7 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2009 3:24 AM by RoboColum(n)

    XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error

      Hi all,

      We have three people on my team who update help topics. We use RH 7 and Microsoft Visual Source Safe with auto check-in/check-out. When one of us is in the help project and one of the other two also enters the helps project, the second person gets an error message saying "The files in the list below could not be checked out from version control. Exclusive access to these files is required to execute the selected action," and our xpj file for the project is listed. The second person closes the dialog box and proceeds to work. We know that when the first person enters the help project, the XPJ file is checked out, but we're worried that this error means something is wrong. Isn't the whole point of using source control so that multiple people can work in the same project? We don't understand why we're getting these error messages. Nothing seems to have gone haywire with this, except that we are having problems with conditional build tags getting out of sync between our systems. We don't know if our tag problem is due to the XPJ check-out issue. Are we not supposed to be have our XPJ file in source control? Would this cause the tag problem?

      I'm going to post a separate message about the tag problem.

      Thanks in advance for any help!
        • 1. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
          Dhiren Jani
          A reason for the message could be that ‘Allow multiple check-outs’ has not been selected.
          While the message is not an error message, it just notifies the user that presently the file is checked out to some other user.
          To prevent such a scenario the user can allow multiple check-outs to happen simultaneously by checking ‘Allow Multiple Check Outs’ from VisualSource Safe Administrator menu Tools->Options.
          am quoting Vega here, a member of the Adobe RoboHelp Team

          Dhiren Jani
          RH Product Manager
          • 2. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
            LisaR18 Level 1
            Thank you for your response, Dhiren. Two thoughts:

            Is it really a good idea to allow multiple checkouts, though? Won't selecting that option allow multiple checkouts on all files (like topics), not just the XPJ file? What would happen if two authors checked out the same topic and made changes to it, and then checked it back in? Which version would "win"? Would the two versions be merged? I'm not convinced that allowing multiple checkouts on all files would be a good idea. I was just asking why we were getting that error for the XPJ file, when we're all supposed to be able to work in the XPJ file at the same time.

            I'm not clear on what the purpose of the XPJ file is. I know it's the project file, but does it actually contain anything that is modified everytime someone opens and makes changes to anything in the project? Since this message is not really an error, and the author can still make changes, maybe this message doesn't matter -- nothing will be lost or broken by proceeding with working in the XPJ file that is already checked out. Is that correct?

            Thanks for your help, Dhiren...
            • 3. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
              RoboColum(n) Level 5
              Hi Lisa.

              I'll let Dhiren or someone else answer the multiple checkout question as I too am a little confused as to why you'd want this.

              The XPJ file just contains details of the project (e.g. primary single source layout, project title, etc.). It also contains the names of the underlying project files (e.g. baggage, windows, folders, build tags, colours, etc.). Open it up in Notepad and take a look at it in alll its glory.

              So in theory I guess multiple authors could work on the project provided they only create new output. As soon as two or more authors work on the same content, I'd go into a cold sweat.
              • 4. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
                LisaR18 Level 1
                Hi Collum and Dhiren: Thank you for your assistance so far.

                Update: Not all of our help projects' XPJ files get checked out -- only this one project. Also, it appears that the problem with our tags not sync'ing is related to the XPJ being checked out by the first person to launch the project.

                We actually have three help projects, one of which we all work in regularly (hereafter called "Project Bad"), and two others that only one or the other us works in regularly. I noticed that the other help project I work in does NOT check out the XPJ file when I open it (hereafter called "Project Good."). With Project Good, I never get a message saying that it's checking the XPJ file back in, and the VSS never shows that the XPJ file is checked out when one of us is in it, although VSS always shows the correct modified date when it was last modified. This a.m., I had one of my co-authors test Project Good with me. We both opened it, created new conditional build tags, applied tags to text, check things in and out and in again, and not once did either of us get a message about the XPJ file being checked out, nor did we have any problems with our conditional build tags. Everything updated beautifully, and yet, the topics are checking out correctly. Also, we don't have "allow multiple check-out" selected for Project Good.

                So, now I wonder if the settings are different between the two projects, but I looked at the Properties for both projects and XPJ files, and I see no differences between them.

                One thing that does come to mind: Regularly, one of us gets a VSS error message when working in Project Bad. I don't usually get it, but the others do. I didn't realize how common it was until one of the authors just told me. The message reads: "SourceSafe has detected that a previous operation against the 'XYZ' database was unexpectedly terminated. To remove from the failure, please ask your SourceSafe Administrator to run the Analyze Utility." Might this have something to do with the problem? This message is referencing our entire database where all three help projects reside, though, and the problem is only with one of the help projects, so I'm not sure this is part of the problem. I will try running the Analyze Utility today just in case, but I tried to do it months ago and it failed. I gave up and didn't try again.

                Does anyone have any ideas about this problem based on these latest developments? I welcome any and all input.

                • 5. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
                  RoboColum(n) Level 5
                  The XPj file only contains the location/file name of the project files and as such would not be referenced by adding a build tag to a topic. If you added a build tag I'd expect the rhbag.apj file to be updated. I assume you each created different build tags? Out of interest if you view the history of the project files does that indicate two checked in versions of your Project Good?
                  • 6. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
                    LisaR18 Level 1
                    Hi Collum,

                    You wrote: "If you added a build tag I'd expect the rhbag.apj file to be updated."

                    The rhbag.apj file? Isn't that used for baggage files? We haven't added baggage files to Project Good in a couple of years. However, the rhbuildtag.apj file was updated during today's test, yes.

                    You wrote: "I assume you each created different build tags?"

                    She created tags, and then after she checked the rhbuildtag.apj file back in, I changed the names of her tags and changed how they were applied to text. This mirrors what we've done recently in Project Bad that caused things to go awry. At the end of the test, I deleted her tags, checked the tag file back in, and she relaunched Project Good and verified that my changes showed in her version.

                    You wrote: "Out of interest if you view the history of the project files does that indicate two checked in versions of your Project Good?"

                    If you mean by right-clicking the XPJ file in VSS and selecting Check History, this is the weird part... For all of our XPJ files, even Project Bad, whose XPJ gets checked out, there's only one history version item listed, and that's the original "Created" version when I added the project to source control. None of the other dozens of instances that we've gone in and modified the help project show up. Maybe it's because the XPJ file itself isn't actually updated? (BTW, I stated in my last post that the time-date stamp on the XPJ file in VSS shows the current date, but that's not true. I got confused because it's March. The t-d stamp shows 3/19/08, last March, which I recall as the date I added these three projects to VSS so multiple authors could work on them.)

                    I'm still thinking that our two good projects' XPJ files are set in VSS so they're not checked out, but the XPJ for Project Bad is. However, you seem to think that this shouldn't be causing the tag problem in Project Bad.

                    Any further thoughts? I really appreciate your help with this, Collum...

                    Many thanks,
                    • 7. Re: XPJ checked out of source control, other authors get error
                      RoboColum(n) Level 5
                      Doh! Yes you are right Lisa. I did mean the rhbuildtag.apj file. You are right in thinking that the .xpj file would not get updated unless you had changed something like the project title, amend the default single source layout or something like that so the fact that your version history shows just one instance of the .xpj file is not too surprising. I was thinking more of the other files (e.g. the topics that contained the build tags and the rhbuildtag.apj file itself if you were renaming them.

                      My feeling here is that some file has not been checked in (or has failed during the check in) causing this issue. Do you check all the project files in? Would the VSS "Show Differences" option show anything untoward? If not, create a new project and add it to VSS. Get your author to check it out, create a build tag and add it to a topic before checking it in. You check it out and rename the build tag and change where it it applied and check it back in.