1 2 Previous Next 51 Replies Latest reply on Dec 19, 2008 11:32 AM by leanie

    WebHelp in Chrome - first look

    TechDoc Jeanne Level 1
      Just downloaded the new Chrome browser from Google, and as I feared, my WebHelp doesn't work (nav pane contents don't display). I am using a skin.

      I tried a test project using the default skin and found that only pure html works for navigation pane format (WebHelp Options page 3).
      If I use DHTML > Pure HTML the pane comes up empty
      If I use Java Applet > Pure HTML I get a message in the pane saying no plugin is available to display the content. The odd thing is that I included some drop-down text (which is javascript, right?) and that woks fine.

      Pure html is ok, except there's no Search Input field available. So, I'd love to be able to use dhtml or Java for the nav pane.

      If anyone has an idea for getting this to work I'd be grateful for info.

      Jeanne
        • 1. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          Hi Jeanne

          You (and others) should consider reporting this to Adobe via the Wish Form/Bug Reporting Form.

          Click here to view the WishForm/Bug Reporting Form

          It's a bit unfair to expect WebHelp output to work flawlessly in a browser that didn't exist at the time your RoboHelp version was released.

          I'm reasonably sure that as time passes and more users experiment with this new browser, we will find ways to work past some, most or all of the issues.

          Cheers... Rick
          • 2. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
            RoboColum(n) Level 5
            Umm! I've just read this blog that indicates that webhelp created with "that other product" works OK. Sorry but I just can't bring myself to say its name. That said, I'm sure it will have problems somewhere. It is still very early days for Chrome.
            • 3. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP
              Ha! Yes, well, I'm sure "that other product" will also:

              * Cure baldness
              * Send your mother a card on her birthday
              * Bring peace to all third world nations
              * Insert remedy here and add to list about a hundred times

              Like you, I'm sure there are flaws. But hey, I was really happy to see that among the list of "new features", it actually finally included (after three whole versions) an ability to let the user use copy and paste functionality! Now THAT's a feature to really crow about!

              Cheers... Rick
              • 4. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                RoboColum(n) Level 5
                LOL Rick! Bet they forgot to add the Ctrl C and Ctrl V functionality though. I've always felt the product should be called Blair as it promised much, failed to deliver and attempted regime change
                • 5. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                  MergeThis Level 4
                  ...and don't get Peter started about their merged project fiasco!


                  Leon
                  • 6. WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                    Amebr-ke0mH4 Level 2
                    Ooo, fiascos! I like fiascos!

                    Is it a long and involved story, or can someone provide the summary version of what happened?

                    (hmm, that is the least evil "evil" smiley I've ever seen...)
                    • 7. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                      http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/flare/flare.htm

                      I was told earlier in the year that the issues described above will be fixed in Flare 4.

                      It may not look much of a problem but if you work with merged webhelp, it is.

                      • 8. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                        meKarla Level 1
                        I'm using RoboHelp HTML v7--Chrome doesn't show the TOC, Glossary, Index, or Search. Chrome uses the Webkit engine, also used by Apple's Safari, which equally does not work with RoboHelp projects. Well, I've had to find a new CBT tool since they wiped out Authorware, so now I guess I need to find a new help tool, too.
                        • 9. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                          TechDoc Jeanne Level 1
                          Hi All,

                          I didn't mean to bash RoboHelp. I've used it for a long time - since Version 3. I think its a fantastic product because it lets help authors concentrate on the writing and not be bothered too much by the technical aspects of producing Help. I use a bunch of tools in my job because I produce a variety of different materials, not just help. I can't be an expert in each one. RoboHelp is easy to use and pretty straightforward. (And that is why I don't use that "other product". I had one day to try it out and I found it too confusing.)

                          I agree that it would be unreasonable to expect WebHelp to work with a browser that was not even born at the time of this RH release. I think I see this toc problem as more of a shortcoming of Chrome than of RoboHelp.

                          I was only looking for suggestions of any "magic" I could do to get the dhtml or java nav pane options to work. Its been my experience that making a few tweaks can often solve any problems I find.

                          I know that there are arguments on both sides since browsers use their own rendering engines. Whose esponsibility is it to be compatible with whom? This puts me on the defensive for RoboHelp at times (For example, I get slammed by QA because the toc doesn't auto-synchronize in FF. They do not accept that this is a shortcoming of FF not RH.)

                          RoboHelp is not perfect, but its advantages to me FAR outweigh any problems I have, and the good folks of this forum seem to be able to show me the way around those.

                          I will put a suggestion in the wish form, and continue to pursue a solution on my own. I'll keep my eyes on the forum to see if a magic tweak is discovered.

                          Thanks,
                          Jeanne
                          • 10. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                            MergeThis Level 4
                            Look, pal, I've got this like fantastic, new browser for you. It's like got a really neat name and it's like really, really cool looking. Yeah, that FireFox is just so-o-o 2007, you know? Oh, and did I mention that it's like built with that open software stuff? Yeah, cool, huh? Yeah, all the critics like love it, too.

                            So, you've lost all the navigation in your WebHelp? Like, no TOC, or Index, or Search, or Glossary? And your best-looking tables are all in Wingding font? Wicked bummer, dude! But hey, it's totally cool; you've been freed from that MS-imposed oppression, right? Yeah, hey, ain't those Apple commercials just so-o-o cool? Yeah, you don't want that invalid W3C code anyway; just write your own frames in XML, or CSS, or something. Yeah, that's the ticket.

                            Oh, and you thought those FF plug-ins were messin' with your help? Wait'll those open-software-lovin' dudes start writin' stuff for Chrome! Oh, the chaos will be like so cool! Blinkin' search boxes in your status bar...personal street address in every third bulleted list (but only two paragraphs after a Heading2)...today's streaming webcam as a non-scrolling watermark. Wow, I can't wait, man!

                            • 11. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                              meKarla Level 1
                              HelpStudio 3 works with Chrome. I just tried it yesterday. You're right, we shouldn't expect RH to work with Chrome yet. But WebHelp doesn't work with Safari either, and that's been around a while. (Both will work if you build FlashHelp, but I don't have Flash to clean up the ugly Flash skin.) RoboHelp is definitely for those who don't like to "change their own oil," so I need to talk my managers into splurging for a tool that's more flexible.
                              • 12. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                MergeThis Level 4
                                Wow, Peter and Rick, it's a good thing you guys can change the oil!

                                "more flexible?" Yikes!


                                Leon
                                • 13. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                  meKarla Level 1
                                  Robohelp makes great plain-vanilla webhelp for those technical writers who aren't very technical. I don't mind letting it think for me, but I'd like to have the option of changing things if I don't like the way it thinks. It has way too much proprietary stuff--that's what I mean by flexible. I, too, have made use of many of Rick's tips, and am forever grateful!
                                  • 14. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                    Oh come on. I get projects sent to me so that I can help people fix them. I have seen some very impressive designs and customisations so to suggest RH is only good for plain vanilla webhelp is out of order.

                                    What's the proprietary stuff that is unacceptable to you?

                                    Please make me a promise if you go to another tool. Come back here after three months and tell us whether the new tool really was an all win situation or a trade off.

                                    Rick's site and his downloads have many tips as you say. My own site has others. I have little doubt that whatever tool you go for, you will find there is some constraint that you will rail against. Then you have to find their workarounds. I am not knocking the other tools, just saying that they all have their strengths and weaknesses. But to suggest RH is only good for vanilla and the others are pure nectar is, in my opinion, way off.

                                    • 15. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                      TechDoc Jeanne Level 1
                                      Hi All (esp. meKarla),

                                      I've created RH WebHelp that works with major browsers including Safari. I didn't do anything special, except use a style sheet and skin with relative font sizes (xx-small, x-small, etc.) and choose fonts that are supported on both Win and Mac.

                                      Maybe you could elaborate on the problems you are having so forum members can offer suggestions.

                                      Jeanne
                                      • 16. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                        meKarla Level 1
                                        Oh, I completely agree. There is no perfect single source tool, definitely no "pure nectar" out there. There is definitely a comfort level with the "industry standard" which makes it difficult to change to a new tool. Not to mention not having the time to learn and overcome the weaknesses of new tool. "Plain vanilla" meaning you can type some text in the editor, use the default style sheet, drag topics to the TOC, click Generate, and you have a help file. You don't *have to* use Rick's tips to edit the default skin or to get rid of the Powered by RoboHelp link. Yesterday I played with HelpStudio, and today I played with Flare, both of which generated viewable WebHelp, and not just in IE. (Most of our customers use IE, but we have customers who aren't MS shops, too.) I'm only "railing against" the fact that RH uses their own proprietary code and such that you either have to accept as is or learn to overcome it, if it can be overcome. This page http://www.madcapsoftware.com/assets/Flare%20v4%20vs%20RoboHelp%20v7.pdf lists several differences. The main differences that I don't like about RH is "Product code is a proprietary mix of non-standard markup and poorly-formed HTML." "Not compliant with any existing standards." and "Does not understand the concept of document structure. Includes no method of providing access to the author." I've only been using it for about 15 months. It was here when I started here, and we upgraded to v7 months ago, hoping 7 would be better. It is better and will have to do, but it could be better yet.
                                        • 17. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                          meKarla Level 1
                                          Thanks, Jeanne. I came to Adobe's forum yesterday and posted this message:

                                          I'm using RoboHelp HTML v7--Chrome doesn't show the TOC, Glossary, Index, or Search.


                                          That is a problem. I was hoping that someone else had a similar issue and perhaps a fix for it. One fix is to use FlashHelp with the default Flash skin (which I don't have the tools to edit), but I may just post a KB article that says our WebHelp doesn't work with Safari and Chrome.

                                          There MUST be something in the Webkit engine (used by Chrome and Safari) that prevents RH's frames from working properly, yet other help tools have overcome this limitation.
                                          • 18. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                            MergeThis Level 4
                                            meKarla, it's very simple: RoboHelp uses a mixture of DHTML and JavaScript to create the 3-pane frameset that allows me to provide the navigational assets you mentioned.

                                            Chrome is apparently following the same anti-Microsoft path already trod, ad nauseam, by Netscape and Firefox: let's design our browser so that it messes up everybody's hard work. Then we just blame Microsoft and the help authoring tools. Perfect!


                                            Good luck,
                                            Leon
                                            • 19. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                              meKarla Level 1
                                              YAY, Leon!! That's what it was. When I regenerated WebHelp with "Plain HTML" (the third page), the TOC reappears. The Index and Search also appear now, but look b-- ugly. (This is the way it's "supposed" to look: http://help.globalscape.com/help/eft5/) So now, if I want to spend more time on it, I have to figure out how to make the plain html Index and Search panes more attractive. Or just move on...

                                              Thank you!
                                              Karla
                                              • 20. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                vivek_k-GfmzA1 Level 1
                                                Hi,

                                                Adobe has been working on it and if you do the following changes to your file whvers.js in C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 8\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock folder.

                                                Add following 2 lines at the top along with other variable declarations.
                                                var gbChrome = false ;
                                                var gbChrome=(gAgent.indexOf("chrome")!=-1);

                                                and then add a condition
                                                if (gbChrome)
                                                {
                                                gbSafari = true ;
                                                gbSafari3=true;
                                                }

                                                This should fix TOC/Index/Glossary/Search loading issues.
                                                I am attaching code from fixed whvers.js file as well.

                                                Please report if you find more issues with Chrome as we are actively trying to fix them.

                                                thanks,
                                                Vivek.
                                                Adobe RoboHelp Team.
                                                • 21. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                  vivek_k-GfmzA1 Level 1
                                                  Correct path is "C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe RoboHelp 7\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock folder"

                                                  Thanks Jeanne for pointing it out.

                                                  Vivek.
                                                  • 22. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                    TechDoc Jeanne Level 1
                                                    Hi all,

                                                    Just tested this fix, and it works with nav pane set to dhtml -> pure html and with java applet -> pure html.
                                                    Kudos to Vivek for his quick resonse.I am really impressed!

                                                    Jeanne
                                                    • 23. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                      meKarla

                                                      I hope you will acknowledge the speedy response this got. Looking at that article on MadCap's site, it is rather exagerated in places and wrong in others. It also does not mention some deficiencies in the other direction but I don't believe in tool wars. A good product can stand on its own two feet.

                                                      • 24. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                        meKarla Level 1
                                                        Yes, Peter, as Jeanne said, it was awesome and speedy response.

                                                        I'm dealing with other issues now, in which my Index, which I deleted, refuses to go away.
                                                        • 25. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                          My point was more not to worry unduly about what you read in the comparison.

                                                          If it is the default, it cannot be deleted. Otherwise it shouldn't be a problem. Haven't seen anyone post about it.

                                                          • 26. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                            meKarla Level 1
                                                            I did notice that at least one of the things that MadCap pointed out was not true, so one wonders what else isn't true (or which version they used as comparison).

                                                            I created a new index, told RH to generate with that index, and deleted the old index. The offending text in the Index was still there. I have since done a search of topics, and found that the offending text was added to the meta tags in several topics (e.g., <META NAME="MS-HKWD" CONTENT="BadText">) and removed it. I'm regenerating now to see if that fixed it.

                                                            *Most* of the time, when I find RH stupidness, I can find a workaround or fix (often with tips from other RH users and gurus--thank you, thank you, thank you!). But I've worked with numerous technical writers who were not very technical (and some barely writers) who would not be able to fix it, and would likely have convulsions at the mere thought of editing the .js files.

                                                            Sometimes RH does things for me, because it thinks it knows better (and sometimes it does know better). For example, some of the projects that I am working on were started 4 or 5 years ago by someone else on RHX5. While manually editing the help to "fix" the tags, I would occasionally miss a closing tag. Rather than highlighting the leftover tag (as Front Page does), RH would say, "Oh, what you meant to do is make everything bold!" So then I would have to go edit the HTML again (more carefully this time) to get rid of all the bold tags.

                                                            I used to use DocToHelp 2000 to create printed docs, then generated JavaHelp from them, then had to spend a few weeks editing the individual html files. RH causes many fewer headaches for me than DocToHelp ever did, but I don't do JavaHelp here. And version 7 is MUCH improved over the previous versions. Let's hope Adobe continues with its awesome support and continues to make improvements!
                                                            • 27. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                              Betsy Kervin
                                                              Vivek,

                                                              I'm using RoboHelp 5. My project has a whver.js file (not whvers.js), and I updated the code with the revised that you posted. However, my navigation and search are still not showing up. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for getting the navigation to work for legacy RoboHelp users.

                                                              Thanks,
                                                              Betsy
                                                              • 28. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                vivek_k-GfmzA1 Level 1
                                                                Hi Betsy,

                                                                Chrome is using WebKit engine which is same as what Safari uses. We had fixed many Safari issues in RH7 and current fix for Chrome just involved recognizing that browser and mapping that to same as Safari.
                                                                In order to support Chrome in X5 we need to bring in all these fixes which will be difficult to do.

                                                                thanks,
                                                                Vivek.
                                                                • 29. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                  Betsy Kervin Level 1
                                                                  Thanks, Vivek,

                                                                  Does that mean if we upgrade from RH5 to RH7 and then update our whvers.js, our navigation and search should work with both Safari and Chrome?

                                                                  Also, will the revised whvers.js file be included in a free software update for RH7 soon (making a manual update to the file unnecessary)?

                                                                  Thanks again,
                                                                  Betsy
                                                                  • 30. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                                    I cannot comment on inclusion in updates.

                                                                    I will be putting a copy of the amended whvers.js on my site over the weekend. Look in Snippets.

                                                                    • 31. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                                      meKarla

                                                                      I took a look at that article and there is more than one thing that is wrong. For example, it states RH does not output to PDF! It also makes a big thing of the ability to email topics for review. Doesn't mention as I read somewhere else that it is one topic at a time. One of my projects has 12,000 topics. I think I will pass on that method!

                                                                      • 32. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                        meKarla Level 1
                                                                        yep, I have 9 different projects, but the biggest is only just under 500 topics, but I don't think my SMEs want 500 emails to review. It's hard enough to get them to review a Word doc.
                                                                        • 33. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                          meKarla Level 1
                                                                          on my box the file is called "whver.js"
                                                                          • 34. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                            vivek_k-GfmzA1 Level 1
                                                                            Hi Betsy,

                                                                            For now one has to fix whvers.js manually. It will be included in any update we have in future. Chrome is a beta version right now, claiming support for it is risky.

                                                                            You please download RH7 trial version and apply the 7.01 and 7.02 patches and see if it solves all your issues on Safari and Chrome. If you still have issues then please let us know.

                                                                            thanks,
                                                                            Vivek.
                                                                            Adobe Systems.
                                                                            • 35. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                              MergeThis Level 4
                                                                              Vivek:

                                                                              Will this whver.js fix also work for V5.0.2? It's located in a different folder, of course (C:\Program Files\RoboHelp Office\RoboHTML\WebHelp5Ext\template_stock), but the only difference between mine and your attached code (besides the gbSafari and gbChrome entries is this:
                                                                              var gbUnixOS=(gAgent.indexOf("linux")!=-1) || (gAgent.indexOf("unix")!=-1);

                                                                              Thx,
                                                                              Leon
                                                                              • 36. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)
                                                                                If anyone prefers to download whver.js instead of amending the code, see Snippet 103 on my site.

                                                                                • 37. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                                  vivek_k-GfmzA1 Level 1
                                                                                  Hi Leon,

                                                                                  Fixing just whver.js in X5.0.2 will not work. As I posted earlier we have done many fixes for Safari browser in RH7, they also need to be brought in for X5 to work properly in Chrome.

                                                                                  Vivek.
                                                                                  • 38. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                                    MergeThis Level 4
                                                                                    Vivek, I assume that you'll make an announcement when that happens (complete Safari/Chrome fixes for X5.0.2)?

                                                                                    Thx,
                                                                                    Leon
                                                                                    • 39. Re: WebHelp in Chrome - first look
                                                                                      katie_barnes
                                                                                      meKarla and Peter, I have had a fairly easy time getting my project to the 99% point with Robohelp, but I do feel it lacks some customization ability. I did have pretty good luck doing anything I wanted with ePublisherPro. Although not without spending some time reverse-engineering the product since, like Robohelp, much was undocumented.

                                                                                      Anyway, with ePubPro I could create my own xslt scripts to override theirs and make the project do exactly what I wanted and needed--just about anything. I haven't tried yet to reverse engineer Robohelp, but I do find that I wish for greater control in some areas so far, and I'm a little frustrated with a bug or two that I have found and worked around.

                                                                                      Overall it's a good product, but at this point, I don't know how I'm going to accomplish some of the things that I wish to accomplish. These are things that would be a snap to do in ePublisherPro, which I think is better suited to single-sourcing, but does not work as a stand-alone help system. So I guess it really depends on ones needs which product is best.
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