I really like some of the updates for FrameMaker 2017. Overall, it's working better for me than 2015. However, I've had the following scenario happen twice now. I thought that it was just me at first, but I'm 98 percent certain that this is something else.
I went to update a book file. When the book finished updating, it generated an error report that had a bunch of broken cross-references to a single chapter. When I looked at the book file, the normal FM document icon had turned gray and featured a question mark (as though the file had been deleted or had been moved). I opened the folder containing the chapters only to discover that my chapter had vanished. It's nowhere to be found.
My IT department probably assumes that I'm deleting stuff on accident and blaming the software, but I was working on the file in question earlier today and did not delete anything from that folder.
It's possible that the file vanished earlier and that I didn't realize it until the update, but it's also possible that something is going wrong during the update.
Has anyone been having a similar issue?
No, I have not seen this issue occur on my computers, nor on those of my students when teaching the book commands. Are the files stored on a local drive, or on a shared drive that others have access to?
I've fairly often had files appear to go AWOL, including knock-on effects on cross-references … here, it seems to be a network issue. As far as I remember, opening the rogue file directly from the W*ws file explorer generally reassures FM that the file still exists. But good luck with getting a more definitive and certain answer ;-}
They're on a shared drive. Only two other people would have any reason to be in that folder, though, and it's buried far enough down that I don't think any other people would find it. It's possible, however, that someone else accidentally deleted them, so I am looking into that as well.
Are all the component files of the book open when this happens?
If not, are the afflicted files open?
What state are any .bak files left in?
I don't think any of the component files in the book were open. It's possible one was, but the missing file was definitely closed. I haven't been generating .bak files. I'm going to have to start doing that, though.
Somebody else reported this happening IIRC, but I don't recall what the solution was (or even the cause) but I think it was something to do with their network/environment. Good rule of thumb is to keep your path+filenames as short as you can when working on network drives (found that out the hard way when some of my xrefs stopped working correctly when exported to RoboHelp).
[edit - think I found it - https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1569440 ]
Like Barb, I have never seen this happen due to an update.
Could the files have been moved or renamed outside of Frame?
As a rule, I like to make my own backup copy of projects on my own hard drive when the main project is on the server. I usually copy it on a daily basis, but I don't use it except for emergencies. (Of course, this depends on your companies security policies.)
On a barely-related note, I have experienced file issues when working directly on Dropbox. I routinely lay out InDesign books that are saved on Dropbox but this workflow does not work with FrameMaker. The details are cloudy now, but files would disappear and I'd find a strangely-named file in its place in the Dropbox project folder after updating my book. I do enable backup files in FrameMaker so I didn't lose work, and once I moved the project folder back to a local drive, this issue was gone for good.
Just putting it out there.
re: ...and I'd find a strangely-named file in its place...
It's always been my impression that FM uses temporary files with semi-random names during many kinds of saves, writes and re-writes; followed by renames, deletes, and more renames. The ostensible goal of all this is to avoid damaging content if a failure occurs mid-write.
When any names but *.backup become more than transiently visible to the user, big trouble may be afoot, and not necessarily Adobe trouble.
I've tried to recreate the error about fifteen times in the last two days. I now think that I'm experiencing some sort of issue with our server or something unrelated to FrameMaker.
IDEAS-Training, that's a good idea. I turned on the automatic backup feature in FrameMaker, and I am copying everything in that folder into another folder on my desktop each night. My IT department suggested that, too, at least for a few weeks.
In the meantime, I am recording my screen every time that I update. If it happens again, I'll have proof that I'm not crazy.