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HHC3004: Warning: with invalid HTML tags and then CHM file will not open

New Here ,
Jul 21, 2016 Jul 21, 2016

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I am using RH HTML in version RH11.

I am getting the following, multiple warning messages when compiling the CHM file and the file will not open.

HHC3004: Warning:

TopicName.htm :

The HTML tag "?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?" is not a valid HTML tag (it does not begin with an alphanumeric character).

Here are the strange things...

I am generating using 3 conditional build tags.  It is successful using any of the tags individually, or any 2 of the tags.  Just not all three.

     Capture2.jpg

I am able to generate with 3 build tags, the first 2 of the 3 above and one other one.

Each time I generate using the same settings (the 3 tags), the warning is applied to different topics.  Some topics that had the warning before, don't in the next iteration.

The CHM generates, but the file is double the size of the successful attempts.  64MB vs 32MB.

     Capture1.jpg

Other info:

Working and generating on a single machine.

This worked fine 6/24/2016 with all the exact same settings, the last time I did a build of my CHM.

TOPICS
Classic, HTML help

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Contributor ,
Jul 22, 2016 Jul 22, 2016

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I have seen your error but it didn't prevent me from compiling. From years and years ago, my go-to source for all things CHM related is Rob @ Helpware.net. I actually asked him about this error in May 2016. To paraphrase, he wrote that he had seen the error before but it shouldn't impact the ability to compile - his email to me concluded with "It may be annoying but at least you know you can ignore it and won't affect the CHM output."

So, to me, I would probably rule out the actual CHM compiler. That leaves your HTML code.

I realize my tendencies for troubleshooting lean towards going overboard, but I usually have the most success when I isolate the issue. I would create a new page and generate an output with only that page with a copy of your code. I would one at a time see if you can pinpoint precisely what code is tripping up the compiler.

Because the CHM compiler hasn't been updated in years, you have to learn to play by its rules. It may not be able to handle something - usually unintentional - in your HTML code. I believe that because you wrote "Some topics that had the warning before, don't in the next iteration."  The compiler isn't "magic" - there is a reason you are seeing errors and the fact that it appears to be random makes it all the more frustrating!

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New Here ,
Jul 22, 2016 Jul 22, 2016

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Thank you for your reply.  I am not sure I understand your troubleshooting advice.  I'm not sure I need to create a new page since I am able to successfully compile with the project, just not with the 3 conditional build tags I want.  How does making a new topic isolate why removing topics with the 3 specific tags causes the problem?  Please explain further, as I am desperate for help.

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New Here ,
Jul 22, 2016 Jul 22, 2016

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Very strange.  The issue has suddenly corrected itself.  I played a little with the conditional build tags applied to the very last topic I had touched.  Suddenly, even back with the original tag, it is completing the build and I am able to open it.  Lucky it was a recent topic.  If it had been something else in the last month there would have been no way for me to touch all those topics again.

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New Here ,
Aug 18, 2016 Aug 18, 2016

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Okay...the issue is back.  I have only touched 20 topics (plus some TOC work) since my last successful build.

Any 2 of the 3 tags I need, builds.  All 3, fail.  All 3 plus one, builds.  Here is a representation of what is happening.  Highlighted cells show build options.

It makes no sense.

prhmusic2

You mentioned going through the topics one-by-one.  I did create a new project and imported the 20 topics I have touched since last successful build one-by-one and the builds were successful.  But that dummy project did not have the TOC or other linked topics in it.  Nor did I have the full structure of my current project.  What should I be looking for in the html code??

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 19, 2016 Aug 19, 2016

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Re the second image in your first post, see if Item 6 at Snippets helps.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring information

@petergrainge

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New Here ,
Aug 19, 2016 Aug 19, 2016

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Thank you for the reply Peter.  So, nothing has changed since my last successful build.  In fact I hadn't even closed RoboHelp.  Seems like it couldn't be a dll issue.  Thoughts?

I tried renaming the hh.dat and that did not help either.

I'm not sure I completely understand "name of the directory containing the .chm files".  Does that mean the path/folder I am using to define the location of the chm?  Again, nothing has changed there, I don't see any non-English or special characters, and it works fine for other builds, just not the ones excluding the tags I don't need.

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New Here ,
Aug 19, 2016 Aug 19, 2016

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So this has become nonsensical.  I have identified the offending topic, and it actually comes down to one image. 

  • When I mark the image with one of the tags that I am NOT including in the build, it fails.  Doesn't matter which of the three tags I use.  Note that there are hyperlink texts on the page also marked with these tags that succeed.
  • When I leave the image unmarked, or mark with a tag that IS included in the build, it succeeds.
  • When I try to delete the image (I don't really need it anymore), it fails!!  I have tried deleting in Design and HTML view.
  • I can move the image around on the page and it is fine, but the minute I delete or tag for removal, it fails.

I don't see anything in the HTML code that would cause a problem, although I am not HTML savvy.

What else can I do?  Is there an Adobe person I can speak to?  I need to be able to create a CHM without this image.  Again, one week ago this all worked fine.  The only change to this topic was to add text/hyperlink.  I did not change anything that had to do with this image or the tags.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 21, 2016 Aug 21, 2016

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Does this help? Build Expressions


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring information

@petergrainge

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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No, but thank you.  I did learn a little more about advanced tag references and the 'OR' statement. 

This topic has worked just fine with my tags for over 9 months.  The only thing recently changed in this topic was that I added a text/hyperlink (untagged) elsewhere in the topic.  By trial and error removing and reapplying the tags, it has come down to this one image.  (The exact same tag is excluded just fine when applied to text/hyperlink elsewhere in the topic.)  When this image is tagged or deleted, the build doesn't work (builds, but file doubles in size and can't open).  When I remove the tag from the image, the build works.

It is imperative that I remove this image from all builds going forward.  We have an application release coming up and I have to have my work complete at the end of the week!!

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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If I copy the topic and mark the offending image with the tag needed (v12_1deleted) it builds just fine.

However, if I then mark the original re-named topic (whole thing, not just content) with one of my excluded tags (REMOVE), it fails again.  I am afraid to delete this topic from my project for fear it won't work.  Plus I now have 40+ topics whose links I have to fix if I keep the copied topic.

Why isn't this working?!?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Copy the project so that you have a backup, then delete from one copy.

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Okay.  I'll try that.  Thanks.

Do you have any ideas why this simple image and it's tag are not cooperating?

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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About to try the copy/delete...but there are actually 100 topics that have links to the bad one.  Is there a way to bulk update those links?  To tell RH to reference the new topics in all cases?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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No need. You have a copy of the topic that works. After deleting the rogue

topic, rename the copy with the original name.

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Okay.  Maybe I did it out of order.  I did "Duplicate Topic" of XYZ, then renamed the 'bad' one, then renamed my duplicate the original name.  So right now the duplicate topic is not the one being referenced.  All the links are pointing to "XYZ_BAD" topic.

I need to redo this?  Do "Duplicate Topic" of XYZ, then delete the 'bad' one, then rename my duplicate "Copy of XYZ" the original name?

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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This is really making no sense to me.  Here is what I did:

~Duplicated offending topic (no tag applied to image I need removed), renamed as XYZ_New; verified build works.

~Removed all images in XYZ_New; verified build works.

~Added a new image that I need in XYZ_New; verified build works.

~Deleted original XYZ, renamed XYZ_New to XYZ; build fails!!  (no other tags added or removed in this step)

I don't understand!!

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LEGEND ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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"It is imperative that I remove this image from all builds going forward.  We have an application release coming up and I have to have my work complete at the end of the week!!"

Are we possibly overthinking this? Why is the answer not as simple as just deleting the image?

Cheers... Rick

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Thank you for your thought. 

I wish I were overthinking it.  As I mentioned in the thread above, when I delete the image the build fails (CHM won't open and is double in size).

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LEGEND ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Well THAT's certainly bizarre.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Okay, if it were me, I think I'd give this a try.

Create a totally new project. Import the problem topic into the new project so you have two topics. See if you can compile a CHM file. If the compilation fails, you know for certain that the topic is to blame. At that point, you begin looking at exactly what it is in the topic causing you grief.

Cheers... Rick

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New Here ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Yep...done.  That was one of the first things I tried.  I actually imported all 20 topics I had touched since my last successful build and it worked.  It wasn't until I went through those 20 topics one by one in my original project, removing tags and reinstating them, that I found the offending image.

Do you know if there are any other resources at my disposal besides this forum?  Are there people that can look at my project with me and figure it out?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 22, 2016 Aug 22, 2016

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Sure, I'd be happy to take a look at it. I know Peter Grainge has also frequently offered the same thing. Often, however, we are hit with the "oh, I'm under NDA and nobody can look at it but me". So we tend to avoid having to ask for folks to share their project.

One way to get it to others is to zip it and upload to something like http://www.WeTransfer.com. You would use the recipient's email address. Mine is rickstone1975 (at) gmail (dot) com.

Then I (or whoever you choose to send it to) can download it, unzip it and look at it from our end.

Cheers... Rick

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 24, 2016 Aug 24, 2016

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Have you now resolved this? Rick and I are both willing to take a look but there's no way we can figure this out without seeing the problem.


See www.grainge.org for RoboHelp and Authoring information

@petergrainge

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New Here ,
Aug 25, 2016 Aug 25, 2016

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Thank you for inquiring Peter.  No, my issue is not resolved.  After burning 4 full days on troubleshooting, I finally just reduced the image size to a speck on the screen.  I plan to revisit it after my deadline has passed.  Thank you for reaching out.  I will be sure to have you or Rick take a look (if management approves lack of NDA, which I think they will).

Thanks!

Jonell

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