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Can't generate webhelp using a conditional build expression

Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2016

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Background

  • RoboHelp HTML 7 (I know it's old)
  • Windows 7
  • Project has always had conditional text -- successfully updated/generated webhelp about 4 months ago.
  • Other projects of mine that have conditional text still work fine -- meaning I can successfully generate webhelp using a conditional build expression for all my other projects.

Problem

When I try to generate webhelp for this specific project, RoboHelp hangs during the "updating files" progress message. The only way out is to close RH entirely. I can successfully generate webhelp for this specific project if I use NO conditional build expressions. 

What I've tried

  • As stated above, I can generate webhelp for this project if I don't use a conditional build expression.
  • I've tried the following in different combinations: removed all conditional text tags and conditions, deleted the .pss file, deleted the .cpd file, looked at table formatting, created new conditions with new names.  Result is always the same: RH hangs if I use a conditional build expression.

Things I've noticed

  • The root project file has many temporary Robohelp files after the generate fails. If I subsequently generate with no conditional build expressions, the temp files are gone.  This is probably normal RH behavior.
  • After I remove all conditions and conditional text references from all topics, I added a new condition.  I did NOT mark any text as conditional.  I added a conditional build expression.  Generate hangs.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Correct answer by cquesada27 | Community Beginner

hello! I was having same issue. Turns out it was an issue with a single topic! Talk about needle in a hay stack! More specifically, it was an issue with a cell that had a condition applied to it (last cell of a table).

Note: The way this table was split and merged and had conditions applied to it (on some columns, not others)...I am not surprised there was an issue.

Steps taken:

  1. Created a new project. (wanted to see if it was a problem with my project possibly being corrupted or if it was something with files and/or conditions).
  2. Imported all topics, recreated WebHelp SSL, tried to regenerate, it hung (good news: not my project. bad news: I would have to dig further).
  3. Created another new project.
  4. Imported a file that had all my conditions in it so that I could re-create my WebHelp SSL (with the conditions having been imported into the new project).
  5. I generated the WebHelp with no conditions excluded. Worked.
  6. I generated the WebHelp with the same exclusions defined as I had in my original project. Worked.
  7. I imported 5 topics from my original topic and regenerated. Worked.
  8. I kept repeating importing topics 5 at a time and regenerating until it didn't work.
  9. Deleted the last 5 (generated after deleting, just to make sure it was ok), then imported one at a time until generation didn't work and project was not responsive.
  10. Once I identified the topic that was creating the issue (didn't know what the problem was going to be yet), I started another project and imported ONLY the problem topic. Then I deleted 3/4 of the topic and regenerated. Worked. Imported the topic again (replacing the stripped down topic) and this time I deleted less content. Regenerated. Didn't work.This helped me to pinpoint the specific area that was causing the issue which in my case was the build tag closing out after the table tag.

If it is the same issue, perhaps you can save time and look for this string to identify: "</td><?rh-cbt_end ?>   </tr> </table>"

Hope this helps! Good luck

-c

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WebHelp

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Can't generate webhelp using a conditional build expression

Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2016

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Background

  • RoboHelp HTML 7 (I know it's old)
  • Windows 7
  • Project has always had conditional text -- successfully updated/generated webhelp about 4 months ago.
  • Other projects of mine that have conditional text still work fine -- meaning I can successfully generate webhelp using a conditional build expression for all my other projects.

Problem

When I try to generate webhelp for this specific project, RoboHelp hangs during the "updating files" progress message. The only way out is to close RH entirely. I can successfully generate webhelp for this specific project if I use NO conditional build expressions. 

What I've tried

  • As stated above, I can generate webhelp for this project if I don't use a conditional build expression.
  • I've tried the following in different combinations: removed all conditional text tags and conditions, deleted the .pss file, deleted the .cpd file, looked at table formatting, created new conditions with new names.  Result is always the same: RH hangs if I use a conditional build expression.

Things I've noticed

  • The root project file has many temporary Robohelp files after the generate fails. If I subsequently generate with no conditional build expressions, the temp files are gone.  This is probably normal RH behavior.
  • After I remove all conditions and conditional text references from all topics, I added a new condition.  I did NOT mark any text as conditional.  I added a conditional build expression.  Generate hangs.

Any ideas would be appreciated!

Correct answer by cquesada27 | Community Beginner

hello! I was having same issue. Turns out it was an issue with a single topic! Talk about needle in a hay stack! More specifically, it was an issue with a cell that had a condition applied to it (last cell of a table).

Note: The way this table was split and merged and had conditions applied to it (on some columns, not others)...I am not surprised there was an issue.

Steps taken:

  1. Created a new project. (wanted to see if it was a problem with my project possibly being corrupted or if it was something with files and/or conditions).
  2. Imported all topics, recreated WebHelp SSL, tried to regenerate, it hung (good news: not my project. bad news: I would have to dig further).
  3. Created another new project.
  4. Imported a file that had all my conditions in it so that I could re-create my WebHelp SSL (with the conditions having been imported into the new project).
  5. I generated the WebHelp with no conditions excluded. Worked.
  6. I generated the WebHelp with the same exclusions defined as I had in my original project. Worked.
  7. I imported 5 topics from my original topic and regenerated. Worked.
  8. I kept repeating importing topics 5 at a time and regenerating until it didn't work.
  9. Deleted the last 5 (generated after deleting, just to make sure it was ok), then imported one at a time until generation didn't work and project was not responsive.
  10. Once I identified the topic that was creating the issue (didn't know what the problem was going to be yet), I started another project and imported ONLY the problem topic. Then I deleted 3/4 of the topic and regenerated. Worked. Imported the topic again (replacing the stripped down topic) and this time I deleted less content. Regenerated. Didn't work.This helped me to pinpoint the specific area that was causing the issue which in my case was the build tag closing out after the table tag.

If it is the same issue, perhaps you can save time and look for this string to identify: "</td><?rh-cbt_end ?>   </tr> </table>"

Hope this helps! Good luck

-c

TOPICS
WebHelp

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Feb 03, 2016 0
LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2016

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Hi there

I think the first thing I would try would be to create a new Single Source Layout. Then see if the conditionals hang that one.

If not, it was layout related and sometimes that happens. If the problem persists, I would expect something is going on with one or more topics. In that case it becomes a matter of figuring out which topics have the issues. You can work with a copy of the project. Delete half the topics and see if anything changes. The goal is to slice and dice and test until you isolate the problem topic(s).

Cheers... Rick

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Feb 03, 2016 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2016

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Thanks. I'll let you know if any of that works.

Noel

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Feb 03, 2016 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2016

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Unfortunately I still can't generate webhelp using a conditional build expression in this one single project.  I tried your suggestion of deleting the Single Source Layout.  I also tried deleting topics, which eventually worked... sort of.  There are about 150 topics in this project, so I deleted them in alphabetical groups.  Deleted all the As, generated, deleted all the Bs, generated, and so on.  After I deleted all the Ss, it generated while using the conditional build expression.  I went back to an earlier copy before I started deleting topics, and I deleted only the Ss.  No dice.  By the time I deleted A-S, there are only 13 topics left in the project.  I don't know if this is relevant, an unlucky omen or what... just thought I'd add that.

Not sure where to go from here.  If anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears.

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Feb 09, 2016 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 09, 2016

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hello! I was having same issue. Turns out it was an issue with a single topic! Talk about needle in a hay stack! More specifically, it was an issue with a cell that had a condition applied to it (last cell of a table).

Note: The way this table was split and merged and had conditions applied to it (on some columns, not others)...I am not surprised there was an issue.

Steps taken:

  1. Created a new project. (wanted to see if it was a problem with my project possibly being corrupted or if it was something with files and/or conditions).
  2. Imported all topics, recreated WebHelp SSL, tried to regenerate, it hung (good news: not my project. bad news: I would have to dig further).
  3. Created another new project.
  4. Imported a file that had all my conditions in it so that I could re-create my WebHelp SSL (with the conditions having been imported into the new project).
  5. I generated the WebHelp with no conditions excluded. Worked.
  6. I generated the WebHelp with the same exclusions defined as I had in my original project. Worked.
  7. I imported 5 topics from my original topic and regenerated. Worked.
  8. I kept repeating importing topics 5 at a time and regenerating until it didn't work.
  9. Deleted the last 5 (generated after deleting, just to make sure it was ok), then imported one at a time until generation didn't work and project was not responsive.
  10. Once I identified the topic that was creating the issue (didn't know what the problem was going to be yet), I started another project and imported ONLY the problem topic. Then I deleted 3/4 of the topic and regenerated. Worked. Imported the topic again (replacing the stripped down topic) and this time I deleted less content. Regenerated. Didn't work.This helped me to pinpoint the specific area that was causing the issue which in my case was the build tag closing out after the table tag.

If it is the same issue, perhaps you can save time and look for this string to identify: "</td><?rh-cbt_end ?>   </tr> </table>"

Hope this helps! Good luck

-c

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Feb 09, 2016 0
Community Beginner ,
Feb 15, 2016

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Working "backwards" and importing into a new project took a long time, but it worked. In the end, I found 2 topics (out of ~150) that were bad. Both had tables. One table was very complex with a lot of merged cells, and I was not surprised that it was a culprit. However, the other topic/table was simple and straightforward. No merged cells; no unusual formatting; no strange HTML tags in the code. I still have no idea why it prevented me from generating Webhelp, but I don't care anymore 😉 

Thanks for the ideas and tips.

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Feb 15, 2016 0