17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 21, 2010 9:27 AM by Captiv8r

    Topic keeps disappearing from project

    ashb22 Level 1

      A few weeks ago, I noticed that the topic we use as the welcome page for our .chm files was missing from several projects. I reimported them, recompiled the .chm files, and all was well.

       

      Today, I realized that the same topic is again missing from one of the projects (and maybe others - I haven't checked yet).

       

      It does not show up on the Project tab; however, when I browse to the folder in Explorer, the HTML file is there. When I open the .fpj file using Notepad, the topic is not listed. In this case, it is the only topic in the folder. At this point I don't know what else may have disappeared.

       

      I can reimport the topic again, but I'm afraid that it will go missing in a week or so. Has anyone else experienced this issue? I've seen other posts related to missing topics, but not one where the same topic goes missing after it's been reimported. (Sorry if I missed something and this is a duplicate post.)

       

      I'm using RoboHelp HTML X5.0.2 with Windows XP.

        • 1. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          The posts you have seen are more than likely referring to a different version of RH than the one you are using. Can you start by telling us where your project are? If they are on a network drive, move them off to a local drive.

           


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          • 2. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
            ashb22 Level 1

            Thanks for the response. Sorry for the delayed reply - I've been out of the office for a couple of weeks.

             

            The files are stored on a network drive. I've read in other posts that this causes problems, but they have been storing these projects on a network for at least four years. So I have two follow up questions:

             

            A. Does anyone know why this would suddenly start happening?


            B. Does anyone know if the issue has been resolved in RoboHelp 8?

             

            Also, any suggestions on how to manage projects that must be accessed by three different people if they cannot be stored on a network?

             

            Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
              Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Hi there

               

              ashb22 wrote:

               

              A. Does anyone know why this would suddenly start happening?

               

              Well, it's like this. You can take a revolver and place a single bullet in it. Point it at your head and pull the trigger. And five out of six trigger pulls you will be fine and nothing will happen. Let's just say that you finally pulled the trigger where the bullet was in the chamber. Lucky you!

               

              B. Does anyone know if the issue has been resolved in RoboHelp 8?

               

              RoboHelp 8 doesn't change anything.

               

              Also, any suggestions on how to manage projects that must be accessed by three different people if they cannot be stored on a network?

               

              Source control...

               

              I have a free sample eBook describing this on my GooberGuides site.

               

              Cheers... Rick

               

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              • 4. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                One suggestion I saw was a change in the network traffic or environment. Bottom line is as Rick says, you've been playing Russian Roulette for 4 years. Still doesn't make it a sensible game.

                 


                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                 

                @petergrainge

                • 5. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                  ashb22 Level 1

                  Thanks to everyone for your replies.

                  • 6. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                    ashb22 Level 1

                    Hi,

                     

                    I'm revisiting this issue because I'm not sure that the storage of the project files on a network is actually causing this particular problem, and I'd appreciate input from anyone who could help rule it out based on additional information provided below. (I'm not even sure that this a RoboHelp problem.)

                     

                    As the network issue was further explained to me by a former Adobe employee, the problem is due to the fact that the .cpd file is actually an Access database. Because Access was never designed to run over a network, the .cpd file can be negatively affected in unpredictable ways when you update a project stored on a network drive.

                     

                    In this case, all of our Welcome.htm files have been overwritten with an older version of the file. This has happened twice - once on July 8th and again on the 16th.

                     

                    Here is why I don't think the issue is related to the project file being on a network drive.

                     

                    A. We have over 30 project folders, each of which has a Welcome.htm file. The Welcome.htm file was overwritten in all but five or six of the project folders. We did not access all of those projects where the file was overwritten on the 16th. Some of them had not been accessed since the 8th, when we went through and fixed the Welcome.htm pages the first time.

                     

                    B. When I use Access to open the .cpd file for one of the projects, it shows the last modified date of the Welcome.htm file to be 6/10/10, which should be correct. However, when I browse to the Welcome.htm file through Windows Explorer, it shows a last modified date of 7/16/10, which is when I presume the file was overwritten. That makes me wonder if this has nothing to do with RoboHelp, and the file was overwritten some other way.

                     

                    If you got this far, thanks for reading - I realize it seems odd. I'm at a complete loss, but ruling out RoboHelp as part of the problem would be a good first step.

                    • 7. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                      Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Hi there

                       

                      Sooo, just so I'm understanding. You have been advised by several folks here that are quite knowledgable as well as Adobe employees themselves that projects on a network are a bad idea and can cause any manner of issues. Yet, you seem to insist that having your RoboHelp projects edited and maintained on a network resource simply cannot be the issue. You seem to be resisting the very suggestion that you copy your files locally.

                       

                      Here's a thought. It seems such a simple test to sort this theory. Simply copy the project files to your local drive. Work that way for a period of time. Two weeks, Three weeks, whatever. See if the issue happens again. If it doesn't, it seems to point the finger to the network being a most likely suspect, doesn't it? If it does happen there, you can then thumb your nose at all of us and say neener neener RoboWieners.

                       

                      I'm well aware of the fact that those that have worked off a network for a long period as you have are the most difficult to convince otherwise.

                       

                      The thing is, there is a relationship between the project's CPD file and the project's main control files. You cannot (and should not) rely only upon what you see inside the CPD as being law and gospel as far as what is happening in the project. Things can happen that aren't reflected in the CPD. Especially if the network connection is causing the issue, because it is most likely a mismatch between the CPD contents and the actual project files that is to blame for the issue.

                       

                      Can you advise as to whether you have even tried copying the files locally and working that way?

                       

                      Cheers... Rick

                       

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                      • 8. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                        Ashley_Bryant

                        I'm not disputing that it's a bad idea to store files on a network. And you misread my post if you think I'm insisting that storing files on a network is not the cause of our current problem. It specifically says, "I'm not sure if..." I was convinced that the network storage was the cause until I looked at the files that were affected today and noted the times that they were modified.

                         

                        What I'm trying to do is present additional information about the problem and ask questions that occurred to me to see if anyone had additional thoughts on the matter.

                         

                        Unfortunately, copying the files to my local drive isn't an option because there are two other people who access them as much as I do. Someone else on our team looked into using one of the two version control programs that out developers use to check files in and out, but it seems that it would require moving the entire project folder each time we needed to access one of them. They are quite large so it would be extremely time consuming.

                         

                        Obviously we we have to come up with a solution, but that involves research, which is what I'm doing.

                        • 9. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                          Jeff_Coatsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          1. there are version control programs that have nothing to do with your developers - e.g. RoboSource Control

                          2. there is a "freebie" non-source control method that, I believe, Peter Grange has discussed on his site involving zipping the project up & pulling it down locally to work on.

                           

                          If you're all trying to access the same projects at the same time, then source control is for you.

                          • 10. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                            MergeThis Level 4

                            First, a major point of clarification: storing RH projects on a server is not a problem (with or without source control). It's opening and working on a RH project on a server that is bad. Too many replies here have confused the two, or not made the distinction clear.

                             

                            Second, the .cpd file is one of four files that should not be included in source control:

                             

                            .cpd

                            .hhp

                            .ldb

                            .pss

                             

                            One of them only appears if you generate .chm output, and the others are user/machine-specific. RH SC itself will not add these files when adding the project to source control, so this was probably done manually by someone at your organization.

                             

                            This is what should appear in your source control view for a project named "installation."

                             

                            cpdtest.gif

                             

                            Good luck,

                            Leon

                            • 11. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                              WARNING Leon is back in town so we all better behave and do the job properly.

                               

                              Good to see you back.

                               


                              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                               

                              @petergrainge

                              • 12. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                                MergeThis Level 4

                                Good to be seen!

                                • 13. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                                  Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                  Jeff_Coatsworth wrote:

                                   

                                  ...If you're all trying to access the same projects at the same time, then source control is for you.

                                   

                                  Assuming, of course, that you are willing to deal with the added overhead and possible bizarre behavior of an added layer to troubleshoot when things go wrong.

                                   

                                  Cheers... Rick

                                   

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                                  • 14. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                                    Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Ditto from me! Welcome back Leon!


                                    • 15. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                                      Ioana_S

                                      Hi,

                                       

                                      Sorry to interfere in the thread, but I was intrigued by something.

                                       

                                      You mentioned not including certain files in Source Control. We do have them source controlled and I have noticed some issues with the .pss file (not getting checked back in). So I have 2 questions:

                                      1. Why is it bad to source control these?

                                      2. Is there a way to remove these from RS without removing/readding the whole project? (I'm not in charge with this task, but I want to make life easier for my coworker )

                                       

                                      (Background: I've been working with RH for ~4-5 months; my office has implemented RoboSource ~2 weeks ago; I'm not very knowledgeable with either of them, but I was partly in charge of getting RS to work.)

                                      • 16. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                                        MergeThis Level 4

                                        In RSC 3.1, select the file(s), Edit > Delete / Hide.

                                         

                                        • Hide in All Views (if the folder has been branched, the file is hidden in the branch as well)
                                        • Hide in Current View Only (self-explanatory)
                                        • Permanently Delete from Database. (That's the RSC database.)

                                         

                                        I believe the difference is that hiding the file severs the connection but keeps the accumulated history, whereas deleting the file removes the file and its accumulated history. Try hiding first.

                                         

                                        Depending on how RSC was configured, you might need Admin privs for hiding/deleting, or someone with privs might need to perform the operation for you.

                                         

                                         

                                        Good luck,

                                        Leon

                                        • 17. Re: Topic keeps disappearing from project
                                          Captiv8r Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                          Hi there

                                           

                                          The best (and simplest) approach is to use RoboHelp's Source Control toolbar to add projects to Source Control. This way only the files that are supposed to be added to source control are actually included.

                                           

                                          Certain files are only needed during the editing process. Particularly the CPD and LDB files. They are easily re-created if they are missing. Those are related to a Microsoft Access Database. The .HHP is the project file consulted when a CHM is built. If it's not present RoboHelp will recreate one if you build a CHM. The PSS is a Pre Single Source file that is consulted before your Single Source Layout recipe is created.

                                           

                                          By using RoboHelp to add the project to Source Control it knows to leave these out of the mix. Actually, truth be known here, that's likely how this list was arrived at. Someone probably added a project to Source Control with RoboHelp and made note of the files that RoboHelp *didn't add*. This made it easy to figure out what to add or what not to add if manually adding projects to source control.

                                           

                                          Cheers... Rick

                                           

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