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HTML Help Compiler stops

Feb 13, 2009 7:32 AM

I've had this problem before and it seems totally random. When I try to compile HTML help, even Help that has easily compiled before, I suddenly get the following message. And the .chm is not compiled. The filename in the C:\ is the project I'm working on.

Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes. - what does this mean? What is a stop file?


C:\Documents and Settings\kbaine\My Documents\My RoboHelp Projects\ICS Installation Manual for Mobile MMR Installations Manual\IMS_Installation_Operation_Maintenance\!SSL!\TeraHopConsole\!c hm_tmp_folder_0\TeraHopConsole.hhp

Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML compiler.
Finished compiling HTMLHELP in 4 sec(s)

Compilation complete.

I appreciate any help anyone can give me. Thanks.
Kathleen
 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2009 7:39 AM   in reply to K Baine
    Hi Kathleen

    The stop file contains a list of words that will be excluded from searching ability. You manipulate it from RoboHelp by clicking File > Project Settings > Advanced... button > Stop list.

    If the compiler is balking at you over it, perhaps it will help to just replace the file. I might simply create a new blank project and locate its stop file. Copy it to your current project location.

    The file should be found in your project folder. An easy way to get there is to right-click any topic, click the File tab and then the Open Folder button. The stop file has a file extension of .STP and the first part will be the name of your project. So once you locate a different one and copy it, you will need to change the name. (You will need to rename or delete the existing one first though)

    Hopefully this helps... Rick
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2009 8:02 AM   in reply to K Baine
    Hello again

    You may certainly wish to try that but my gut tells me it probably won't work. That's why I suggested creating a new project to get a fresh one and copy that.

    Cheers... Rick
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 13, 2009 8:51 AM   in reply to K Baine
    Hi again

    Perhaps try something I advise in all the RoboHelp classes I conduct.

    Close your project in RoboHelp.
    Open Windows Explorer.
    Create a folder right off the root of C called "Projects".
    Copy your project folder to this folder. After you do, the path would look like this:
    C:\Projects\TeraHopConsole
    Open the project in the new location and try to compile.

    I'm thinking perhaps the super long path you currently have is possibly causing the issue.

    Cheers... Rick
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 12, 2009 6:34 AM   in reply to K Baine

    Strangely, that solution hasn't worked for me.

     

    I get the same message of "Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes." but it still successfully compiles the help. I began to wonder if one day it would decide to NOT compile the file, so I started researching preventative measures and stumbled onto this post.

     

    I tried moving my project into a Project folder at the C:/ level as suggested, but I'm still getting the same message. I'll try the idea of creating a new project next and swapping out the .STP file, and see if anything changes.


    Georgina

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 12, 2009 6:46 AM   in reply to georgina.salls

    Interesting. That didn't fix it either.

     

    Here's to hoping it will still continue to generate the file despite the error.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 11, 2009 5:43 PM   in reply to K Baine

    Hello,

    This is long but I am trying to give specifics and background. I am stuck with this problem despite search for a solution here and on the web. None of the possible solutions offered here worked for me.

     

     

    RoboHelp 8 with .1 and .2 patches / upgrades installed in sequence and running on recent DELL with XP.

     

    ****************************************

     

    Background:

     

    I inherited a HTML help project which was stored on and run from a network drive (a big no-no) for 3/4 months. I was not aware that the project was run from the network. The previous help author had problems with performance and stability when the project was upgraded from Robohelp 7 to the initial 8 without the upgrades / patches which were not available yet.

     

    I stored the active project on my local C: drive  and have zipped up the whole project at intervals and stored the backup on the network. I can revert back with the loss of about 1 days work but the concern is that there is something unstable with the whole project. I have Breadcrumb Browse Sequences implemented and this current version of our software was the first one to register the Adobe redist HHActiveX.dll during install. Everything worked fine with the .chm. from the application. I could call the help for the different objects plus the Breadcrumb displayed.

     

    The help file also has some dropdown text DHTML effects which hide the content for a tab on an object. I am working with RoboHelp 8 with the two upgrades done in sequence .1 and .2.

     

    Immediately before, I had this problem, I was assigning context ids to topics and plus created a number of new placeholder topics with an ID asigned. I was using Bughunter to see what context ID different parts of the interface was calling. I had also just imported a second map file with the IDs for the interface.

     

    ****************************************
    When I Compile MS HTML Help Its Now Fails:

     


    I get this problems when generating .chm help:
    'Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes.'

     

    and then at the end

     

    'ehlpdhtm.js
    Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML compiler.
    Finished compiling HTMLHELP in 71 sec(s)

     

    Compilation complete.'

     

    Also
    During compile I get some warning messages like this one:
    'HHC4014: Warning:
    The following map definition has an invalid context ID: #define HIDO_DIGITAL ANIMATION OBJECT                           21311000.'

     

    ****************************************
    I Tried the Following to Fix This Problem(s):

     

    1) I have Robohelp 8 with the .1 and .2 updates done.
    2) I shortened the file path to:
    Starting compilation...
    HTMLHELP preprocessor 8.0.0.203

     

    Compiling C:\RH8_Pjts\OWS340\!SSL!\MS_HTML_Help_Layout2_Dec8_2009\!chm_tmp_fold er_0\Copy_of_helpfiles.chm ...

     

    Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes.
    C:\RH8_Pjts\OWS340\!SSL!\MS_HTML_Help_Layout2_Dec8_2009\!chm_tmp_folde r_0\Copy_of_helpfiles.hhp
    Microsoft HTML Help Compiler 4.74.8702

     

    3) I Reset to Default the stop list. File> Project Settings. Press Advanced Button and then Press Reset to Default.

     

    4) I created (deleted the previous ones) a new version of two topics listed before and after the message.  'Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes.' I excluded some topics from the build to see if I could generate a CHM and find a topic with possible problems.

     

    5) I created a new layout from scratch but still the same problem.

     

    6) I renamed the .cpd by appending _OLD to the name. When I generated a .chm, it gave the same behaviour. The file size did decrease from 3.2 MB to 1.5 MB. I am aware of the Tools > Options > general tab and the checkbox for 'Clear project cache (.cpd) file before opening any file'. For now, this is unchecked which is the default.

     

    7) If I try to generate a chm from the same MS HTML project layout without shutting down, I get this message:
    'Cannot create compiled file. It may be open in another window. Please close all HTML Help windows and try again.'
    It will try to generate from a different MS HTML layout without restarting RoboHelp and you do not get this message.

     

    ****************************************
    Other Possibe Things to Try:


    If anyone has any suggestions, I would welcome them. I keep hoping for some simple recipe to heal my sick project!

     

    One thing that I have not tried is to delete half the topics and then try to generate a chm. It is like what I do with long unstable Word doc files and sometimes it is just one tiny icon graphic that is bad or I just have to delete one line and type it in again and the file is immediately healed.

     

    Clutching at straws!-- One thing that I notice is that the Project Properties have English (US) but some of the topics have None for language in the Topic Properties.

     

    I can revert back and generate a chm to be sure it is ok and then redo my recent  changes but with frequent zips of the project and also generations of a chm.

     

    Thanks

    Robert

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 12, 2009 12:17 AM   in reply to Hammer Head22

    Let's see if anything here helps.

     

    First thing to get out of the way is the warning. It is just a warning that the stop file must not exceed that size. It is not a statement that it does and as the previous posts show, it always appears. Create a brand new project with just the default topic and you will still see the warning.

     

    What you will see has fixed the problem using Rick's advice is to shorten the path length. Now while the path I can see in your post is not excessively long, it does contain more characters than necessary and when you add that to the paths in your project, length could still be the problem.

     

    Open one of the supplied sample projects and generate a CHM from that. If the new project and the sample project both compiled OK with just the warning, that confirms your installation can compile OK and then it all points to your project and I think path length is the first thing to consider.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

    Follow me @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 12, 2009 4:12 AM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    ... and don't worry about the language settings. Project settings defines the language to be applied to all topics except those that have another language applied. If the two languages are the same it will do no harm but it is a bit pointless.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

    Follow me @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 14, 2009 5:19 PM   in reply to Peter Grainge

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the prompt reply.

     

    I can compile to chm with the CCC Sample Project with the stop file message appearing in the compile output.

    D:\My Documents\My RoboHelp Projects\Adobe RoboHelp 8\Samples\CCC\!SSL!\Microsoft_HTML_Help\CCC.chm

     

    I also got a copy of another smaller MS HTML project that I maintain and it compiled to chm  fine.

     

    I tried to compile my problem larger project from the hhp using FAR and it fails to generate chm. (I can generate a chm from another project with FAR.)

    These are examples of the four types of warnings generated.

     

    HHC4003: Warning:

    The following option line does not contain an '=' character separating the option and its value: [OPTIONS].

    HHC4001: Warning:

    The following alias line does not contain an '=' character separating the topic IDs: </alias>.

    HHC4014: Warning:

    The following map definition has an invalid context ID: #define HIDO_DIGITAL ANIMATION OBJECT_OBJECT                      21311001.

    HHC3004: Warning:

    calendar_generic.htm :

    The HTML tag "?rh-placeholder type="footer" ?" is not a valid HTML tag (it does not begin with an alphanumeric character).

    calendar_generic.htm

    (I got the KeyTools Error Reference Guide)

     

    To me, these finding would seem to confirm the operation of RoboHelp 8 and point to the project files and / or the configuration specified for this problematic project. Maybe?

     

    I had already shortened the path for my problem project to:

    C:\RH8_Pjts\OWS340\!SSL!\Microsoft_HTML_Help\OWS340.chm

    (maybe, I could reduce the previous path by a further 7 to 9 characters, I will try)

     

    from D:\My Documents\My RoboHelp Projects\OWS340 HTML Help Nov2009ff\OWS340 Robo8\Help Files\!SSL!\Microsoft_HTML_Help\OWS340.chm

     

    RoboHelp 8 is installed in:

    C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 8\RoboHTML

     

     

    I ran the MJsDiag.exe utility and it reports that the dlls etc. are okay.

     

    One other idea is to do a clean Robohelp 8  install on my laptop, get the problematic project  and see if it compiles chm.

    Thanks again.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 14, 2009 6:03 PM   in reply to Hammer Head22

    I  shortened the path further to:

    C:\R8\o340\!SSL!\CHM_Layout3\OWS.chm

     

    But I get the same messages in the compile output for CHM. (removed all the lists of topics and graphics)

     

    *************************************************

    Starting compilation...
    HTMLHELP preprocessor 8.0.0.203

     

    Compiling C:\R8\o340\!SSL!\CHM_Layout3\!chm_tmp_folder_0\OWS.chm ...

     

    Preparing to create HTMLHELP...
    Clearing output folder...
    Preparing files for HTML Help...
    Copying files...
    Updating files...
    Finished preparing in 16 sec(s)

     

    Initializing compiler...
    Generating HTMLHELP (8.0.0.203)...
    Updating topics...

     

    *************************************************

    Updating What_is_a_Schedule.htm...

     


    Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes.

     


    C:\R8\o340\!SSL!\CHM_Layout3\!chm_tmp_folder_0\OWS.hhp
    Microsoft HTML Help Compiler 4.74.8702

     

     

     

    *************************************************

     

    ehlpdhtm.js

     

    Fatal Error: Unexpected error from Microsoft HTML compiler.
    Finished compiling HTMLHELP in 44 sec(s)

     

    Compilation complete.

    *************************************************

     

    I can create a FlashHelp output and it works fine.

     

    I have reading material for tonight at home and may get some more ideas.

    Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 15, 2009 12:58 AM   in reply to Hammer Head22

    I think it is pretty clear that the problem is with the project and putting a copy of RH on your laptop will pretty much confirm it, or not.

     

    I would offer to take a look at the project but I think this one would take time that I don't have much of this week. You can send the project if you want but it will be a while before I can poke it about. See my contact page.

     


    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

    Follow me @petergrainge

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2011 11:42 AM   in reply to K Baine

    I'm using RoboHelp 9 and get that error message even though my project is now at the root of drive C. It's just a warning at this time, though, and has existed ever since I created the project.

     

    It's been two years since this thread was updated. Does anyone have any new info on this?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2011 12:36 PM   in reply to MM Acton

    Which error are you getting - the "Warning: 512 character limit" one or the ".js" error?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2011 8:10 AM   in reply to Jeff_Coatsworth

    This one:

     

    Warning: The size of stop file has to be limited in 512 bytes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 23, 2011 8:30 AM   in reply to MM Acton

    I gathered that this warning was spurious & just caused by an old bug in the MS Help compiler (which is ancient technology & won't probably ever be fixed) - nothing to do with RH.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2012 9:09 AM   in reply to MM Acton

    Not really any new info - just thought I'd do my good citizen bit and share today's experiences:
    I had a compilation fail on me today, and got thrown by the Stop file error.
    Having read some of the earlier posts here, I checked the stop file in the failed project against one that worked => exactly the same (ie therfore clearly not the cause then).

     

    So I shifted the entire project to a folder on my desktop (therefore with a slightly shorter path name), => hey presto, sorted.
    If one does plough through the compilation log, you do indeed see that stop file error even in successful compilations.

     


    Regarding MM Acton's Robohelp 9/project in root folder situation, sorry Guv - Lord knows.
    FYI I am using Robohelp HTML v8.

     
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