Create the fall-back path
When you create the List of Values variable for the releases, use the promote and demote arrows in the toolbar to create a "stepped" structure. This structure sets the fall-back path used for publishing; if an object for a release does not exist then an object for an earlier release is used.
In this example, the first release for the product is 1.0.
Creating the variant objects
As changes are made to the product, and a topic or object requires an update, create a new variant and assign the criteria for that release. Create the new variant from the primary object or any of the variant objects - just choose the object that provides the content that is easiest to modify. When you create a variant from any object in a group, the variant association will always point back to the group's primary object.
Adding new topics after the first release
As new content can be added at any time in a product's life cycle, when you add a new topic to the book's content after the initial release, you should assign the variant criteria to this object to mark its introduction point. For example, let's consider some implications for variants when a new accessories topic is added for release 1.2.
Open books display standard and primary objects. By filtering the book, the primary objects are replaced by the variant objects matching the filter selection.
The sample Acme guide, which is filtered for software releases using the list of values releases shown at the start of this topic has the following.
- Any ordinary objects used by the book. These objects do not have variants so there is nothing to swap when the book is filtered.
- Any primary or variant objects matching the filtering. If there isn't a variant matching the filter then the fall-back path is used to find the best object.
- Any objects with variant criteria that were added directly to the book's content pane for a release after the point selected in the filter show with strikethrough text.
In this example, the book is filtered for release 1.1. Because the accessories topic was created for release 1.2, it is shown with strikethrough text.
When published, the accessories topic isn't included in the output as it did not exist for the 1.1 release.