@johnmcbride asked "how would you only build guidance using the GE?"
Every toolkit comes complete with its only guidance 'volume'. That is, by default, an offline set of guidance topics for the toolkit which are displayed in Visual Studio.
The guidance can then be displayed while using the toolkit, or, as is the case with a hands on labs style of toolkit, can guide the user into using the toolkit while they develop their solution in Visual Studio. All toolkits come with guidance, but building
the guidance is not a pre-requisite for building toolkit.
The more mature toolkits provide guidance to help users of the toolkit understand the tricks and habits of toolkits.
As it happens NuPattern is a toolkit itself and has an extensive volume of guidance to help toolkit builders build their own toolkits. You can view that guidance in the Guidance Explorer window, by clicking on the help link (toolbar of Solution Builder)
NuPattern makes it really easy to create guidance and display it along side your toolkit. It does all the heavy lifting of creating a set of linked topics from a single Word document.
It s not the only way to create guidance but the one we started with in toolkits. You can create your own manually using online wikis as well - but there is limited tooling for that right now.
The following instructions can be found in Visual Studio while developing your toolkit, in your toolkit solution. Simply open Solution Builder window and right-click on the top level toolkit node (representing your toolkit), and click 'Show Guidance'. The Guidance
Explorer window pops up with all the content to help you build your toolkit. Look at the topics for building guidance. Specifically the ones under: Pattern Toolkit Guidance\How To: Guides\Authoring\Guidance
To build the default volume of guidance, all you have to do is edit the word document (YourToolkitProject\Assets\Guidance\ToolkitGuidance.doc) with Microsoft Word, and put your topics in there. (follow the instructions in the document, and use the styles you
see for your topics). Then:
- close the word document
- in Solution Builder (for your toolkit project) right click on the 'Guidance' node and select 'Build Guidance'
NuPattern will automate the creation of the guidance topics and dump them in your project (at
YourToolkitProject\GeneratedCode\Guidance\Content). It will also generate a couple classes that become your TOC in Visual Studio.
Now to configure the guidance to show in your toolkit:
- in 'Solution Builder', select the 'Toolkit Info' node of your toolkit node, and copy the value of the 'Identifier' property.
- Now open your 'PatternModel.patterndefinition' file, on the root node, expand the 'Assciated Guidance' property, and paste into the 'Guidance Id' property. You can also set the 'Share Instance' to "true".
- Now compile your toolkit
When someone is using your toolkit, they can now right-click on the root element (in their solution builder) and click the 'Show Guidance' menu to see the guidance you provided in your toolkit.