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Disappearing Topics

Participant ,
Jul 09, 2018

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Note: This topic may be related to the "Disappearing Topic" topic posted in 2008. That topic indicated a WebHelp topic could disappear if it had nested div tags. The solution was to remove the nested div tags.

I am using RH 2015 to produce WebHelp. We are using Source Control, but I am currently the only one making help updates. In the last several years, I have noticed 3 topics disappear from the help.  One disappeared frequently enough that I started checking to see if it was present or missing each time I generated the help. I'm not sure what changed, but I have not had any issues with that topic in months.  Now, two other topics are randomly disappearing. One has nested div tags. The nested div tags are resulting from using nested DHTML drop-down text. The div tags do not appear in the HTML view within RH; they do appear in the generated web page in the output.  If possible, I would prefer not to have to stop using nested DHTML drop-down text.  I have several topics with nested DHTML drop-down text.  This is the only one that is disappearing (at least that I have noticed).

The other topic that is disappearing does NOT have any nested div tags (no nested DHTML drop-down text either).  For this reason, this post is different from the similar post 10 years ago.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

Other details: When I noticed a topic was missing from the output, I looked for the topic in the RH project.  It did not appear in the Topic List.  It did not appear in the Project Manager. The topic name did appear in the TOC with a red X, indicating the topic was missing.  When I looked in my local copy of the folder where the files are stored outside of RH, the topic was present.  Using the Project Manager tab, I re-imported the topic.  I checked the topic to see if I needed to re-add Index terms.  I did not; they were still present. I regenerated the WebHelp output. The two missing topics are now present.  Other topics in the generated output include links to these topics.  The links still work, and I did not have to re-add/re-create the links.

Any idea what may be causing these topics to randomly disappear?  Thanks!

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Disappearing Topics

Participant ,
Jul 09, 2018

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Note: This topic may be related to the "Disappearing Topic" topic posted in 2008. That topic indicated a WebHelp topic could disappear if it had nested div tags. The solution was to remove the nested div tags.

I am using RH 2015 to produce WebHelp. We are using Source Control, but I am currently the only one making help updates. In the last several years, I have noticed 3 topics disappear from the help.  One disappeared frequently enough that I started checking to see if it was present or missing each time I generated the help. I'm not sure what changed, but I have not had any issues with that topic in months.  Now, two other topics are randomly disappearing. One has nested div tags. The nested div tags are resulting from using nested DHTML drop-down text. The div tags do not appear in the HTML view within RH; they do appear in the generated web page in the output.  If possible, I would prefer not to have to stop using nested DHTML drop-down text.  I have several topics with nested DHTML drop-down text.  This is the only one that is disappearing (at least that I have noticed).

The other topic that is disappearing does NOT have any nested div tags (no nested DHTML drop-down text either).  For this reason, this post is different from the similar post 10 years ago.

Is anyone else experiencing this?

Other details: When I noticed a topic was missing from the output, I looked for the topic in the RH project.  It did not appear in the Topic List.  It did not appear in the Project Manager. The topic name did appear in the TOC with a red X, indicating the topic was missing.  When I looked in my local copy of the folder where the files are stored outside of RH, the topic was present.  Using the Project Manager tab, I re-imported the topic.  I checked the topic to see if I needed to re-add Index terms.  I did not; they were still present. I regenerated the WebHelp output. The two missing topics are now present.  Other topics in the generated output include links to these topics.  The links still work, and I did not have to re-add/re-create the links.

Any idea what may be causing these topics to randomly disappear?  Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 09, 2018

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When it happens next try the following - I've mostly seen with css and image files, but it might apply with htm files too.

1. Anywhere in your project, create a new, temporary, folder. You can leave it as the default name.

RH will think a little bit and your missing topics will hopefully re-appear. (Edit: if your project is really large, it might actually be a long time.)

2. Delete the temp folder. Because you use source control, you will probably need to do some manual clean up in your source control tool to delete the folder properly.

Usually I "see" the missing topics after I delete the CPD (which can be done automatically with a RH setting). I think creating the folder forces RH to refresh the cache in a different way than opening the project does, thus re-finding some missed files.

I can't guarantee this is what happens for you, but it's not hard to try.

And if it does work, please submit a but report. I've been submitting for a decade now (and finally managed to easily replicate in one of their sample projects), but still haven't seen any movement on a fix.

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Participant ,
Jul 12, 2018

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I'm still not sure of the cause of the problem, but I think I found a solution.

I generated the WebHelp a few times today without incident. No missing topics that I know of.  During a later attempt, RH crashed. I deleted the .cpd file, re-opened the project, and regenerated the WebHelp. The topics that had been missing previously were gone again. I re-added them, closed, and re-opened the help. They were still there.  I deleted the .cpd file again, closed, and re-opened the help. They were gone again.  This time, instead of re-importing the topics, I opened the applicable .fpj files (the missing topics are in different folders). The .fpj files did not include the topics as I suspected.  I manually re-added them, which "added" the topics back to the project.  I closed and re-opened the project. The topics were still there.  I closed the project, deleted the .cpd file (the test you noted, Amebr, that seems to cause the files to go missing), and re-opened it.  This time the topics were still present.  I did not try the recommendation to create a temporary folder.

While it's too early to know if the topics won't go missing again, at least they now pass the "deleting the .cpd file" test.  The .fpj files are in source control.  I'm not sure if that will "protect" them from losing these topics again.  Thoughts?

Also, I did NOT see the red X's this time when the topics went missing. Additionally, the "Missing Topics" report indicated no topics were missing (when the topics were missing).  I'm wondering now if I am missing any other topics I'm not aware of.  Amebr, if I create a temporary folder, where would any missing topics re-appear?  Would they appear in the temporary folder, or in the folder(s) they disappeared from?  I may still regenerate the project, get a current topic count, add a temp folder, and regenerate the project again to see if the count changes. Yes, I know I can run the Topic Properties report to get a topic count, but the project has more topics than the generated WebHelp output, and I want to see if the conditional build tags influence the counts.  More on that tomorrow....

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 12, 2018

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They will appear in the folder they disappeared from.

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Participant ,
Jul 13, 2018

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I checked my topic counts in the project and in the WebHelp output I was generating.  I created a temp folder in the project. I saw the system display messages that it was querying the .fpj files.  When it stopped, I checked my topic counts in the project and in the WebHelp output again. There was no change.  I'm hoping this means only the two topics were missing.

At this point, I will watch to see if the topics disappear again. If they do disappear, I will try the temp folder suggestion to see if it brings them back. If they don't disappear, I will anticipate that updating the .fpj files (whether using your method, Amebr, or manually editing the .fpj files) brings the files back.

i'm still curious about what caused the problem in the first place.  Amebr, were you able to tell what caused a topic to disappear when you recreated the issue you were talking about in a previous post using a sample project?  Thanks.

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Participant ,
Jul 13, 2018

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I decided to do a comparison between my project folders and my local copy folders.  I am not finished yet, but I found another "missing" topic.  The topic is in my local copy folder.  It was a relatively new topic that I created in RH a few months ago.  A search for the topic from the RH Project Manager tab does not find the topic.  The topic is not listed in the RH folder's .fpj file.  Another RH topic includes a link to this topic, but RH's Missing Topics report indicates no topics are missing.  The really bizarre thing (at least to me) is that the topic is somehow being included in the generated output (minus the images it is supposed to contain).  I manually edited the .fpj file.  When I went to regenerate the project, RH crashed while updating the files.  I deleted the .cpd file.  I also deleted the .ldb file (and, at least in my experience, .ldb files are Live Data Base files that MS Access 97/98 generates, and that the system should typically close when closing the database; it's not always possible to delete them, but the system let me delete it).  I re-opened the project.  All my edits to the .fpj files yesterday and today are still present.  I regenerated the project.  The count of files in the WebHelp output and in the RH project both increased by one, and now the images show up in that topic in the output.  So, it would seem, at least for me, that creating a new folder does not result in RH's finding all topics that might be missing.  I'm wondering now if there is some gap in the topic creation/editing process that results in the topic's not being added to (or possibly being removed from?) the .fpj files.

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Amebr LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2018

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I forgot to state that the solution I list isn't a permanent fix. It only solves the problem until the cpd is deleted again.

I couldn't find any reason why the topics would vanish. Please submit a bug report. I submitted a partial recreation (where the css file disappears) in one of the sample topics, but it's not in the new bug tracker so I have no way of knowing where it got to. And my current version of RH is so old I'm fairly sure Adobe now ignores anything I submit

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 09, 2018

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I think you can rule out the 2008 issue. There was an identified cause of that and you wouldn't be looking at just a few missing topics.


See www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp and Authoring information.

@petergrainge

www.grainge.org for free RoboHelp & Authoring info. Use the blue Reply button at the top to help me help you.
The black Reply link nests replies and they sort out of order.

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