27 Replies Latest reply on May 8, 2007 12:36 AM by Cro1410

    Conditional build - RH6 crash

    Cro1410 Level 1
      Before anything, I have read the different threads on the potential reason why RH6 crashes when compiling with a conditional build expression but none of these reasons seem to apply to my problem.
      I manage over 60 different RH projects so I have not tested on all of them, but just one of them till now seems to be causing problems.

      The original project was an RH X5 project and just has just four different conditional build tags: print, online, DVD and internet. These build tags were indeed applied to some tables but none of which had merged cells.
      When I compile wihout using any build expressions, everything works fine (independantly of the layout), when I specify a build tag, RH6 systematically crashes (again independantly of the layout).

      After having made a back-up of the project, I went through each topic, removing a build tag when I saw one a compiled. If it crashed again, I just continued to the next build tag, deleted and compiled. I hopefully thought by working recursively like this I would find the area in the project where a build was causing RH6 to crash. Hopeful thinking indeed because I ended up removing all the biuld tags in the project but RH6 still crashed when compiling with a build expression but with no build tags in any topics.

      I then did another back-up and simply deleted all the build tags from the project tab. I compiled and no crash (normal because no build expression was then possible). I then recreated one of the default build tags (print), did not apply it to any topic and tried generating my project with the build expression "print"... and bam-kadaboom! It crashed again.

      I then proceeded to recreate a new RH6 project and imported all the files from my RH5 project. Here again, no positive outcome.

      I feel like I have tried everything and nothing seems to be working with this particular project (again I have other projects with over 30 build tags and they are working fine).

      Does anybody have any idea what might be causing the problem?

      Many thanks for any valuable advice.

      Chris.

      PS:
      1. Another thing that seemed wierd to me, I even deleted the rhbuildtag.apj file to see what would happen, and funny enough RH6 when I opened it still referenced the build tags. Is there another project file that defines the build tags?
      2. Nothing to do with this problem; but I saw that RH6, when importing files from a RH X5 project, does not keep the topic title as defined in the orginal file. Instead, the topic names are renamed with the actual htm file name without the .htm extension. Is this a known issue?
        • 1. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
          Chris

          Do a multi file search on
          <td_null>
          That will confirm beyond doubt there are no merged cells.

          If you use FAR from http://www.helpware.net, you could easily remove all the tables in the project. Then you should be able to compile. I realise that won't be an acceptable output but it will prove tables are part of the issue.

          Then we can start pinpointing.

          • 2. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
            Cro1410 Level 1
            Hi Peter,
            Thanks for the tip.

            I proceeded by removing all the merged cells that remained in the project: RH6 still crashed.
            I then deleted all the tables in my project: the project compiled fine.
            So yes, the problem does seem to root from tables... Big problem though because this particular project contains a great number of more or less large tables. Without them, the project does not have much purpose...

            Now that this has been pinpointed, what to do next?

            Again thanks for all your support and for have pinpointed the root fo the problem... My hair was dangerously starting to thin out ! :-)
            • 3. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
              Here's how I would track down the offending table but the number of them might be an issue.

              Using a disposable copy of the project, and with a list of all topics with <td_null> in them, in Project Manager delete half those topics. Then generate using a condition. If that has not fixed it, do the same again until you track down the offending table(s). If it did fix it, start again with another copy and just delete half of the first half you deleted. A pain I know.

              One thing I don't think we have tried. Exclude all the topics with tables using a build expression. It will either work or compound the problem. You could try that with a new test project.

              • 4. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                HKabaker Level 2
                Chris,

                One small but important point: At first we thought a table would cause trouble if it had both a conditional tag and merged vertical cells in the last column.

                It turns out (Peter updated his discussion to reflect this), it doesn't matter where a conditional tag is applied in the project. All you need is
                (1) to apply a conditional build tag when generating WebHelp, and
                (2) a table anywhere in the project with merged vertical cells in the last column.

                The <td_null> expression appears anywhere you have merged cells and is harmless unless a table has merged cells only in the last column, merged vertically. Merging, for example, adjacent cells in columns 3 and 4 to make column 3 the last in the row does not cause a problem.

                When you finally track down the table at fault, please post back if you find a different condition in a "bad" table.

                Thanks.

                Harvey

                • 5. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                  Agreed. The problem is you cannot search for tables with <td_null> just in the end column.

                  Small but important change
                  (2) a table anywhere in the project with merged vertical cells ONLY in the last column.

                  Of course we might find some other scenario but that's it at the moment.

                  • 7. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                    But there could be <td_null> elsewhere so while that will find merged cells in the end column, they are not necessarily the only merged cells in the table. If there is a merged cell somewhere else in the table, it is not going to cause the crash.

                    However that would at least get the potential number of tables down. It would probably be possible to then identify the rogue ones. I'll play later.

                    • 8. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                      JaredHess Level 1
                      Ok. I think my recent crash-fest is also stemming from this problem, but I'm not entirely sure. If I do a build with a conditional build expression, then yes my project crashes. Without the conditional build expression it compiles fine.

                      So I'm a little confused here... are we saying any merged cells will cause problems if conditional build tags are used anywhere else in the project? Or do the merged cells and the conditional build tags have to be in the same topic?
                      • 9. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                        CraigCC Level 2
                        Re: So I'm a little confused here... are we saying any merged cells will cause problems if conditional build tags are used anywhere else in the project? Or do the merged cells and the conditional build tags have to be in the same topic?

                        My understanding and experience is 'merged cells will cause problems if conditional build tags are used anywhere else in the project? ' Peter has recently updated the snippet on his site to make this very clear.

                        good luck
                        Craig
                        • 10. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                          JaredHess Level 1
                          So how does this work out? I have 36 topics that use merged cells and most of them need to continue to use them.

                          So it sounds like we have to do one of two things then:

                          1) Remove all merged cells
                          or
                          2) Remove all conditional build tags

                          Is that right?

                          *groan*

                          Can anyone say "patch"?
                          • 11. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                            READ THE SNIPPET

                            It explains what to do to your table to stop it being an issue. Your table will not look any different to the end user.

                            • 12. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                              HKabaker Level 2
                              Jared,

                              A quick review of the steps.
                              Leave the conditional tags as they are.

                              1. Search for <td_null></tr> in topics. List the topics that contain this string.

                              2. Examine each of these topics for a table that contains vertically merged cells only in the last column, and no other merged cells in that table.

                              3. Three options:
                              (a) Revise the table structure so the last column has no vertically merged cells.
                              or
                              (b) Find a valid reason to merge cells elsewhere in the table, so the table has merged cells in more than one place, and leave the vertically merged cells in the last column as they were.
                              or
                              (c) Use Peter's clever workaround of adding a blank column to the offending table.

                              4. Repeat for all tables that meet the criteria in step 2.

                              5. Use conditional tags in any manner as you need them, anywhere in the project, including (or not) in the tables you have fixed.

                              6. Generate WebHelp using (or not using) a conditional build expression.

                              If our analysis is correct, the project should not fail.
                              If it fails again, consider copying the entire project folder and, in RH, deleting all topics with tables, and generating WebHelp.

                              If it runs OK without tables, re-import a batch of the deleted topics and generate again. Continue removing and adding back topics until the rogue table reveals its presence.

                              By the way, you haven't said whether your !SSL! directory contains a WebHelp output folder with at least some topics generated before the crash. This would be very useful to know.

                              Good luck,

                              Harvey

                              • 13. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                JaredHess Level 1
                                Thanks everyone! I didn't see Peter's workaround the first time I sped read through his snippet section. Makes sense now. I removed all merges in the right most column and my copy project and it builds fine. I'll need to go back through the actual one and put in those extra columns.
                                • 14. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                  Cro1410 Level 1
                                  Thanks everybody (especially Peter). I fixed the problem and indeed it was just one table that had merged verical cells in the last column. Unmerged them and the project now compiles fine. Note that I tried Peter's workaround to majke an extra column at the end of the table and apply a conditional buid tag on it to make it disappear in my output but this column is unfortunately still there...
                                  • 15. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                                    I assume you did include the tag used on the column in the build expression.

                                    I could envisage some table settings would cause the other columns not to resize but I cannot see how the column would fail to dissappear.

                                    Try some more and post back if still stuck.

                                    • 16. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                      wizardmatt Level 1
                                      Ok am I just really um up a creek without a paddle, lucky me my tech writers used a template which had a merged cell in 5+ locations per topic for every topic in multiple documents (1k+). Should I give up now format and reinstall Robohelp5, or does adobe plan to develop a fix for this issue?
                                      If they are planning to develop a fix sometime in the "near" future then I will work on the template and start unmerging all the tables all 5k of them. If not its just to much of a risk for me to face with each publish as we always import from word.

                                      Do we know if this issue exsists with PDFs? I could potentially convert the project word docs to PDFs and reload. Could be faster cause I can bulk convert the pdfs, instead of having to alter all the html files.

                                      Also any fast tricks to add a column IE: /find <td_null> and then I could determine if it was which in my case is everytime, I could then just past some html below it and move on with life. That would be great.
                                      • 17. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                                        Sorry but I have no idea what is happening about releasing a patch.

                                        I wonder if Macro Express would be a good way of automating the addition of a column. 30 day free trial should enable you to test that. :-)

                                        You may find you can reinstall X5 without reformatting as the two versions can co-exist. As with any such installation, it is a risk but one I think I would give a go.

                                        • 18. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                          HKabaker Level 2
                                          I used the trial version of RH X6 to convert a copy an X5 project for a test. After I uninstalled X6, RH X5 couldn't open the X6 version (glad I saved a copy of the X5 original).

                                          Harvey
                                          • 19. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                            HKabaker Level 2
                                            WizardMatt,

                                            Are we clear on the fatal condition?

                                            Merged cells by themselves are not the problem.

                                            The failure is triggered when one or more tables has cells merged vertically only in the last column, and no other merged cells, and you apply a conditional build tag (no matter where the tag is applied in the project).

                                            You will find tables to examine by searching for <td_null></tr>. But if a table also has merged cells elsewhere, that's OK.

                                            Are you saying the template had merged vertical cells only in the last column of a table for 5 tables in each topic, and no other merged cells in the same tables?

                                            Harvey
                                            • 20. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                              wizardmatt Level 1
                                              Hkabaker yeap the template has vertically merged cells in the last column for each table which is 5 per topic cause they used it as a header bar to break documents down into sections. Note: I did not make the template or I would have shot it down long time ago.
                                              I am just tasked with fixing the issue.
                                              The team also uses build tags for just about every single topic in the project. They use build tags as an archiving function as well as a "team" release marker so we can publish to a few different teams.
                                              • 21. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                HKabaker Level 2
                                                To amend my comment about going back to X5:

                                                As Peter has suggested, you can go home again.

                                                I opened a project from RH X5 in the RH X6 trial version and did some work in the new version.
                                                I uninstalled RH X6 and re-installed RH5x, updated to 5.0.2.
                                                X5 complained about the project being from a newer version of RH and would not open it.

                                                I removed the .cpd file from the project folder, and X5 was happy to open the project .xpj file and rebuild the .cpd file.

                                                Good luck.

                                                Harvey
                                                • 22. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                  wizardmatt Level 1
                                                  well lucky for me I had a development environement setup to test run the conversion over to RH6, so my current project was / is ok, just not overly thrilled about the coins we put into RH6 before identifying the issue, lol. Time to talk to finance and see about refunds, unless it seems that Adobe is going to fix the issue at some point.
                                                  • 23. Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                                                    I don't have any information on a patch being issued, sorry.

                                                    • 24. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                      robertaw
                                                      Thank you Peter for your detailed explanations - and to all for the problem solving tips. Especially HKabaker for how to get a project to open in version 5 after it had been touched by version 6 (worked beautifully!)

                                                      We had upgraded 2 copies of Robohelp to version 6 in order to get one of the new features: the ability to apply conditional build tags to books. I was needless to say stunned to find out about the bug outlined in this thread!!! We have many pages in many projects that are formatted using tables, and which contain conditional build tags. Manually searching for and fixing problem cells in tables is NOT an option for us.

                                                      I'm really disappointed that there could be this big of a bug sitting out there, unresolved, with no word on when it will be fixed (I see the first post on this was a month ago). I've had one machine rolled back to version 5, and am doing the same with the other - and asking for a refund.

                                                      Thanks all.
                                                      • 25. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional
                                                        Robert

                                                        Please contact me via my website.

                                                        • 26. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                          Hello everyone,

                                                          We have released an update that should resolve this issue. You can find the details *here*.

                                                          Thank you,

                                                          Bobby Walker
                                                          Adobe Technical Support
                                                          • 27. Re: Conditional build - RH6 crash
                                                            Cro1410 Level 1
                                                            Hi Bobby,
                                                            Thanks fo this update that resolves this issue.
                                                            Small question though: in the technote it only mentions the patch fixes the problems when generating a chm file.
                                                            howevern this problem involves every output generate by RH6. Can you confirm or infirm that the problem is fixed for every output supported by RH6?
                                                            Thanks!
                                                            Chris