me know if you have further questions.

Belinda Bertrand
Incident Manager
IXIASOFT

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Re: Find and replace in the current ditamap with Oxygen in an IXIASOFT CCMS environment?

Post by Graham Hannington » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:23 am

Hi Belinda,

Thank you so much for your reply here on this Oxygen forum. It's good to know, as you wrote, that IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop supports search and replace across the topics in a map.

I was wrong, and I'm relieved to hear it.

Where I went wrong

For what it's worth, I can see where I went wrong. To prevent others repeating my mistake (Belinda, with apologies, this explanation is not aimed at you, but at other readers): I conflated the features of the Oxygen Eclipse plugin with the features of IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop.

In a recent forum post, Cristian wrote, confirming what I had seen in the Oxygen feature matrix:
"Find in the current DITA Map" is also not supported in the Eclipse version.
Just because the Oxygen Eclipse plugin doesn't support a DITA editing feature doesn't mean that IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop doesn't support that feature. I understand, especially in an Eclipse environment, that different plugins (potentially, from different providers) can offer different features.

I confess also that I allowed the absence of "Search and replace..." topics in the IXIASOFT CCMS Web User Guide for Writers, and the fact that neither Oxygen XML Web Author nor the Oxygen Eclipse plugin support this feature, to lead me astray. That was lazy thinking, poor research. I should have delved deeper into the IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop User Guide and teased out those details for myself. Belinda, thanks very much for the link to the docs!

Feature comparison: standalone Oxygen vs IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop

(As you wrote, IXIASOFT CCMS Web doesn't have this feature yet.)

The Search and Replace dialog box in IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop:

Image

The Find/Replace in Files dialog box in the standalone Oxygen XML Author:

Image

While I understand the power of XSLT (years ago, "pre-kids", I wrote XSLT stylesheets for the sheer fun of it), if I were restricted to using IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop instead of the standalone Oxygen, I'd sorely miss some of the XML-friendly features that appear to be missing from IXIASOFT, such as "Restrict to XPath" and "Enable XML search options".

Regarding this cautionary note in the IXIASOFT docs:
This feature is capable of altering the XML code in your documents and making your documents invalid.
Yes, I hear you. I've trashed (invalidated) a whole bunch of XML via regex search'n'replace. What would I do in IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop if I inadvertently made documents invalid? In the standalone Oxygen, I'd validate the ditamap, and get a report with links that open the DITA topics with problems. (Aside: from the IXIASOFT article "Why GitHub + an XML Editor Is not a Substitute for a CCMS": "A good CCMS will not let you save invalid XML material to it".)
Once a Replace operation has taken place, there is no Undo or Rollback function. IXIASOFT recommends exporting some test content from IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop to use with testing.
Wait, what? No rollback? Taken at face value, that seems scary. I use the standalone Oxygen XML Author with source files stored in
Git repositories. With Git, it's relatively easy to "rollback" (e.g. reset) to a previous commit. While I don't want to get diverted into "Git vs TEXTML" here, I'm fearfully curious about that "no rollback" statement.

Also from the IXIASOFT docs:
If you need help writing a regular expression, contact IXIASOFT Customer Support.
A suggestion: the equivalent Oxygen docs contain a detailed topic on the "flavor" of the supported regex syntax. Equivalent details in the IXIASOFT docs might help reduce calls to IXIASOFT Customer Support.

I welcome your thoughts on this comparison.

Questions

"Find and replace in the current ditamap" is just one example of the "multiple file edit" actions that I find useful in the standalone Oxygen. Other such actions include (this is not a comprehensive list) "refactoring" actions:
  • Rename resource (e.g. rename a DITA topic file, and update all references to that file)
  • Convert sections/nested topics to new topics
  • Change topic ID to file name
Does IXIASOFT CCMS (Desktop or Web) support these?

Is there a feature matrix I can see that compares IXIASOFT CCMS (Desktop and/or Web) with standalone Oxygen? I'm imagining something similar to the existing Oxygen feature matrix, annotated/augmented to show features introduced by IXIASOFT CCMS.

I don't want to make the mistake again of thinking that IXIASOFT CCMS can't do something that the standalone Oxygen app can.

Thanks again for your reply here, much appreciated.
Last edited by Graham Hannington on Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

bertrandb
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2020 3:33 pm

Re: Find and replace in the current ditamap with Oxygen in an IXIASOFT CCMS environment?

Post by bertrandb » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:50 pm

Hi Graham,

We are working on a compatibility matrix, but don't have one yet that I can point you to.

For the search and replace rollback, when you do the replace action all of the topics in CCMS are locked. If you don't want to save your changes, you can bulk select the locked topics in your Search Results view, right-click, and click Replace with Server Revision. That will break the lock and discard the changes.

Regards,
Belinda

Graham Hannington
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:23 am

Re: Find and replace in the current ditamap with Oxygen in an IXIASOFT CCMS environment?

Post by Graham Hannington » Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:41 am

Thanks again Belinda!

My situation (I'd rather not get too specific, with too much detail): I currently use the standalone Oxygen XML Author Windows desktop application with source files in Git, with the remote Git repositories hosted by Atlassian Bitbucket Server. I'm productive in that environment. It is possible that, in the future, I might find myself working in an IXIASOFT CCMS Desktop environment. I'm trying to establish for myself—based on my own research, and mainly by reading the published docs—what that would mean to me (and others in the same situation): moving away from the standalone Oxygen, and moving away from Git.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions here. That's helped a lot. If/when you do have a matrix that you could share, and that addressed some or all of my situation (ideally, including TEXTML vs Git), that would also be very helpful. I'd be keen to see it.

Best regards,
Graham

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