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  1. #1
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    How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    A little informal survey for all you Word VBA developers: How many global templates in Word's startup directory would you consider to be too many?

    To make it easier for multiple developers to work on Word VBA code, I am thinking about having more templates, each with fewer code modules and forms, rather than having fewer templates, each with more code modules and forms, in Word's startup directory. The only problem with this strategy is that it may potentially create too many templates in the startup directory, like 15 to 20. Would you consider this to be too many?

    Thanks,

    --Stephan

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    You say this is for "Word developers".
    If the templates are under development, iit is better to not have the templates in the STartUp directory as the code in such templates has to be modified either outside of the STartUp directory or each template has to be directly opened in the STartup directory.

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    Say, Howard! I've just noticed you've turned 'Bronze'. <img src=/S/fanfare.gif border=0 alt=fanfare width=31 height=23>

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    Ayup, it was something I ate,
    I'm seeking medical advice to correct things.

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    Hi Stephan,

    Glad to hear you're back and coding!

    First off, I'll assume apropos of Howard's response, that what you mean is that the global templates are deployed to the startup directory in the live environment (and not that your team is actually working on them while they are in the live environment! <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>).

    Anyway, I've never seen documentation of a numerical limit, but nonetheless this sounds like a bad way to organize global templates - how do you all remember which functions etc. are kept in which template?
    How many functional/logical categories of procedures do you have? - maybe that would point to having one template for say data access functions, one template to control toolbars/Word environment etc.

    At our firm we've moved in the opposite direction; initially we had three global templates but just have one now.
    We keep strict version control with VSS so only one developer can get at it at a time.

    However if you needed to have multiple developers working at the same time, you could still do it with one global template, by having one central keeper of the template, and farming out individual modules to individual developers (though that could get awkward too).

    Probably there's no 'one size fits all' answer but multiplying them out too much just sounds like looking for trouble.

    Gary

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    The issue is not having a single template, rather it should be that of having all stuff related to a single project in a single template.

    Putting stuff from more than one project in the same template can actually make development harder.

    Of course, you could also have one, or more, separate templates that have stuff common to more than one project.

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    Gary,

    Thank you and Howard for your input. Yes, I am currently working as a VBA/VB/SQL Programmer/Consultant at Debevoise & Plimpton, although the only programming projects I've worked on here up to now have been Word VBA projects. I've been meaning to get in touch with you again -- I hope you've been doing well. I will sent you a separate email (off-line from Woody's Lounge) or give you a phone call so we can catch up more.

    In any event, regarding this matter with the number of global templates in Word's Startup directory, I had originally posted this as a hypothetical question. But the reality of the situation is that here at Debevoise, there are already 14 global Word templates in Word's Startup directory (some of these are SoftWise templates which we can't edit), and my programming manager has asked me to separate out the code modules and forms in some of these templates into different (smaller) templates, resulting in an ever greater number of templates in Word's Startup directory. Again, his rationale for this is that this would make it easier for multiple programmers to work on the Word VBA code. My concern, like yours, is that it was getting to be too many files (?) in Startup, and that over time, you wouldn't know what procedures/functions were in which template. BTW, they also use VSS here, but VSS doesn't solve the problem of having multiple programmers work on code unless the code is in different templates, so in that regard, my manager's approach does make sense. Otherwise, if all the code was in one huge file, you would need to have an approach like you suggested -- have a "central keeper" farm out different modules to different programmers -- which was also the approach I used back with my previous firm. Nonetheless, I'll probably recommend that to my manager that they shouldn't increase the number of Word templates in Startup any further beyond this.

    Thanks again,

    --Stephan

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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    It sounds like I'm working in a similar environment. I'm also at a firm with multiple items in the startup folder. A standard user will have 10 templates with as many as six additional ones depending on the software they are using in conjunction with Word. Maxfax, Softwise, iManage, Crosswords, OmniScan, Acrobat, USPTO, and ChemDraw all placing items in the startup - and that's just the ones we know about. What I have noticed is that besides taking longer for Word to open, the more items in the Startup, the more problems people seem to develop. It just becomes a matter of too many hands in the pot.

    The way I have handled this is to delete non-essential .dot files from the startup. For example, people use Adobe's pdf maker to create pdf files, and pdf maker runs via a .dot file in the startup - so that stays. However, we also use OmniScan for file scanning. The .dot file that OmniScan places in the startup runs a piece of the software that we do not use - so that one was removed from the installation.

    In addition, I have only one global firm template called swfirm.dot in which I put any code that I want to auto load with Word. This includes our custom toolbar and some macros. However many of the macros in swfirm call on other templates which are stored in the forms directory that SoftWise creates. These templates store all code that is not essential when opening Word. Since SoftWise Synch will push down all files that are in its network locations and dot files that begin with "sw", I can then easily push down updates to our custom files by using this method. This might be a help to you. To solve your problems, you could have one global template in the startup that will call all of the brokenup templates that your superior would like for you to create. Placing all these smaller templates in another location, prevents Word from having to open them everytime it opens.

    I have no idea if this is any use to you, but thought that since we are in similar environments, I would share my methods.

  9. #9
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    Re: How many global templates is too many? (2000/SR-1)

    One possibililty is to "advertise" features in a pre-loaded global template and then load the actual code templates on demand. So in Startup you could have a few menus/toolbars, the meat behind which resides in a separate folder. When the user invokes that feature, the code in the pre-loaded template would .Install the other add-in and run the relevant functions that it contains. Document templates could use a similar system.

    Note that this is just a hypothesis aimed at reducing the pre-loads, and I haven't tested to see how realistic it is in practice.

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