14 Replies Latest reply on May 16, 2007 11:01 AM by HKabaker

    Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp

    Primož_Kuštrin
      I was notified that the question I posted as a reply to the " WebHelp Pop-ups and End User Pop-up Blocker" thread should be moved to another thread. My apologies, here is a new thread.

      Let me first qoute my question:
      "Hello. I created a Web Help project. Some of its topics are linked to the Help button in a web-based GUI (contex-sensitive help). The Web Help is accessed from a server. When accessing the linked topics from the web-based GUI, the topics display normally in the IE, while in Firefox 2.0, the the famous "allow blocked..." message is displayed in that "intermediate" "dummy" window at the bottom of the page.

      My question is: Is this a Firefox feature (enhanced security if compared to IE), or am I missing something? In other words, is there any other way to bypass the described Firefox related problem, apart from users answering the famous "allow blocked..." message the first time they start the context-sensitive help or apart from lowering the security settings in Firefox? "

      Let me now clarify the problem:

      The WebHelp (not WebHelpPro) resides on a server and so does the Web-based GUI for our application, for which the WebHelp is designed.

      Staring the GUI in IE and then clicking the GUI help button, which starts the WebHelp in IE causes no problem, no blocking message is displayed, no dummy window is displayed, even though the URL address at which the GUI is started is not added to the list accessible from: IE > Tools > Internet Options > Content > Content Advisor >Enable > Approved Sites.

      Starting the GUI in Firefox, however, and then clicking the GUI help button that starts the WebHelp in Firefox first displays a small dummy window with the blocking message. Since I'm using a localized version of Firefox, I can only provide the my translation of the message: "Firefox blocked this page from opening the unwanted ..." The "dummy" window is to small to see the rest of the message. There is also a button provided in the window allowing you to open the Firefox equivalent of the above mentioned IE "Approved sites" list and allowing you to perform two related actions.

      If the web-based GUI URL is entered in the Firefox equivalent of the IE "Approved sites" list, the problem obviously does not persist anymore. That is, the dummy window is still shown for a brief moment, it seems that it is there to only to start the real WebHelp window. The dummy window itself is not a problem, it seems that this is the way RobohHelp implements context-sensitive WebHelp for Firefox. The problem is the fact that the GUI URL has to be entered in the exceptions list only in Firefox.
        • 1. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          It should not be necessary to enter the help address in the Approved list. Using the startpage.htm#target_topic.htm method of calling a page I can open a CSH page without any extra window in either browser.

          How exactly are you calling the topics?

          • 2. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
            Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
            The topic is called as documented in the RH Help System, namely:

            <a href="javascript:RH_ShowHelp(0, '/ABS/help_system/Admin_Guide.htm', HH_HELP_CONTEXT, 4)">

            From the RH Help System (topic "Calling functions from Web pages"):

            function RH_ShowHelp(hParent, a_pszHelpFile, uCommand, dwData)


            • 3. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              I cannot help you with that method of calling the help so perhaps someone else can step in?

              Firefox 2 is new and it may be that it will not play nicely with this method. Time will tell on that.

              Are you able to test the output on an earlier version of Firefox? If you are and you still get the problem, then it is something in the call as others have not had the problem you describe. If you no longer get the problem, then it would point to Firefox 2 being incompatible or needing a setting changed.

              • 4. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
                The same bahaviour can be observed on Firefox 1.0 and 1.5.0.7.

                I've noticed that the RH_ShowHelp function defined in the RoboHelp_CSH.js file executes different code for different browser. Either we are missing something crucial or there is a bug/feature in the RH js for Firefox.

                Is the method you used and proposed (startpage.htm#target_topic.htm ) documented in RH?

                • 5. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                  Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
                  The same bahaviour can be observed on Firefox 1.0 and 1.5.0.7.

                  I've noticed that the RH_ShowHelp function defined in the RoboHelp_CSH.js file executes different code for different browsers. Either we are missing something crucial or there is a bug/feature in the RH js for Firefox.

                  Is the method you used and proposed (startpage.htm#target_topic.htm ) documented in RH?

                  • 6. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                    Sometimes you have to be patient after clicking teh Reply button on these forums. :-)

                    I think it is something about your implementation as if it was a Firefox compatibility issue with previous versions, there would have been many reports of this problem by now.

                    I am not sure if the method is documented in the help but it is a recognised method. You will find more about it on my site.

                    • 7. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                      HKabaker Level 2
                      Unfortunately, Firefox came around some time after RH's last update.

                      Since it makes no attempt to identify Firefox, you could say WebHelp doesn't have any bugs in this regard.

                      I think Firefox should be routed through the same code as Netscape (even though the Netscape code is a bit outdated). Does your .CSH call work OK in Netscape?

                      I'm waiting for results on Adobe's new beta for RH, which just now is available to beta testers, to see how its output behaves in other browsers. And IE, for that matter.

                      Harvey
                      • 8. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                        Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
                        Hello, HKabaker. In Netscape 8.1.2, the browser blocks the call. It allows it (opens the CSH window) only after the server site has been added to the list and the "Allow unrequested pop-up window" option is enabled for the added site in the Netscape Site List dialogue. The behaviour therefore is the same as in Firefox. There is no intermediate dummy window however, but this is probably due to the fact that Netscape is using tabs instead of windows.
                        • 9. Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                          Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
                          Wait, there IS the dummy TAB shown for a brief period of time, instead of the dummy window, having the same function as in case of Firefox.

                          You can test all I described in this thread by creating a simple html file containing only the RH CSH call to a simple RH WebHelp project with one topic only, placing all of it to a web server, and finally accessing the html file with the call using the http protocol from some other machine on the network.
                          • 10. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                            HKabaker Level 2
                            Primož,

                            If I understand you correctly, it works OK in Netscape when opening tabs instead of new windows. (I'm still on Netscape 7.)

                            As you may already know, Firefox has the same option.

                            Harvey
                            • 11. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                              Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
                              HKabaker,

                              Not really. It works OK (it does not block the CSH file) only after the web server URL has been added to the Netscape Site List dialogue and the "Allow unrequested pop-up window" option has been enabled for the added URL. If the URL is not added and the option is not set, the CSH file is blocked in the netscape in the dummy tag, which is the same bahaviour as in case of Firefox, with the only exception that the latter uses windows instead of tags when the RH CSH call is issued (despite the fact that the option for using tags is set in Firefox settings - another bug/feature?).
                              • 12. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                                eeaster Level 1
                                I am new to RoboHelp (using RoboHelp 6) and have created a WebHelp project that is called from a web application. I am having the exact same problem. When I call context sensitive help topics from IE 6 the help opens just fine. When I call it from FireFox 2 a dummy window opens that is blocked by the pop up blocker. If I "Allow pop ups" for the site the next time I launch the help, the dummy window shows but then closes and the help opens in the new window.

                                I have read through the help and we are calling the help using:

                                <A HREF='javascript:RH_ShowHelp(0, "context-WebHelp/startpage.htm>Mainwindow", HH_HELP_CONTEXT, 10)'>

                                as described in the RH help and on the pages linked to from www.grainge.org.

                                Looking at the javascript file: RoboHelp_CSH.js the ShowWebHelp function contains a condition based on the browser. The condition creates the dummy window if you are using anything but IE4 or IE5. Does anyone know why the following is part of the API:

                                else if (gbNav4)
                                {
                                var sParam = "left="+screen.width+",top="+screen.height+",width=100,height=100";
                                window.open(a_pszHelpFile, "__webCshStub", sParam);
                                }

                                Can i just go in and modify the script not to do this? I don't want to start mucking with the script if there is a reason why the dummy window must be created.

                                Further, i was able to see an example of this by going to http://www.techscribe.co.uk/ta/web-to-help.htm. When I clicked on the Basic Topic 1 link from that page (under context sensitive help). When using Firefox, the dummy window opens and because I had never been to that site, the site was blocked by the pop up blocker.
                                • 13. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                                  Primož_Kuštrin Level 1
                                  eeaster,

                                  It might be of some interest to you to know that because of the described ‘feature’ I abandoned calling web help using javascript and that I moved to calling it using the # method.

                                  I would be however interested to learn about any other solution you might come across.
                                  • 14. Re: Firefox blocks context-sensitive webhelp
                                    HKabaker Level 2
                                    Primoz, (sorry, I haven't learned to use character marks),

                                    A little background:

                                    RH puts browser-sniffing code in several places and frequently routes you through the appropriate routines for browser-specific behavior.

                                    It has true/false flags for
                                    IE4
                                    IE5
                                    IE55

                                    Nav4
                                    Nav6
                                    Nav61
                                    Nav7

                                    Opera6
                                    Opera7

                                    Mozilla

                                    IE carries all flags up to the current version. If you're running IE5.5, you're carrying true flags for IE4, IE5 and IE5.5. There is no browser-specific code for IE6 or IE7. So if you're running IE 6, you're carrying true flags for IE4, IE5 and IE5.5.

                                    Similarly with Netscape: If you're running Netscape 7.1, you carry true flags only for Nav4, Nav6, Nav6.1 and Nav7.

                                    If you're running Opera7, you're carrying "true" flags for Opera6 and Opera7.
                                    But wait -- there's more!
                                    Opera has an option to mask as IE or Mozilla. If you select the IE option, you get all the IE true flags and "false" Opera flags. Similarly, if you mask Opera as Mozilla, you get the Mozilla true flag.

                                    Opera also shows an option to "identify" as IE, but this doesn't fool WebHelp.

                                    Firefox, alas, is unaccounted for by name in the code.
                                    But wait -- there's more:
                                    Firefox always identifies itself as Mozilla- and Netscape-compatible. So RH gives Firefox true flags for all Nav, and Mozilla.

                                    I haven't used the CSH interface, so I don't have those output files. But I do see the template .js in Program Files\Adobe\RoboHelp 6.0\CSH API.