Authoring - Browsing older versions

The idea of versioning is to revert to content at a point in the past. And here the Workbench's view mode function comes in. It allows you to visualize older versions of any content object in the tree. Before you continue it might be a good idea to read about  the view mode. It will help you to understand the rest of this chapter.

At this point in our example, two versions 'V1' and 'V2' of the ‘Fishes’ folder in the 'Encyclopedia: Encarta' are available. 'V2' is the latest version and hence by default shown in the Workbench nodes. The next examples demonstrate how to access older versions. In this example that would be the 'V1'  version.

Switching a content object to an older version

Pop up the menu of the 'Fishes' folder in the tree node and select 'View mode>V1'. The Workbench node will switch to the 'V1' content. In the next image you see that the tree nodes of the 'Fishes' folder reveal the name and the date of the version and visualize the alternate view mode by means of a background color.

Workbench showing an older version of a folder

If you walk through the folder the underlying objects are shown in the same 'V1' view mode. Also image objects (and file objects) in the topics' body revert to the chosen view mode.

Available functions

If a versioned object is shown it cannot be changed. But you can browse, print, or export content from the Workbench as users would do when they access the content over the Internet in their web browser.

Also note the dark blue rectangle in front of the tree nodes. This indicates that the objects are inactive, meaning that users do not see this version by default. But they too have the ability to browse older version of the content. Next, you see an enlarged image of a Workbench tree with inactive objects.

The inactive version indicator

Switching back to the latest view mode

You switch back to the latest view mode by selecting 'View mode>Latest' in the popup menu. If you refresh objects the chosen view mode remains. If it is a folder, the dependants are still shown in the same view mode as the parent. If, for example, you would refresh the 'Encyclopedia: Encarta' (which is shown in the latest view mode) the 'Fishes' folder would also revert back to its latest view mode.

You can also request an overview of all the available versions by popping up the ‘Fishes’ folder’s menu and selecting ‘View mode >Browse’. 

Browsing the available versions

On the ‘Browse versions’ window that opens you see the list of the versions. You can select an item in the list and click ‘Open’ or double click an item to switch the view mode of the Workbench node to the requested version.

Each item in the 'Browse versions' window can have a comment string and/or versioning notes to easily recognize the version. If versioning notes are available and you move the mouse over the versioning notes column, you can click on it to open and read the notes associated with that version.

Reading the versioning notes.

Using the calendar

If you click on the 'Use calendar' choice of the 'Browse versions' window you can choose a specific date in the past to select a version. To explain how the calendar function works we have shown both the list and the calendar next to each other.

Choosing an invalid date on the calendar

If you choose a date and click on 'Open' then the calendar function will try to find a version that was created on that date or just before that date. A message at the bottom of the window will tell if the chosen date is valid or not.

Choosing a date that reverts to the V1 version

Here in this example the 'V1' version was created on August 11 at  1:56 PM (13:56). So, if you select  'day 11' and then set the time at the top right corner of the calendar to for example 14:00 (2:00 PM) you revert to the V1 version. Even if you would set the time to 14:49 (2:49 PM) because at that time the 'V2' did not yet exist. Should you set the time to 14:50 (2:50 PM) or later you will revert to the V2 version.


 About HelpServer
 Starting up and logging on
 The basic working principles
 Using the content in help and documentation systems
 Formatting the content
 Searching and replacing text
 Reusing content with shares
 Navigating with hyperlinks
 Navigating with pointerpaths
 Using bookmarks and jumps
 Duplicating content with clones
 Using tables
 Including media files
 Navigating to web pages
 Using embedded chunks
 Including html code
 Navigating with menus
 Using snippets
 Spelling checking
 Using the view mode
 Creating an index
 Creating a FAQ
 Creating a glossary
 Team authoring
 Working with projects
 Setting up structured authoring
 Generating file based output
 Creating printed output
 Importing files and folders
 Loading files in the project gallery
 Converting legacy content
 Including legacy content in real time
 Transferring objects between installations
 Customizing the look and feel
 User accounts
 Working with templates
 Working with metadata
 Creating versions
 Browsing older versions
 Restoring older versions
 Removing older versions
 Cleanup versions in the mass
 Hints and tips
 Workflow management
 Using event exits
 Appendix A: The URL parameters
 Appendix B: The object indicators
 Appendix C: Play Javascript