Sorry, but you will have to offer more for us to go on. Your statement is nebulous at best. How exactly are you stating that files are being "messed with". Are they becoming corrupt? Deleted? Please be a bit specific.
Keep in mind as well that the version of RoboHelp you are using (X3) is about eight years old, having been released in September of 2002.
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Sorry, Rick, I guess that was a bit vague. For the most
part it seems that HTM files are changed and the changes are non-destructive. For example here is a sample of a before and after launch incident:
padding-bottom: 0px;"><a NAME=PutSourceFlagType
padding-bottom: 0px;"><a NAME="PutSourceFlagType" HREF="OaxPutSourceFlagType.htm">PutSourceFlagType</a></td>
Please note 2 things: 1) the original spans two lines of source and 2) the original has the (incorrect? optional?) syntax of NOT enclosing the NAME parameter in quotes. I suppose you could say that I am trying to convince my self that by regenerating the MPJ files from the HHP files that I am inadvertantly cleaning up some syntax issues/inconsistencies.
My concern is with the shear magnitude of files that are affected. I am "regenerating" some 40 RH projects this way, and the affected file count is about 2500, so I don't want to jump the gun, if you see what I mean.
Thanks for your time on this.
Okay, I'm nearly out the door for the evening but I've got more questions here.
First, would it be safe to assume that RoboHelp HTML X3 was not used to create these projects to begin with? You stated there was no MPJ file and that you were working from the HHP. So this suggests that RoboHelp either wasn't used or that perhaps it was, but you lost the source and decompiled to obtain and edit the source to update the project.
Second, is the content being again produced as a CHM once you finish? If so, have you tried recompiling? Assuming things compile just fine and the CHM behaves just fine after you edit, I'm wondering if you might be being a bit overly picky about what the source code looks like. For me, I really wouldn't care if there were 100 blank lines between lines as long as the end result worked for me without issue. But as you can tell, I'm a bit laid back on that. I know there are folks that like the HTML to be squeaky clean.
It may boil down to just having to accept that the tool produces something that works, but in a manner you disagree with on some level. I suppose I would consider the following parallel to work here.
I might use a table saw to make some straight cuts for a piece of furniture. Some of the cuts may occur where some awful markings would appear, but would be on the underside of the wood I was using. So I could build the furniture with what I had. It looks just fine and works just fine for someone looking at it, but if they took it apart they would see the saw lines.
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Interesting analogy; I'm a (ahem) part-time wood worker myself, so I get
your point. As to your questions ...
The history of the help system I'm dealing with is quite sordid spanning
about 15 years. It was done from the beginning with RH though that
effort started with whatever RH offered in 1996. Basically, the
development team of which I am part (none of us are professional
documentation people) is trying to resurrect and stabilize the
pre-existing help system - some 40K files of content. I personally am
using RH X3. The other guys are using only what they can get for free
... like HTML Workshop. I am trying to fix things in such a way as to
make it possible for the other guys (or, myself, if I so choose) to use
generic tools to modify and extend the existing stuff. The reason I am
at this particular juncture is so convoluted, I would not want to take
your or anyone else's time to explain. So, your guess is pretty good
but the reality of where I am and how I got here is much worse!
As far as your second question, yes, the resulting CHM file(s, remember
there are about 3 dozen separate projects) seem to produce the same end
effect. So that's good. And, despite what it seems, I too am pretty
pragmatic about these things: blank lines and other form-over-function
issues don't bother me at all; you make an excellent point, and I can
certainly live with that. Actually, all of your points are well taken
and I appreciate your comments.
Bottom line: I think I have enough of a warm and fuzzy to move forward.