First; the plug: You should submit something to your local STC competition next year. Besides making your company look good if you win something (one reason why they should pay your entry fee), you will also get detailed, custom feedback on your delivarables (the biggest reason why your company should pay for it, I guess).
Judges benefit, too. They get
driven to the awards ceremony in a limousine exposed to the work of tech communicators in their area, and incentive to learn how to articulate what works and what doesn’t. Ask your chapter leaders if you can get something else, too, like a nifty judge’s badge for your web site or a recommendation on LinkedIn.
If you already entered an STC competition, please let me know how you process that feedback. Last year our team got pretty systematic about the feedback we got on our entries. We categorized the feedback, then went through it as a team to determine next actions. Most of the time the next action was to add it to the list for future discussion. But every week we discuss something and come up with styles and guidelines out of those discussions. So we have a plan for using the feedback. Do you?
The Flare tip: I guess my blog comes up if you search for “Flare removing conditions.” Since I once had to remove unnecessary conditions from some of my Flare projects, I’ll tell you how I did it.
The biggest thing to remember is to remove the applications of the condition before you delete the condition from the set. You can see where you have applied a condition at the topic level if you have the indicator boxes set to display in the Content Explorer. However, as we know, things do not always happen cleanly in the code when you do it in the GUI. Additionally, there is no quick way to find all applications of a condition within a topic. (Something I recommend you minimize, anyway).
No problem; you can search for the code that indicates a condition is applied using the Find feature. Search for <MadCap:conditionalText MadCap:conditions=”YOURCONDITIONNAME”> and remove the applications, one by one. I don’t think this is something you can fix all at once using Find-and-replace, unless you are finding the condition tags are empty. You can find and replace empty condition tags: <MadCap:conditionalText MadCap:conditions=”"><MadCap:conditionalText>.
The nice thing about this is that it will keep empty condition tags from causing those indicator boxes to do funny things. For example, have you ever seen an indicator box half-colored when you applied a condition? Half of the box can have the color of your condition and half can be blank, which can seem pretty odd. It can happen if you removed or renamed the condition from your condition set but didn’t remove it where it was applied.
As a reminder, if you import topics from a source project into a master project, you should do the find-and-replace in the source project first, then reimport, then do it in the master project.