Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Fun with userulehooks...


Fun with userulehooks...

Hello all,

I am running Epic 5.1 on Win2K, and I have a question for anyone out there
with extensive userulehook experience.

I currently have a doctype/FOSI that publishes a "full manual" XML document
instance. This instance is composed of several dozen elements called <mru>,
which is the document fragment that the authors develop and revise. Upon
completion of authoring, I import all the mru documents as file entities,
and run doc_flatten to turn this into one fully expanded document instance.

One of my processes involves adding a hook for "userulehook" to take the
external file written out by the FOSI, rename it to something useful, and
place it into the file system at the correct location. The FOSI is set up
so that the usetext userule that triggers the external file is at the e-i-c
for <mru>, therefore writing an external file for every <mru> in the book
(doing it all from one doc removes the overhead of opening and closing each
<mru> instance just to run a formatting pass).

My problem is that I cannot seem to get any information from the <mru> as it
is formatting for external file generation. Debugging by way of an eval
window, I get the string of "/mru" for oid_name(userule_oid), and all my
oid_attr() funcs return a -1, but I can get an oid value just fine.

In the FOSI the usetext that produces the external file is set to
placemnt="after", so I imagine that once the hook is kicked off by the
userule, the formatter is already at the end of the element. Isn't there a
way to capture the attribute values of the start tag from that location? I
tried oid_logical_mate(), but it returned a string (messy), and so far
nothing else seems to work. I know that all the other pieces of the
solution work, I tested by using the oid value as the filename (with a
gsub(",","_",$mru)), and I can produce a unique set of files per <mru> in
the filesystem. I just really needed the attribute values for name and
filesystem placement. I can parse the string out if I have to, but I can't
help but think there's something i'm missing that would allow me a simple

Thanks in advance...

Jason A. Buss
Programmer/Analyst-Product Information Management Processes
"Reports that say something hasn't happened are always interesting to me,
because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we
know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there
are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the
ones we don't know we don't know."
-Donald Rumsfeld

Tags (2)

Re: Fun with userulehooks...

Can you add the arribute values you want to the usetext since this is
available as the document parameter passed to the userulehook?

John Dreystadt
Director of Product Management

Re: Fun with userulehooks...

Let me make sure I understand this correctly....

If I pass the attvals I need into the root element of my generated file, I
should be able to use the "docid" parameter as the document id for the
external file, such as:


Did I get this right? I figured "docid" was the id of the doc being


Re: Fun with userulehooks...

Without actually testing your code, it looks right to me. Use rule hooks
are very powerful, they can actually change the content being inserted
into the document because the docid is a temporary document that can be
edited. But be warned that changing the content can cause an additonal
formatting pass because the formatter has to consider the possibility
that your change causes page breaks.

The documentation is not very good here, I have already filed a CR
internally. The docid parameter is described as "the preliminary index"
which is rather misleading. It is a temporary document containing the
content that will be inserted into your document if the userulehook
returns 1. You can look at the content or even change it.

John Dreystadt
Director of Product Management