7 Replies Latest reply on Feb 28, 2007 9:51 AM by HKabaker

    Search Error in Compiled WebHelp

      I am using RoboHelp X5.02. When the WebHelp system is placed on the web server, and a user attempts to use the search feature, the results only say "Searching..." and a message appears in the status bar: "Error on page."
      For at least two years the search feature was working perfectly. This error starting appearing recently.
      When I test locally on my own computer, I do not receive this error. However, when it is placed on the web server (not using Enterprise), the search does not work.
      This help system is fairly extensive, comprising about 600 text files and well over 1500 image files.
      Does anybody have a solution to this error?
        • 1. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
          Roger N Level 2
          Anne -

          If you click on the error icon in the status bar, it will provide a a line number and an error description,. That's where you would start. Hopefully, you could use that to determine the problem. If the error is in an include, which is likely, it will indicate line 1, which isn't so helpful. You will have to do some Sherlocking....

          If you can post it where we could examine it, we might have a clue.
          • 2. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
            HKabaker Level 2
            It is possible that an entry in the search database is not pointing to the correct location.

            But the problem is server response time, I think.

            RH divides the search chores by using a multilevel database.

            Keywords and pointers are grouped alphabetically into several files. They reside in the whdata, whgdata and whxdata folders. A master file says, for example, that Aardvark to Donkey is in the first one, Dumbo to Fox in the second, and so on.

            The search looks first in the master file and consults only the relevant file, which makes it faster than starting with A. However (I'm guessing here), this depends on all the files being resident on the PC. When the search goes looking for a hunk of the database that isn't loaded, you get the error.

            You can test this. When you search for something beginning with "A", does it work better than for a keyword starting with "T"?

            Does a search for a "G" word sometimes work, and sometimes not?

            Same for the index, except the index starts to load before you enter the term. If it's not completely loaded, it works for A but maybe not for Xylophone.

            This brings me to my favorite pet peeve.
            Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the following subject, but have a strong hunch. Feel free to disregard or correct me.

            The number of impediments to server response time is growing. Let's assume hardware and transmission lines are not to blame. Programs that run network traffic cops and source authentication now look into some places where they previously did not, I believe. Maybe at the packet level?

            When the highway's smooth and the weather's clear for a caravan, how many tollbooths are ahead?

            As I say, I hope some networking/security expert will explain why I'm wrong.

            • 3. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
              Anne_in_Chicago Level 1
              Thanks for your help.
              I did some testing but the search always fails.
              Here is the error message:
              Line: 688
              Char: 7
              Error: 'aTopic[...]s Topic Title' is null or not an object
              Code: 0
              URL: whfbody.htm

              The interesting thing is that the search is now working on one server but not another - and the tech people say they have not touched anything.
              If anyone can help, I would appreciate it.
              • 4. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
                HKabaker Level 2

                Are the WebHelp files, including content, mirror images on the separate servers?

                • 5. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
                  Anne_in_Chicago Level 1
                  Thanks to everyone who responded with help. We can't seem to fix this problem - not sure what it is or why it suddenly appeared. We've decided to stop using Robohelp since we cannot solve the problem and are moving to Madcap Flare.
                  • 6. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
                    CraigCC Level 2
                    Hi Anne,

                    Don't give up that easy :-)

                    Did you try and contact Adobe support - this seems to be an IIS configuration issue and I'm sure they'd be more than happy to help.

                    Kind Regards

                    • 7. Re: Search Error in Compiled WebHelp
                      HKabaker Level 2

                      The referenced line is in whfhost.js and reads like this:

                      new topicInfo(oTC.aTopics[keys[nM].aTopics[(left bracket)i]-oTC.nBegin].sTopicTitle,

                      Note: I had to insert (left bracket) because Italics took over from that point.

                      Your notation of the error message differs:
                      Error: 'aTopic[...]s Topic Title' is null or not an object

                      allowing for the ellipses indicating a condensed quotation, does the final element


                      have spaces in the error message? The dot before the s?

                      Do both servers show identical code?

                      Maybe you simply copied the message imprecisely. Or is the error generated by bad syntax?

                      Grasping at straws here. . . .