16 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2011 4:54 AM by cjvezeau2011

    Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing

    elemonated

      So, I'm trying to create a Merged project out of RoboHelp 8. Said merged project is going to be a browser-based help guide, and right now, I'm trying to create a master project with the following structure:

       

      Intro topic (this is part of the parent project)

           Child Project 1

           Child Project 2

       

      After a bit of trial and error, what I've come up with is a bit odd. My master project has all of the files in it, and if I look in the index, or use the search feature, I can find them, but the TOC is almost blank. It contains the intro topic, and the titles of the two "books" my child projects are entered under, but no subsequent topics. Again, the files are there, but they're not shoing up in the TOC.

       

      Any ideas?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
          Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

          Start by taking a look at the merged help tutorials on my site.

           


          See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

           

          @petergrainge

          • 2. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
            elemonated Level 1

            The only bit I saw there that seemed relevant was the part about synchronizing the Tables of Contents. The solution is...


            You need to edit a file called whthost.js.

            Except there is no file in my project. There's a whfhost.js file, but it doesn't seem to contain the same code as the file I'm supposed to edit.

             

            Still at square one, I'm afraid.

            • 3. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
              Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

              That bit is about whether or not the topic showing syncs with the TOC, not whether the topic is in the TOC.

               

              Check that when you generate the child projects, the correct TOC is selected in the wizard. It might be worth creating another TOC in one of them to check the different contents display in the output.

               


              See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

               

              @petergrainge

              • 4. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                elemonated Level 1

                Man, I almost thought I had it fixed.

                 

                So, previously my TOC for the parent had consisted of an intro topic (located in the parent), and the links to the two child projects. On a whim, I deleted the intro topic from the TOC, and regenerated the parent project. The result? I thought I had fixed it! Well, at the very least, something was different, as I was able to open the project from my local drive (previous iterations of the project would not work until they were deployed on our server). In said project I could see the full TOC for the project at large.

                 

                Unfortunately, this victory was short-lived. When the project was moved to the server, the TOC was "blank" again. Sigh.

                • 5. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                  Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                  Try with the demo merge that you can download from my site. Then we are working with a known quantity.

                   


                  See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                   

                  @petergrainge

                  • 6. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                    elemonated Level 1

                    Well, I had the time to drive through the tutorial this morning. I started out doing the normal webhelp merge. Everything seemed to work out fine. I then tried to merge everything through a Browser-based AIR output. Didn't work! Not only is the TOC non-functional, but the start topic comes up with a "file not found" error. Further, there seem to be no topics at all included in the merged project! Obviously something is a little wrong, here.

                    • 7. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                      Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                      So using the same set of files you can generate merged webhelp but not merged  browser based AIR help?

                       

                      Are you using IE and not noticing the yellow information bar?

                       

                      Zip up the download that will not generate for you and send it to me. Instructions on my site. Include a link to this thread.

                       


                      See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                       

                      @petergrainge

                      • 8. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                        elemonated Level 1

                        Email sent.


                        For the record, I tested it in both IE and Firefox, and it didn't work in either browser. No yellow information bars popped up, either.

                        • 9. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                          cjvezeau2011

                          I have this exact same issue. Merged TOCs work fine locally, but they do not once you move them to the server (whether publish via RH FTP or external FTP). The content is searchable and appears in the index, but no merged TOCs appear in the Parent TOC once moved to server. This is really frustrating. What could possibly change just from moving the files???

                          • 10. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                            Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                            cjvezeau2011

                             

                            Does this also happen if you use the Demo merged help project on my site?

                             


                            See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                             

                            @petergrainge

                            • 11. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                              bluejays47

                              In the months since this problem started, I've been back and forth with Adobe's customer support people, trying to get an official fix. To call their response "underwhelming" would be an insult to the world of "underwhelming" things. However, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that we managed to figure out what was going on by ourselves. The bad news is that the workaround we've created is fairly impractical for actual use.

                               

                              To quote from what we sent to Adobe:

                               

                              "The workaround to solve this problem lies in the parent XML TOC file:

                               

                               

                              (Project Root)/whxdata/whtdata0.xml

                               

                               

                              If you open whtdata0.xml you see the project elements. This is the problem. Now, if the project elements are replaced with everything from the child whtdata0.xml file except the XML declaration and the open and close tocdata element the TOC works fine. The paths of all the items are incorrect now. To fix this the url attribute of every item element needs to be modified to reflect the relative path to the child document from the parent document root.

                               

                              The same must be performed for every chunk element you encounter in any whtdata0.xml file."

                               

                              In other words, you have to copy and paste the correct path for each TOC element. For projects with relatively small TOCs, that won't be the worst problem, but for larger projects, that's not something that's feasible in a real production environment.

                              • 12. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                                Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                                Bluejays 47 is also Elemonated.

                                 

                                You should not need to be playing with those files.

                                 

                                If you zip up and send me your test set up I will take a look. Please send following the details on the Contact page on my site.

                                 


                                See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                 

                                @petergrainge

                                • 13. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                                  cjvezeau2011 Level 1

                                  Peter - Your demo seems to imply that you must ALWAYS hack the published output files ( as indicated in your "Step 5 - Amend the Relative Paths"). Is this really true? If it is, it essentially means RoboHelp cannot actually manage merged projects as simply as Adobe might want you to believe, because I don't find an equivalent set of instructions in Adobe's documentation. I completely share the frustration with the other user in this thread because Adobe appears to half-heartedly implement a very useful feature.

                                   

                                  Additionally, your demo is geared towards WebHelp only. Are there differences for Flash Help or Adobe AIR (browser-based) help? Because I cannot find a SINGLE output that displays properly (w/ some not displaying at all).

                                   

                                  I don't mean to direct this at you, but I do want to caution people to not waste the time that I - and apparently many other people - have trying to get a usable output. I'm getting really, really frustrated with Adobe RoboHelp and all the apparent "hacks" you need to do just to get it to do what they say it does. What is really getting on my nerves is how none of the outputs display properly. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent attempting to get this product to do what it says. It is making me look bad on this project because I'm spending time doing this crap instead of generating content (which is what they're paying me to do). At some point, this product is going to lose significant credibility based on what I'm seeing in the forums.

                                  • 14. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                                    Peter Grainge Adobe Community Professional

                                    Until we have identified the problem is with the method rather than something you may be doing, I don't think it appropriate to caution people against using merged help. It does work for many people.

                                     

                                    Why are you looking at an old method that I clearly advocate should only be used in a particular scenario? If you use the method I describe in http://www.grainge.org/pages/authoring/merging_webhelp/merging_method_rh8.htm you will see that Step 5 Amend the Relative Path does not exist.

                                     

                                    Yes the topic is geared to WebHelp, that's why I have titled it Merged WebHelp. However, without stopping to test it again, I believe the method is exactly the same other than maybe on path difference which will be obvious when you generate the child projects.

                                     

                                    See the tutorial I have pointed you to above and try again. If that doesn't work, I've already offered to look at your project.

                                     

                                    Be aware that merged browser based help does not merge the index properly. If the same keyword is in more than one project, it will appear in the index separately. Maybe it was you who reported that. Someone did recently. Other than that though, it worked in the test I ran.

                                     


                                    See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring tips

                                     

                                    @petergrainge

                                    • 15. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                                      RoboAsh Level 2

                                      Are you Publishing the mearged Project on RoboHelp Server and the merging is done in RobpHelp client?

                                       

                                      If you are using RoboHelp server, I would suggest you to merge the project through RoboHelp server, it should show up properly on the server

                                       

                                      Ashish

                                      • 16. Re: Merged Project TOC shows... almost nothing
                                        cjvezeau2011 Level 1

                                        Robo Server is not being used. This is being generated/published to a local machine, and then FTP'd to a JBoss web server.

                                         

                                        Regards,

                                         

                                        Chris