Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Validating TOC href attributes

The XML editors available for Eclipse to a great job of helping me form valid Table of Content (TOC) XML files. What they don't do is help me verify that the href entries in the data are correct. To do that I need to basically run/debug a test instance and review the error log to see if my help is broken. Or worse yet, manually test each link.

Now, normally I use Abode Dreamweaver to write, format, and review my manuals, and it has a wonderful verify site links feature that can quickly locate and help me correct broken links in the HTML files. What DW doesn't do is verify links in my XML files. So the TOC XML files live in this limbo area where they are valid in format but may have broken links in them that can only be tested via a compile or manual test.

I've looked around and not found any plugin tool that fills this void between creating and compiling my docs to verify that the href links in my TOC files are valid before I do a run/debug action. Ideally, the tool would simply verify that the href link I create in my TOC file is valid within the plugin project I'm working on, either automatically or via a verify/validate command. Its easy to misspell something in a long path and not know its correct until you physically try the link.

Does anyone know of a tool like this to help doc writers overcome this issue? If not, maybe this is something to look at for a future release to aid the documentation people on the project.

1 comment:

Wassim Melhem said...

I suggest you open an enhancement bug report against PDE/UI describing how you envision TOC tooling would look like.

Also it may be useful to read the generic UA tooling item to see what falls within the PDE mandate and what does not: