I am in RoboHell for some reason and I cannot figure out why. It's getting more and more difficult for my technical writers to focus on her writing since all the focus is constantly on figuring out the problems with the tool. I'm hoping there is some RH expert out there that can help me...
There are two general problems that seem to continue to crop up:
(1) RoboHelp frequently shuts itself down after attempting to perform an action
(2) Topics frequently disappear from where they should be and end up in the "Broken Links" folder which requires us to restore them, but when we restore them we lose any cross project links (MergedProjects)
So here's what I'm working with:
(1) We're have 6 writers working on RH 8
(2) We use RoboSource 3 Version Control
(3) We have more than 50 RH projects we're currently maintaining and number is growing (partly b/c we find working with fewer topics creates less RH problems thus we split large projects into several and merge the children with a parent at the end)
Here's what I've tried in the past:
(1) Deleting and/or renaming the .cpd file. I've read several places that this may eliminate the problem of RH shutting down. This seems to work in about 50% of the cases to stop the weird automatic shut down, but we never do this until the shut down happens at least once and by that time a bunch of other problems are created.
(2) Taking projects out of version control. I know this probably goes against every IT person's beliefs about the importance and use of version control, but version control has caused a lot of problems for us in the past so we use RoboSource Controller 3 more as a document repository or for file sharing these days. What I mean is that I assign one project to a writer who goes into version control and opens/accesses the project and then does file<version control<remove from version control. The writer will then spend time working on the project and when whatever activity s/he is assigned to do is complete the writer does file<version control< add to version control so it's there for everyone. We decided to do this b/c (1) we were having a huge latency issue when more than one writer was working on a project per time. Changes were being lost all over the place. Also, we were receiving a lot of error messages about not being able to make changes to a topic b/c it was checked out when in fact it wasn't checked out at all according to version control and in some cases, had never been checked out. Plus, it was taking several minutes to make any changes in RH to topics when using version control and it could take nearly 20 minutes to check in just a few topics. So, I basically made the executive decision to use it, but not necessarily how it was meant to be used.
So, what the heck is happening to my RH projects? The problems I'm having are not with just one or two of my 50 projects, but frequently happening on all of them. When RH automatically shuts down and we reopen the project (whether in or out of version control) many of the topics have moved them selves to the "Broken Links" folder. I can go and restore them, but that actually takes a lot of time as sometimes it's hundreds of topics (I don't know if there is a way to restore multiple topics at a time) and since we rely so heavily on cross-project linking these days using merged projects we lose all the cross-project links and have to do a lot of rework. Thus, you can see why I'm more frusterated that my staff has to pay more attention to solving/resolving RH issues and less time to writing quality help documentation. This has been seriously affecting our ability to meet project deadlines. I feel like I can't be the only one out there having these problems... Please help!