17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 19, 2008 12:06 PM by ROBOHELPIST

    RH not compiling


      I am having an issue with RoboHelp not completing the compile process.

      As I compile WebHelp, the process stalls during the "Updating Files" part of the compile. Checking Task Manager at this point shows RH as "Not Responding", and RH will not finish the compile or respond again, even if I allow it hours. (For comparison, when things are fine, RH can/could compile the project in 10 or 15 minutes.)

      In some cases, I can edit a few topics (maybe 10), and RH will compile successfully. In other instances, I may change fewer topics and RH will not compile. Lately, most RH compiles are unsuccessful.

      Software Info
      I am using RoboHelp 7 and running Windows XP Professional, Version 2002, Service Pack 3

      PC Info
      HP laptop with an AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3500+, 448 MHz, with 1 GB of RAM.

      Project File Location
      The project file for the WebHelp I am compiling is located on my hard drive.

      Any ideas are appreciated.

        • 1. RH not compiling
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
          Close RH, rename the CPD file. Open RH and try again.

          Are you compiling to a local drive?

          • 2. RH not compiling
            ROBOHELPIST Level 1
            Hi Peter,

            Thanks for your quick response. Unfortunately, I am still having the same problem - after I closed RH, renamed the CPD file, re-opened RH and attempted to compile again, the compile process still stalls during the "Updating Files" part of the compile.

            Although, the progress bar does not move after RH stalls, in the Task Manager I can see that the CPU usage is 100%, and RH is taking up 98-99% of the CPU time.

            Also, my Project is on my local drive, and I am compiling to the same local drive.

            Any other suggestions?

            • 3. Re: RH not compiling
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
              Locate one of the sample projects. Try to compile from that.

              I want to establish the issue is your project. Don't worry about the CPU use, quite normal.

              • 4. Re: RH not compiling
                MergeThis Level 4
                Another workaround is to create an entirely new layout with a new generation path location.

                Good luck,
                • 5. RH not compiling
                  ROBOHELPIST Level 1
                  I was able to successfully compile a different, smaller project. But the project I described earlier is still having the same problem.

                  In case it help - the project I am having trouble with is fairly large - just over 1,000 topics.

                  • 6. Re: RH not compiling
                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                    That's not large. Have you tried Leon's suggestion? (Make sure the target folder is not the existing output folder)

                    If that fails, take a copy of the project. Delete half the topics and try again. Keep doing that until it compiles. When it starts to compile, whatever you just deleted contains the problem.

                    Are you sure there is no indication in the Output view of the topic where it is falling over?

                    • 7. Re: RH not compiling
                      ROBOHELPIST Level 1
                      I have narrowed down the cause of RH's failure to compile my project to 3 "bad" topics. If I edit these 3 bad topics, the compile process is sure to fail. (That is, RH becomes unresponsive, and spins its wheels w/o ever completing the compile)

                      If I edit these topics, and then try compiling to a different output folder, the compile process still fails.

                      As a test, I edited the bad topics and compiled on a different computer, but the result was the same - RH failed to compile.

                      I haven't seen anything in the Output view that indicates which topic is failing. After the compile process copies the files, it then Updates the files, at which point RH freezes and no longer responds. The Output view only shows "Updating Files..." at the point it freezes up, it doesn't get as far a showing the actual file names scrolling past.

                      As a fix, I plan to delete and re-create the 3 bad topics. I don't see anything about the bad topics that looks different from any other topics in the project - but clearly something about them is causing RH problems.

                      Any ideas on how I could find the underlying cause of the problem?

                      • 8. Re: RH not compiling
                        RoboColum(n) Level 5
                        Can you tell us what is in your failing topics? DHTML? Image Maps? Perhaps you can paste the truecode?
                        • 9. Re: RH not compiling
                          TWSisters Level 1
                          we're having the same problem compiling HTMLHelp from one of our projects. We have three large projects, only one of them causes the problem. It compiled fine until last week. Now RH7 crashes during the "Updating files" part on three different PCs. We would appreciate any clues how to locate any "bad" topics, because we've done a lot with RH7, but this project doesn't use any snippets, variables, conditional build tags whatsoever. We've deleted the cpd as the first thing we do whenever there's a problem.
                          @ ROBOHELPIST: Have you found out what the problem with the "bad" topics was?

                          • 10. Re: RH not compiling
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                            Please look at the previous posts in this thread and try what has been covered there, then post back. It may not be bad topics.

                            • 11. Re: RH not compiling
                              TWSisters Level 1
                              We've found the problem.
                              In general, this seems nothing to do with RH. It's the Microsoft HTMLHelp Compiler that crashes, and it crashed with this project when started outside of RH, too. The reason why it crashed was a missing quotation mark in an image tag (the quotation mark after the gif was missing):
                              <img src="..\Images\Heading.gif"

                              We found out because we went back to our project's version of Friday (we use Subversion for source control) and compiled that, and it went fine. It turned out that the error happened yesterday, so we had only 8 topics we needed to look at.

                              BTW: The file that caused the problem was a translated file created with ACROSS Translation Memory. In ACROSS you have to manually copy tags to the target text, and if you miss one, this is what can happen. We don't think this problem would have occurred when editing topics in RH.

                              • 12. Re: RH not compiling
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                Thanks for posting that. Could well help someone else.

                                • 13. Re: RH not compiling
                                  ROBOHELPIST Level 1
                                  @ TWSisters:

                                  I used trial and error to find the bad topics. I would edit a few topics at a time, and then try and compile. If the compile worked I would proceed to the next group. If the compile did not work, then I knew I had come across one or more problem topics, and could further narrow it down (sometimes editing just one file at a time and then compiling) until I found the culprits.

                                  Fortunately, in my case I did not need to edit every topic in the project, so that made the process faster (I was looking only for topics that had javascript so I could remove it, and that was only a small percentage of the project.) If EVERY topic in the project were suspect, then it would have been a very slow process. I always kept a copy of my most recent successful compile, so I could revert back to it once the compile failed. (And I wouldn't lose all the changes I had made up to that point in a possibly corrupted file.)

                                  I am glad you found the problem with your project. Thanks for the explanation of the cause of the problem, that may come in handy.
                                  • 14. Re: RH not compiling
                                    ROBOHELPIST Level 1
                                    @ Colum McAndrew

                                    Hi Colum.

                                    The problem topics do not have hotspots, and I don't think they have any DHTML. They all have javascript. Also, 2 of the 3 topics that would cause the compile to fail include a table. Below is the HTML from one of these topics. It contains a table, but I have removed all but one of rows to keep the code sample as short as possible. Hope that provides some clues about what is going wrong. Thanks.

                                    • 15. Re: RH not compiling
                                      RoboColum(n) Level 5
                                      A quick look at the truecode makes me wonder whether this is a topic that has been imported from a WinHelp file. Is this right? Are all those Javascripts require? Some of them (the ones near the bottom) just duplicate each other. The topic also has <style> tags all over the place.
                                      • 16. Re: RH not compiling
                                        RoboWizard Level 4
                                        Hi all

                                        Colum, this appears to be a WebHelp created topic that was pulled back in used as a source topic. WebHelp output topics are rife with JavaScript code that shouldn't be in source topics.

                                        Take a look here for how to correct it

                                        Cheers... Rick
                                        • 17. RH not compiling
                                          ROBOHELPIST Level 1
                                          Hi Colum and RoboWizard,

                                          Thanks for the input. I'm not sure whether the project was imported from WinHelp, but it certainly contains a lot of duplicate and unnecessary JavaScript. A separate but perhaps related issue is that this project had output files placed back into the source, thereby introducing JavaScript code in the source topics. This caused issues - Breadcrumb links would appear multiple times in a topic, and edits to a topic that had JavaScript code stuck in it might cause the compile process to fail.

                                          ***************************** Resolution to the Problem *******************************

                                          I was able to resolve this problem by finding the topics that caused the compile process to fail, deleting those topics from the project, and then re-creating them. Now the compile process works, and is faster than it previously was.

                                          Thanks everyone for your suggestions!