18 Replies Latest reply on Apr 10, 2007 2:12 AM by Peter Grainge

    Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6

    DiMost Level 1
      RoboHTML is no longer allowing me to use a variable link (../Directory/File.htm) on my Web server. It is concatenating the directory on C with the directory on R (the Web Server).

      I have not had this problem with X5 at all, ever. I have a complete KB built with RoboHelp X5 that works flawlessly, and now, with RoboHTML 6, I can't generate one section of the merged WebHelp to the Web Server.

      Here is what the message looks like. I've changed some file names slightly, but not the error:

      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Starting compilation...
      WebHelp preprocessor 6.00.099

      Compiling R:\mergedGenerated\mergedProjects\Closing\closing.htm ...

      Preparing to create WebHelp...
      Clearing output folder...
      Preparing files for WebHelp...
      Copying files...
      Warning: "C:\RoboProjects\mergedProjects\subProjects\Docs\C:\RoboProjects\mergedProjects\subProjec ts\Type\Fee.htm" cannot be copied to" R:\mergedGenerated\mergedProjects\Docs\C:\RoboProjects\mergedProjects\subProjects\Type\Fe e.htm". reason: source does not exist.

      Internal error encountered, Failed to generate WebHelp.
      ---------------------------------------------------
      It just stops right there. The file is there (fee.htm) and the link is there in the directory as described. It's not broken, or missing.

      If anyone else has seen this, please let me know if you have a solution, and reply off list as well as on, if you can. This I am going back to X5 to do my updates (thank goodnes for backups).

      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          Diana

          It's very late here so I am just about to close down.

          I just checked a webhelp project and the line starting "Compiling..." is the location of the source files. R suggests your project is on a network server. Surely not?

          Then the warning. Use something like FAR or BK ReplaceEm to search in your project for both paths.

          Are you using RH for Word or RH HTML? Can you be more specific about the Word in-line style bit? If you have imported from Word into RH HTML and stripped out the Word stuff, I can't see how it got back in.

          Are you sure you are not pointing at an older copy of the project sitting on a server or something like that?

          • 2. Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
            DiMost Level 1
            Hi:
            Sorry to be unclear. My project is WebHelp, resident on my hard drive and is generated to a Web server on the LAN (the "R" drive), and is accessed via HTTP on our intranet. I am not working across the network on the project at all.

            My output is merged WebHelp. This is the first time RoboHelp 6 was used on any part of my project.

            The problem is with one of the subprojects that is essentially pages of links to the main document file. There are only three "real" html files in this subproject directory, two of which are "links" pages. Note that there are many other links in this subproject, and this is the only one that does not work.

            I will try FAR to look at this link. With tech support's help last night, I tried removing and reinserting the link in RH6 by browsing to the "linked-to" file and reinserting the link, but that did not work. I just don't understand why one broken link would prevent generating the whole file?

            The Word portion of the question, is post edunder a separate heading in RoboHelp for WinHelp.

            Thanks for your help,. as always!!
            Diana
            • 3. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              You are saying your project is on the hard disk and is generated to the server. RH is saying it is trying to generate what is on the R drive which is the server. That is what I would be focussing on.

              I am familiar with information mapping templates and they are difficult to import into any HTML file. My experience of importing with RH6 is that it is a cleaner process than with RH X5. However my route was to clean up the Word document in Word and then import straight into RH HTML. See the topic on my site but note that only covers X5 at the moment. The main difference with RH6 is the lists are created properly, not as list lookalikes.

              • 4. Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                DiMost Level 1
                Update:

                I looked in the URLs folder (under the Project tab), and the URL for the "broken" file is listed!

                URLs --> file://R:/mergedGenerated/mergedProjects/Docs/fee_spreadsheet.htm

                A clue :-)

                The same URL is listed in the Broken Links folder (as it always was, since we build the file linking at runtime when all the merged files are on the server). However, some of the URLs in Broken Links show one entry, others show two.

                Still checking out every possibility.


                • 5. Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                  DiMost Level 1
                  FURTHER UPDATE - Possible Solution??

                  It appears that RH6 will not recognize the existing relative path URLs that were created in RH X5/. To clear the error, I navigated from the Hyperlink window and selected the actual file (file A) on C:

                  C:\RoboProjects\mergedGenerated\subProjects\Docs\Close(subfiledirectory)\fee.htm

                  So the hyperlink looks like this in the Hyperlinks window (before closing it): file://C:/RoboProjects/mergedProjects/subProjects/Doc/Close/fee.htm

                  I did this with three other links (files B, C, D). Saved and generated to my test location. All four files have NO error. However, the next file in line (E) with the original relative path does error out, just like before. After I generated the manual links with no errors, I looked at one of the link's Hyperlink window, and, surprise! It looks just like it did before I changed it:

                  ../Docs/fee.htm

                  ...except now it works.

                  It looks as though RH6 does not accept the existing relative path links for the merge files. One surprise: when I manually link up the files (one subproject to another), the broken link icons are gone, as well as the broken links. This was not true in my RH X5 project, even though everything worked just fine.

                  Maybe I hadn't done the linking correctly to begin with? Or Maybe RH6 really doesn't recognize the links until I "reset" them. I just know that resetting the hyperlinks and genn'ing works now.

                  Thanks in advance for ANY suggestions about making the relinking less painful, or how to automate it?
                  • 6. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                    Hi Diana

                    Take a look at the topic on my site about merged webhelp and see if you are creating links the way I do.

                    When you create a link it will look like
                    file://C:/RoboProjects/mergedProjects/subProjects/Doc/Close/fee.htm
                    but if you double click the link again you will find that it has in fact been written as a relative link. If you look in the code instead of double clicking the link, you would also see the same.

                    How big is this lot zipped up?


                    • 7. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                      DiMost Level 1
                      Hi:
                      I did go back and look at your Merged WebHelp section at grainge.org. You did say to navigate to and click the link, which I did this time. Both RH5 and RH6 convert that lnk to a relative link, also, just like you said.

                      What I don't get is why RH6 doesn't recognize the links from the RH5X project? Everything worked fine in X5.

                      My next step is to see if I can do any kind of search and replace to update the links. Manually relinking thousands of links was not how I wanted to spend my weekend :-) I will update this topic with the results, and am calling tech support again to see what they have found out.

                      And, the project unzipped is under 1 GB, and zipped might fit on a CD -- but is way too large for e-mail. Thanks for asking though!

                      Cordially,
                      -D
                      • 8. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                        Take a copy, delete all outputs you have created and then measure that zipped. There are ways other than email.

                        I don't know why it has broken. The projects I have tried have been fine.

                        • 9. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                          DiMost Level 1

                          I only had two folders with any output and removed that, but the total size is still right around 850MB. The merged WebHelp is full of PDFs that are linked to. Hence the huge size.

                          I am still testing...now I have genn'ed the whole project to a test directory on the Web server and am looking at everything. More tomorrow...

                          Thanks Peter for your help. I couldn't have done any of this without your expertise and instructions!

                          Best,
                          -D
                          • 10. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                            Didn't think I had been much help which is why I would like to see the problem.

                            See how you get on. If push comes to shove, maybe you could trash some of those PDFs to reduce the size.

                            • 11. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                              DiMost Level 1
                              Might try that. That would definitely make it smaller.

                              The table of contents is no longer working in the subproject I have been using to test with.

                              The subprojects are also freestanding (and are linked to a Dept. page), as well as merged with the whole project, so the TOC must work in every part of the file.

                              I'm stumped. I won't be upgrading to RH6 until I can get this all figured out. Still no call back from tech support either.

                              Later,
                              --D
                              • 12. Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                DiMost Level 1
                                UPDATE

                                I have received word from Adobe Level 2 Tech Support (after providing them with part of my project):

                                CORRECTION: RoboHelp 6 is not set up to work with relative links to external files in the >TABLE OF CONTENTS< in merged WebHelp. A hard-coded link with a drive name (i.e., R:/something) has to be used. (A relative link is usually expressed with a "dot" "slash," or "dot dot" "slash" to express a path, like this ../Directory/subDirectory/Filename.htm that will work on any server or PC with the same directory structure.)

                                In RH6, external links (for Merged WebHelp and other links) must be "hard coded" with a physical path *including the mapped drive letter*, for example:

                                file:///G:/mergedGenerated/Department/filehname.htm

                                Not only that, but if there is an error in any of the projects (which one of my subProjects has) Robohelp 6's error checking stops the compile and "errors out" (quits).

                                This means that a file that will compile and generate in RoboHelp 5 may not do so in RH 6 if there are any errors.

                                There seems to be no way to hard-link all of my URLs in the table of contents in file that has the error, except to physically type the link.

                                We are investigating other tools that will allow relative linking with merged files.

                                If anyone else is having problems compiling a file in RH6 that worked ok in RH5, external, relative links could be the problem.

                                Just so you know.

                                • 13. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                  MergeThis Level 4
                                  Wow, Peter, they screwed up merged help in RH 6 almost as badly as Flare did!

                                  Don't these outfits listen to anybody?

                                  To paraphrase Charlton Heston: They'll have to pry RH X5.0.2 from my cold, dead hands!


                                  Leon
                                  • 14. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                    Sorry but this is not right. I have just tested using RH6 and my demo merged webhelp project is still working OK.

                                    Diana, please download the demo project that is on my site under Merged Webhelp and test that. The objective is to prove that the relative links there work OK. Once we have done that, we can focus on your project. How big is it zipped if you trash most of those PDFs?

                                    • 15. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                      MergeThis Level 4
                                      Sorry I overreacted, Peter. I suspect that Adobe Tech Support might be unaware of even RH5's way of maintaining relative links.

                                      Diana, we've found that to achieve relative links, you MUST have copies of the linked-to projects/files actually on your machine when you create the link (and in the correct folder structure). That is, pointing to a G: drive, or to a directory that does not reflect the output directory structure, just messes up RH's thinking.


                                      Good luck,
                                      Leon
                                      • 16. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                        DiMost Level 1
                                        Hi:

                                        Peter: Part of the project, which is two subprojects (one of them with serious problems) and the container for both copies, is 63 MB zipped. This includes a matched set each of RH5 project files (not converted) , and a set of RH6 project files (converted from X5).


                                        That is exactly what I uploaded to the Adobe level 2 tech support guy. Want me to send them to you?

                                        Just to recap, the Technical Support person actually did tell me to link to the *destination drive* with a hard coded link, i.e., file://R:/RoboProjects/mergedGenerated/Docs/Docs.htm. (My response was, huh??)

                                        Tech support did validate that the directory structure was perfect for the merged WebHelp. It was set up as it should be. They also insisted that relative links are not supported in merged WebHelp.

                                        So my problems are twofold: (1) relative links are no longer supported in RH6 which I need for my TOC links, and (2) more robust error checking that causes the compile to fail if there are any errors in the project file. Which I have. One of my projects would not compile, and this is the one that I attempted to relink all of the topics in, which did not work. I cannot seem to link an exernal topic from one subproject to another to a book and page in the TOC in RH6. I can do this quite easily in RH5x. The only place in RH6 that the hyperlinks worked from one subproject to another was in an HTML page that had list of topics.

                                        Note that some of my project files do seem to have working relative links, but I have not done extensive testing yet. The concern here is will this *keep* working? Will I end up having to relink hundreds+ hyperlinks. I just don't have the time for that.

                                        I appreciate the responses to try to help me with this issue, believe me. All suggestions are most welcome.



                                        • 17. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                          email me offline via my site and I will send you FTP instructions.

                                          • 18. Re: Merged WebHelp no longer recognizes variable links (../directory/file) in RoboHTML 6
                                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                            For the benefit of anyone following this thread, I have taken this up with Adobe and they have confirmed that nothing has changed in RH6 and relative links should continue to work. Absolute links may be suggested to deal with a specific issue.

                                            Diana has been on holiday but is aware that I am happy to look at her project to see if we can find the problem.