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using blogs as help authoring tools? (10 posts)

  1. TomJohnson
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I would like to use blogging software as a help authoring tool, rather than using something like RoboHelp. By help authoring tool, I'm referring to software that creates online help or some other help file.

    Here's the problem. I'm not quite sure how to organize the posts in the table of contents. I could make different categories for the different main topics of the help, and then call only those posts that belong to distinct categories, but I'm not sure that's the best way. Plus, I'd have to create a new style for their display in a sidebar.

    Is there any such thing as help templates? I tried organizing the sidebar manually for some basic help content about customizing connections (which you can see at http://stc-suncoast.org/customizing-connections/). But it seems like there must be a better way, a more automated way.

    Here's a larger question: If I created page templates that were specific to the help topics, is there a way that I could call only pages based off those specific page templates, rather than all pages?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. pizdin_dim
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Personally, I don't see any blog system as really suitable to what you're trying to do, mainly due to the fact that blogs are chronological. I'd suggest considering a forum package instead.

  3. Chris_K
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Alas, I'm with pizdin_dim. I've had the same idea as you (wouldn't a blog for a help system be nifty?) but... it just is a bit of a stretch.

    I went with a wiki instead. :-)

  4. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 8 years ago #

    Maybe Mark Jaquith's WordPress Hooks site, which is an installation of WordPress set up as an API reference for WordPress, will give you some ideas:

    http://wphooks.flatearth.org/

  5. shacker
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I used WordPress to do the FAQ system for my hosting business:

    http://hosting.birdhouse.org/faqs/

    Rather than work around the chronology problem, I worked with it - I control index order by manipulating the publication date. It's a hack, but gets the job done. It would be nice to have a plugin that would A) Override chronology for ordering and B) Provide a nice admin interface for setting post order.

  6. DianeV
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I've thought about this for some uses.

    There was/is a plugin called narchives, which is a sort of sitemap that can sort posts chronologically *and* by category. (For an example, here's one of mine:
    http://developedtraffic.com/sitemap.php -- scroll down a bit.)

    It wouldn't be too hard to get it to sort by category, remove the sorting option, and use it for a home page.

    It's one thought. No nice admin area for sorting, though.

  7. TomJohnson
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thanks for your comments. Just to follow up, no one knows how to call posts only from specific page templates?

  8. Kafkaesqui

    Posted 8 years ago #

    http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/query_posts

    Using that to initialize The Loop in your Page template would allow you to display specific posts (depending on what you're trying to display). As an example, I use a combination of query_posts() with the 'category_name' parameter and a test on custom field keys for my plugins Page.

  9. TomJohnson
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Shacker,

    I really like how you created your FAQ. That's clever and it looks good.

    I can hardly believe there's not a plugin to control the posts.

    Kafkaesqui, thanks for the link. I will look at it again.

  10. pizdin_dim
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    "I went with a wiki instead."

    An even better idea, thanks HandySolo!

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