8 Replies Latest reply on May 6, 2011 7:47 AM by RoboColum(n)

    Conditional build tag invalid?


      Hello everyone!


      I'm using RoboHelp 9 and I had to add a new conditional build tag to my documentation yesterday.

      It's not the first time I had to do this since switching to RoboHelp 9 and it never was problematic.


      However, when I try to create a document now, RoboHelp tells me that this new build tag is invalid.

      I googled and searched but I cannot even find this error message anywhere on the net.


      Does anybody know what might cause this error and how I can fix it?



      Thank you very much in advance!


        • 1. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
          RoboColum(n) Level 5

          Hi Louisa,


          Can you tell us the name of the CBT you are trying to create? Is the error being generated when you create the CBT, applying it to some content or building a CBT expression? Also are there any other CBTs in this project? Is the problem only in one project? Sorry for all the questions but we haven't got a lot to go on.


            The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
          • 2. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
            Louisa_de Level 1


            No, questions are good! Thank you for them!


            I don't think I can tell you the name due to confidentiality issues.  But I can tell you it's capitalized, consists of 37 characters, 5 of them being _ and it's by far not the only (nor the longest) cbt in the document. It's one of over 100.


            I have only tried entering the cbt in this project because I only need it in this project.


            Does that help?


            Otherwise just ask.


            Thank you so much!



            • 3. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
              RoboColum(n) Level 5

              Wow! 37 characters and its not the longest? Why so long? Bear in mind there is a restriction on the number of 255 characters in a CBT expression and that includes the boolean operands. Can you abbreviate them and avoid using any underscores. These do not play nicely in many places in RoboHelp. Haven't tried using them in CBTs but expect this could be the issue. Capitals should be OK.


                The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
              • 4. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
                Louisa_de Level 1


                Thanks for your answer!


                We've developed a workaround for the 255 character problem. All in all the cbt take up more than 2500 characters in that project and that has never been a problem. This is the first cbt that proves to be problematic, but I don't know why. To me it doesn't look any different than the other 108 or so cbt.


                I cannnot abbreviate the cbt because I don't name them, they are given to me and I only implement them. There's then a complex mechanism which automatically generates a list of the cbt needed for each project because selecting them manually would be very accident-prone.


                However, what I'm gonna try now is delete a different cbt and see if that solves the problem. Then it would probably be down to the number of characters and I'd discovered the limits of our workaround.


                If anyone has any ideas in the meantime, please let me know!


                Thank you very much!




                P.S.: Deleting a different cbt has not worked, it's still this cbt that creates the problem.

                • 5. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
                  RoboColum(n) Level 5

                  Maybe you should think of getting the person who gives you the CBT to rethink how they create them. That would surely also help with making them less confidential and just think of the fun you could have formulating a code for them


                  As for manually selecting the CBTs, you don't have to. You can create multiple versions of your output type single source layout and change the CBT expression once for each one. I blogged about this here if you fancy a read.


                  You could also try creating the problematic CBT in a new project. That would tell you if the problem was the CBT itself.


                    The RoboColum(n)   @robocolumn   Colum McAndrew
                  • 6. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
                    MergeThis Level 4

                    I would hope that you might be able to receive more cooperation from those who "give" you these cbt's and maintain the "complex mechanism which automatically generates a list of the cbt needed for each project." Can't they abbreviate this one cbt to clear up the problem (for which they might be primarily responsible)?


                    I'd start with removing the underscores, then the uppercase, then finally some characters; whatever works is the final version.



                    Good luck,


                    • 7. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
                      Louisa_de Level 1

                      Hi Colum! Hi Leon! Hi everybody else!


                      I have created different layouts and don't select the CBTs manually, but they are selected for me by a special tool depending on which text sections are needed.


                      For example: When product A features "function 1", "function 1"'s conditional tag is activated and then the section concerning "function 1" is contained in the output. Product A does not feature "function 2", so there's an inverted conditional tag for "function 2", so the section of the text concerning "function 2" is excluded from the output.


                      That also explains why I don't name the CBT's, they're named by those developing the functions.

                      Changing them is always a big issue as that also influences the product and that's why they have to have certain names, too, so that they can be easily recognized, you see?


                      I hope, that's an understandable description, English is not my mothertongue.


                      Still, I managed to narrow down the problem: RoboHelp doesn't like CBTs longer than 32 characters.


                      For this reason it doesn't accept the above mentioned tag in full, but cuts it off after character 32 which is basically the reason why I get the "invalid" message.


                      The selected tag that is given to me is "xyz_interface", the project cuts this down to "xyz_inte".


                      However, I have one CBT that's 38 characters long. I don't even understand how this could've have been added to the project. My predecessor must have managed that somehow, but how? I haven't found anything about that 32 character limit and how to avoid it.


                      Does anybody have an idea?


                      Thanks a million!



                      • 8. Re: Conditional build tag invalid?
                        RoboColum(n) Level 5

                        Hi Louisa.


                        Apologises for the slow response today. I am travelling until Monday and have limited email access. Anyway if you want to progress this issue you really will have to consider shortening your CBTs. No matter who produces them. I'd strongly urge you to change your working practices by going to whoever creates them and asking them if they'd like it if you told them what to do. If you go to them with the limitations already outlined they will have to agree to letting you decide. After all you are the RoboHelp user, not them!