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RH 2019 New UI - The Challenge: How to Troubleshoot a Large Project?

Enthusiast ,
Nov 20, 2019

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RH 2019 Trial (2019.0.9), new UI.

 

Okay RoboHelpers. Here's your challenge! You have a large multi-folder project with 40+ folders with a ~2300+ topics, and it's failing to generate the Responsive HTML5 Help. RoboHelp 2019 logging functionality is insufficient to provide you with the ability to locate where the failure occurs simply because there is no log that is generated. All you know is that the Help starts to compile, but even if you let it run for an hour nothing happens (even though it appears to still be generating).

 

Now what do you do? How would you find out where the failure is occuring?

 

If you are like me, you might consider making a backup of the project and then deleting most of the content folders and recompiling a little at a time to find the issue and then bring folders back in gradually, rinsing and repeating, until you locate the offending file(s). Hey it worked in RH 2017 right?

 

Good thinking! And that's what I thought too. But let's give you an additional challenge. Sure you can remove the folders of topics. No problem. At least until you compile. You see, RH 2019 gives you warning messages that the TOC doesn't have a topic to link to if you do that and try to generate. And it won't finish the generation! So if you do go that route, remember that you also have to remove the corresponding TOC items to get around that issue.

 

Perhaps, if you were like me, after some head scratching you decided to shift gears and decide to use some kind of "Comment" Conditional Build Tag (CBT) on nearly all the folders and then exclude that CBT from your generated output. If you apply it to the TOC main book entries, it'll affect all the subtopics right? Well I'll give you extra points for creativity there, but remember in RH 2019, applying the CBT to multiple TOC "books" is not possible. You can only do one book at a time and in fact, it it doesn't apply the CBT to any subtopics in the books. It only applies the CBT to that one topic. Nice try, but this is the same as RH 2017 so no blaming RH 2019.

 

So, thinking outside the box, you think well, I remember seeing a Contents pane in this new UI. How about applying the CBTs there? Ah-hah, good thinking! Indeed you can do that... but again, there's another challenge. You can only apply the CBT on the topics inside the folders and not on the folders themselves. That means you can't multi-select, say, 35 folders and apply the "Comment" CBT there and have it get applied to all the topics like you'd sensibly expect. No, you have to expand each of the 40 folders and then multi-select all the topics in the folder and then apply the CBT. Do that for each 40+ folder and you can comment them out.

 

But perhaps YOU are the expert and know of a faster way to do this? Any takers? 🙂

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Peter Grainge | Adobe Community Professional

Tackling the multi select only, I found that clicking the first in a group and then holding down shift and selecting the last selected all in between. Also if you release shift and click another the first group is not lost and you can create another group.

 

topiclist.png


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RH 2019 New UI - The Challenge: How to Troubleshoot a Large Project?

Enthusiast ,
Nov 20, 2019

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RH 2019 Trial (2019.0.9), new UI.

 

Okay RoboHelpers. Here's your challenge! You have a large multi-folder project with 40+ folders with a ~2300+ topics, and it's failing to generate the Responsive HTML5 Help. RoboHelp 2019 logging functionality is insufficient to provide you with the ability to locate where the failure occurs simply because there is no log that is generated. All you know is that the Help starts to compile, but even if you let it run for an hour nothing happens (even though it appears to still be generating).

 

Now what do you do? How would you find out where the failure is occuring?

 

If you are like me, you might consider making a backup of the project and then deleting most of the content folders and recompiling a little at a time to find the issue and then bring folders back in gradually, rinsing and repeating, until you locate the offending file(s). Hey it worked in RH 2017 right?

 

Good thinking! And that's what I thought too. But let's give you an additional challenge. Sure you can remove the folders of topics. No problem. At least until you compile. You see, RH 2019 gives you warning messages that the TOC doesn't have a topic to link to if you do that and try to generate. And it won't finish the generation! So if you do go that route, remember that you also have to remove the corresponding TOC items to get around that issue.

 

Perhaps, if you were like me, after some head scratching you decided to shift gears and decide to use some kind of "Comment" Conditional Build Tag (CBT) on nearly all the folders and then exclude that CBT from your generated output. If you apply it to the TOC main book entries, it'll affect all the subtopics right? Well I'll give you extra points for creativity there, but remember in RH 2019, applying the CBT to multiple TOC "books" is not possible. You can only do one book at a time and in fact, it it doesn't apply the CBT to any subtopics in the books. It only applies the CBT to that one topic. Nice try, but this is the same as RH 2017 so no blaming RH 2019.

 

So, thinking outside the box, you think well, I remember seeing a Contents pane in this new UI. How about applying the CBTs there? Ah-hah, good thinking! Indeed you can do that... but again, there's another challenge. You can only apply the CBT on the topics inside the folders and not on the folders themselves. That means you can't multi-select, say, 35 folders and apply the "Comment" CBT there and have it get applied to all the topics like you'd sensibly expect. No, you have to expand each of the 40 folders and then multi-select all the topics in the folder and then apply the CBT. Do that for each 40+ folder and you can comment them out.

 

But perhaps YOU are the expert and know of a faster way to do this? Any takers? 🙂

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Peter Grainge | Adobe Community Professional

Tackling the multi select only, I found that clicking the first in a group and then holding down shift and selecting the last selected all in between. Also if you release shift and click another the first group is not lost and you can create another group.

 

topiclist.png


www.grainge.org

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HTML5 layout, New UI

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 20, 2019

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I had RH11 crash unceremoniously this week and what I did was use a compare tool on the last working backup and the current version to check the changed files. I did have a head start because the main change between the working back up and the new one was a bunch of changed variables (one of which apparently failed to update correctly in about a dozen topics, so while the variable was fine, the topics contained broken code...)

 

Obviously not real helpful if your last backup was a tonne of changes ago.

 

My other thought would be to create a new TOC to use and drag the included folders into the new toc, because it doesn't matter what order the topics are in for this test. Who knows if you can drag the whole folder though, given New UI challenges... 

 

Um. And one other thing I encountered early was projects looking like they were compiling but not getting anywhere because the output path wasn't specified. Sometimes it would take 2 or 3 attempts to get it recognised. I think I may even have resorted to rebooting  between setting the path and attempting to build, at one point.

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 21, 2019

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Thanks Amebr. That's a good suggestion about a new TOC. I was trying to do it with my original TOC and it was too difficult to keep the TOC in sync with the files. I may end up trying that.

 

I do know that the output path is accurate and gets used. I tested it with a copy of the project with just a few folders and it generated. It's just finding which folder that's the culprit is the issue.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 20, 2019

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Hi Jared,

First of all thank you for the detailed description. Now let's try to see the issues one by one:

1. Output not generating for large project.

          Which output are you generating? Is it chm? 

           Please share your project with us at sumahesh@adobe.com. We have made many output generation related fixes in past and some are on their way thorugh upcoming update 10. We will try to resolve this issue asap as it is on our utmost priority.

2. CBT applied on a book in TOC is not applied to topics inside it. 

         This is not so. When a CBT is applied on a book in TOC and you exclude that book from output then topics inside it are also excluded. One of the excluded topic might be coming in output if that topic is set as default topic. Please check this again and let us know what is happening at your end.

3. In contents panel, you can't apply CBT to folders. 

       This is as designed. Reason is that folder structure of contents panel is not always the one user wants in TOC or output. 

       Also you can multi select topics in content panel or Topic List report and apply CBT in one go to all topics you want. Kindly give it a a try.

We can connect over call as well to understand the issues in detail and help in resolving these nuances asap. 

Thank you for your patience.

Regards,
Surbhi Maheshwari

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 21, 2019

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Ah hah, an Adobe employee! Welcome Surbhi! 😉

 

Which output are you generating? Is it chm? - No. My output preset is Responsive HTML5. Sorry I didn't mention that. I'll edit the parent post to reflect that if I'm able to.

 

We have made many output generation related fixes in past and some are on their way thorugh upcoming update 10. We will try to resolve this issue asap as it is on our utmost priority. - Thank you! It's a tad too big to email... but I'll email you a link to download it. Hopefully you have some internal tools that tell you where the problem files are. If you do have such tools, it'd be great if you included them in the actual RH product so that we too could troubleshoot our own projects.

 

CBT applied on a book in TOC is not applied to topics inside it.

This is not so. When a CBT is applied on a book in TOC and you exclude that book from output then topics inside it are also excluded. One of the excluded topic might be coming in output if that topic is set as default topic. Please check this again and let us know what is happening at your end. - Interesting. That's good to know. But if I apply a CBT to a book topic, I would expect entries within that book to take on the same CBT, but they clearly aren't doing that. And that's where I gave up. Even if it does work, I'd still have to click on each main TOC book and set the comment CBT. I'm looking for an easy way to exclude multiple folders of content and then bring them back in a little at a time to find the problem.

2019-11-21_11-13-15.jpg

But I will test a generation to see if it's really excluding all topics within a book topic, even if there is no CBT applied.

 

 

In contents panel, you can't apply CBT to folders. 

       This is as designed. Reason is that folder structure of contents panel is not always the one user wants in TOC or output. 

       Also you can multi select topics in content panel or Topic List report and apply CBT in one go to all topics you want. Kindly give it a a try. - Thanks for explaining your reasoning for this decision about the Contents Panel. I don't agree with it, but it's nice to know it's not a bug.  I think users do want to do this sometimes... because, well, I obviously DO want to exclude multiple folders and everything in them at once in order to test what's going on.

 

Regarding your suggestion to use the Topic List report, pray tell, how does one multi-select more than one topic at a time? Note that I have 2000+ topics in this project.

2019-11-21_11-32-04.jpg

I've sorted by folder. Suppose I want to exclude all the topics from my 01_intro_topics folder. I see a check box next to each topic. Yes, I can select those one at a time. But again, I want to exclude nearly ALL of my topics and bring them back in folder by folder. Surely, you don't expect me to click 2000 times to exclude a range of 2000 topics do you? *shudder*.

 

2019-11-21_11-29-24.jpg
I tried it and there is no way to do a Shift + Click to select a range of topics in the topic list like you can do in most modern apps. The only way is to click click click click those check boxes 2000+ times. Yikes...

If that's the only way, I don't think that the Topics List report is the way to go. In RH 2017 you can multi-select topics, but for some reason that didn't make the cut into RH 2019 new UI.


(Update - Peter set me straight. You can do this but you have to click on a check box, press Shift and then click on the final check box in the range. I was trying to click on a row and not the check box, and that obviously doesn't work).

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 21, 2019

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Tackling the multi select only, I found that clicking the first in a group and then holding down shift and selecting the last selected all in between. Also if you release shift and click another the first group is not lost and you can create another group.

 

topiclist.png


www.grainge.org

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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Enthusiast ,
Nov 21, 2019

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Now I feel stupid... Ah well, what else is new? 🙂

I was trying to click on the row with Shift + Click, not on the check box iteself. Thanks for straightening me out. In that case, this IS probably the best way forward for what I need. Thank you Peter!

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Enthusiast ,
Nov 22, 2019

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Well... after trying it, I have to amend my response somewhat. It would be the best way forward if the window itself didn't have it's own mind-numbing challenges.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 21, 2019

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I haven't checked but pretty sure that and many other things like it are covered in the RoboHelp Reimagined sample and the RoboHelp Tour on my site.

 

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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Enthusiast ,
Nov 21, 2019

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Good to know. Thanks Peter.

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