23 Replies Latest reply on Nov 4, 2009 1:19 PM by Peter Grainge

    Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time

    EGinM

      I'm using RoboHelp HTML version 8 on a PC running Windows XP. This morning (Monday) when I opened my RoboHelp project, RoboHelp crashed repeatedly. I tried opening various back-up versions of the project. Same result. When I did get a project to stay open, the broken links folder listed a hundred or more broken links, suggesting RH couldn't link to the index or TOC. The project had been working properly on Friday.

       

      I then found out that my fellow tech writer here at work was having the same problem. The one common factor we could identify is that we switched to daylight saving over the weekend. To test the issue, I changed the clock on my PC back to normal time and reopened my project. It worked fine. No long list of broken links, no crashing. Same thing for my co-worker.

       

      Does anyone know anything about issues with RoboHelp and changing daylight saving time? Is Adobe likely to issue a patch?

        • 1. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
          Amebr Level 4

          We just had a project open in RH8 on XP Professional and it was fine. Although it was a test project with only about 4 topics and not source controlled like our normal ones.

          • 2. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

            EGinM

             

            Is source control involved with your project?

             

            What if you open one of the supplied demo projects? Same problem?

             


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            • 3. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
              EGinM Level 1

              Thanks, Peter,

               

              No, we're not using source control at all.

               

              I've tested the RH sample projects and they work OK. As does another project of mine that I use for testing purposes. The problem seems to be happening with one particular project on my PC.

               

              I took over the project last week and did a lot of tidying up last Thursday and Friday, deleting unused files, moving images into separate folders and so on. Everything was behaving as expected. I saved several different back-up copies to the network drive as I went, just to be safe. But now (post- daylight saving weekend) all versions, including the untouched original version, show the same problem when I try opening them (from my C drive).

               

              Here's what's happening:

              • I double-click the .xpj file.
              • The project opens and I can expand folders in the Project Manager and open topics.
              • The cursor flashes, flipping between a pointer and an hourglass icon.
              • The status bar at the bottom of the RH window says 'Ready' but when I hover the cursor over it, it also shows a flickering progress bar saying '?? [word hidden] Bookmarks', indicating it is checking(?) bookmarks.
              • With the Broken Links folder expanded, I can see the list of broken links growing (there should only be 5 broken links in that folder at the moment).
              • After about a minute, RoboHelp closes.

               

              On my co-worker's PC, when she opens her RH project the status bar indicates RH is trying to load the topic list and then finally RH just closes.

               

              I can get the problem to happen or not happen for my project just by selecting or clearing the 'Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes' check box in my the PC's Date & Time Properties dialog box. It looks like changing to daylight saving time is definitely having an effect.

               

              I'm running out of ideas for testing. I'd be grateful for any further suggestions.

              • 4. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Hi all

                 

                For what it's worth I once saw an issue caused with RoboHelp and Daylight Saving Time change. I'm not sure if this will help, but will outline what happened in my case.

                 

                LIke you, I began to notice RoboHelp for Word would fail. I believe it happened when I attempted to compile my WinHelp. I spoke to the Blue Sky help desk (it was probably 1993 when this happened). They were unable to assist with resolving things. I then contacted my LAN group and at first they claimed nothing would be causing this issue.

                 

                After I persisted, they finally did some investigating and discovered that somewhere in the LAN login scripts, one particular server had the date incorrectly set. This caused the PC I was using to synchronize itself to the server date. Because that date was an earlier date (I think that was the case) RoboHelp sorta gagged and threw up. I had no clue how to deal with files bearing future dates. Or maybe I have it backwards.

                 

                The bottom line is that it cannot hurt to double check the dates on things.

                 

                Cheers... Rick

                 

                 

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                • 5. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                  As Rick says, check the times in case that is the cause. However, I note you say you were making lots of changes so I wonder if the CPD file got corrupted, the fact that you see lots of broken links supports that. Try renaming it and then reopening the project. It will likely not fix those broken links but at least you may get your project back so that you can work on fixing things.

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                  • 6. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                    EGinM Level 1

                    Thank you to the people who replied to my post.


                    I thought I should provide a summary of what we've done to resolve this issue. Unfortunately I don't have a good explanation for what really caused the problem.

                    • The IT support staff here at work have been in contact with Adobe support several times since 4 October. No solution helped, including reinstalling Robohelp 8 on my co-worker's PC.
                    • I did a thorough search of my project's files looking for any time-related code that might be causing the problem but found nothing.
                    • I renamed the .cpd file but this, unfortunately, revealed an even more serious problem:
                      On reopening the project in Robohelp, the Project Manager pod displayed only 3 of the 20 topic folders. I could generate a .chm file and all the topics appeared to be present but all the images were missing.
                      This problem suggested to me that the project would have no long-term stability - I'd never be able to recreate the .cpd file.
                    • So, two days ago I decided to recreate the project. I opened a new, blank project and imported all the topics. This was a relatively easy task but required a bit of follow-up work - creating the 4 tables of contents, copying the glossary entries, checking conditional build tags etc. etc.
                      I tested the new project by changing my PC's clock back to normal time, renaming the .cpd file, compiling etc.; then I switched the time back to daylight saving time, and repeated the tests. It seems the new project is stable.

                    Two items to note:

                    • Size of .cpd file: My new project's .cpd file is now 1,168 kb, compared to 2,888 kb for the problem project. I'm not sure if that's significant or not.
                    • Storing images in separate Image folders: In my original (problem) project I had moved all images for each set of topics into a new folder called 'Images', just to be tidy (e.g. I had a topic folder called 'Overview' and in that I had a folder called 'Images'). When I reimported the topics into the new project, the images displayed in the topics but not in the Project Manager pod. I had to move all the images up a level in Windows Explorer and edit the image paths in the HTML. Then RoboHelp listed the images. My co-worker is having different problems with her 'Images' folders, with images randomly failing to display in topics and she has to re-insert them. I've now decided it's safer to keep the images at the same level as the topics.
                    • 7. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                      I guess if you want the images separate but have concerns, you could create one topic in the folder and then exclude it from all builds by using a conditional build tag.

                       


                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                      • 8. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                        CRK-10

                        I too had most of the topics in my RoboHelp project move to the Broken Links folder in the same manner as described the first day after we switched back to standard time. The only thing that worked for me was restoring the files one by one. I would say there is definitely a bug having to do with time change.

                        • 9. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                          GlennPopson

                          I had a similar problem (running RH8 on XP).  When I opened my project this morning, I got an error message that a folder was missing from the project and would be recreated, then RH crashed.

                           

                          Since then, every time I open the project--or my backups copied from a network drive, the same thing happens.  Changing my system date and time back to daylight savings time doesn't work.

                           

                          Can someone please point me to a thread about recovering from this kind of error?

                           

                          Glenn

                          • 10. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                            GlennPopson Level 1

                            I found my solution in another thread.  I renamed the CPD file and can work with the project again.

                            • 11. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                              CRK-10 Level 1

                              Can you post a link to the thread where you found the solution? Thanks

                              • 12. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                GlennPopson Level 1

                                 

                                These are the two threads that helped me get back up and running (in RH8 HTML on XP, btw):

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                http://forums.adobe.com/message/855196#855196

                                 

                                http://forums.adobe.com/message/1910384#1910384

                                 

                                 

                                I had first tried renaming the .cpd file, which stopped the crashing but still resulted in missing topics and broken links.  When I tried renaming the .xpj file as well, my project was intact.  This was a backup (my original lost a bunch of files during the error), but it minimized the amount of rework I needed to do.

                                 

                                Good luck.

                                 

                                Glenn

                                • 13. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                  Author care Level 2

                                  We've also been dealing with a similar problem

                                  See RoboHelp persistent crash

                                  (in RoboHELP HTML section).

                                   

                                  Also judging by all the new posts today and yesterday a major, major bug is emerging. We've notified Adobe already but it would be good I think if as many people as possible did the same!

                                  • 14. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                    CRK-10 Level 1

                                    Fortunately, I had released the Help system last Friday, before the time change. I'm convinced that was the problem. I was able to restore all the "broken" files from the Broken LInks folder and get up and running again. But I don't  know if I'll be so lucky in the future. Adobe has a problem with time change and I don't look forward to March when we go back on Daylight time.

                                     

                                    Thanks for the link

                                     

                                    • 16. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                      Author care Level 2

                                      Interestingly enough, the files we were having problems with could well have been affected by a time change. What's been puzzling us is that PCs are set to ask before doing XP updates etc and we're working locally in folder off the C drive not using my documents etc and we've eliminated re-installation and using a different PC as part of our investigation...

                                       

                                      As shown in the thread referred to above under Robhelp HTML we've set RH to re-build CPD every time it opens a project..

                                      • 17. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                        Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                        Please everyone, there's no need for further notifications to Adobe about the crashing problem, whatever the cause.

                                         

                                        They are working on it urgently and various requested projects are being sent to them for investigation. On this occasion it is in everyone's interests to let them get on with it.

                                         

                                        They cannot do more than they already are.

                                         

                                        Meantime, my Opening RH Projects article explains what you need to be doing.

                                         


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                                        @petergrainge

                                        • 18. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Hi there

                                           

                                          I believe updates are treated totally differently than adjusting the computer clock. While I'm not going to say that things cannot be related to a time change, it would seem odd. The only thing that would seem to make sense is that RoboHelp has some file continuously open even when RoboHelp is not running.

                                           

                                          That would be very odd to see indeed.

                                           

                                          Cheers... Rick

                                           

                                           

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                                          • 19. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                            Author care Level 2

                                            Hi Rick,

                                            To be honest this one's got me really puzzled, the time thing is a bit outside the box. What made me think it was a possibility was the absence of anything else we'd not checked! It's going to be very interesting to see what Adobe come up with....

                                            • 20. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                              RoboHelpUser Level 1

                                              I am hopeful that Adobe will have a patch for this issue very soon...

                                               

                                              Obviously more than one RH8 user is seeing the issue, and hopefully Adobe's support team is getting a handle on it...

                                               

                                              The impact for us - Right now I have 10 users who are seeing this issue with every project worked on prior to this weekend (the DST change?).

                                               

                                              Right now, every RoboHelp project we open is being treated as if it were a "corrupt" project indicated by three distinguishing characteristics:

                                              1.  The majority of files (especially those not recently edited) appear in the TOC with red X's.

                                              2.  The same files appear with red X's in the Broken Links folder.

                                              3.  The same files are missing from the Project Files folder in RH, but they are present in the project folder as viewed in Windows Explorer.

                                               

                                               

                                              As for the workarounds:

                                              • Right-clicking and restoring each file from the broken links folder appears to "fix" things, but with several hundred topics, and the inability to restore all at once, this workaround is a hassle.
                                              • The method for restoring via the XPJ and CPD file deletion, and rebuilding via the HHP is not something I would want some users dabbling with.

                                               

                                              Adobe, if you're listening, please help us out here...

                                              • 21. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                I have indicated in several places that Adobe are working on this. Whilst it may not help you, I know from the time of emails to me that they went well into the evening.

                                                 

                                                I understand that you would not want some people following the solution I have posted but, for now, that is all that is available. Since implementing the methods I have described, we have had no further problems.

                                                 


                                                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                                @petergrainge

                                                • 22. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                                  RoboHelpUser Level 1

                                                  Hi Peter.

                                                   

                                                  Thank you for the reassurance on Adobe's behalf. It is good to know they are acting on the issue...

                                                   

                                                  As you say, the workarounds are all we have right now, and they do get my users and me back to work on current Help projects. Also, as you noted, the issue is not recurrent in those projects once the workaround is applied, which is a good thing...

                                                   

                                                  The unfortunate part of this is that RoboHelp is treating all projects created prior to this week, not just current projects, in the manner described. We opened several pre-existing Help projects and verified this to be the case.

                                                   

                                                  My hope at this point is to assist my group in getting our current projects working properly, and wait until Adobe has a solution that doesn't require the workaround for all the pre-existing Help projects we have. Hopefully, this is the right approach to take, and the workaround will suffice for now...

                                                   

                                                  By the way, thanks for all you do to assist in supporting the RoboHelp user community...

                                                   

                                                  James

                                                  • 23. Re: Issue possibly related to change to daylight saving time
                                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                    Thanks for the kind words.

                                                     


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