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JavaHelp just dies quietly....

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Anonymous

I'm a newbie to JavaHelp and am working with version 2.0.01.

At the moment, I'm having an odd problem. When I click on one of the topics in my Table of Contents, nothing happens, then about 5 seconds later, the help just ends cleanly without any sort of error message, exception or other notification about the nature of the problem.

All of the other topics display just fine; only one of them causes this behaviour. I was displaying that topic fine a couple of hours ago and haven't touched it since.

I'm using 'java -jar' to display my help system.

If there was an error message, I'd have some idea what to do but I don't know how to proceed when there is no feedback at all.

Can anyone suggest a good approach to diagnosing this problem?

'Henry'

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Roger Brinkley

> At the moment, I'm having an odd problem. When I click on one of the
> topics in my Table of Contents, nothing happens, then about 5 seconds
> later, the help just ends cleanly without any sort of error message,
> exception or other notification about the nature of the problem.
>
> All of the other topics display just fine; only one of them causes
> this behaviour. I was displaying that topic fine a couple of hours
> ago and haven't touched it since.
>
> I'm using 'java -jar' to display my help system.
>
> If there was an error message, I'd have some idea what to do but I
> don't know how to proceed when there is no feedback at all.
>
> Can anyone suggest a good approach to diagnosing this problem?

I can't image JavaHelp is just exiting. Have you tried running this in
your application. That might give you some additional details. I can't
image the error messages being gobbled up but it wouldn't be the first time.

Alternative approaches are to slowly remove pieces from the offending
file until you determine what the problem is.

Binky

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Anonymous

> > At the moment, I'm having an odd problem. When I
> click on one of the
> > topics in my Table of Contents, nothing happens,
> then about 5 seconds
> > later, the help just ends cleanly without any sort
> of error message,
> > exception or other notification about the nature of
> the problem.
> >
> > All of the other topics display just fine; only one
> of them causes
> > this behaviour. I was displaying that topic fine a
> couple of hours
> > ago and haven't touched it since.
> >
> > I'm using 'java -jar' to display my help system.
> >
> > If there was an error message, I'd have some idea
> what to do but I
> > don't know how to proceed when there is no feedback
> at all.
> >
> > Can anyone suggest a good approach to diagnosing
> this problem?
>
>
> I can't image JavaHelp is just exiting. Have you
> tried running this in
> your application. That might give you some additional
> details. I can't
> image the error messages being gobbled up but it
> wouldn't be the first time.
>
I've tried the Help from my application now and the same thing happens: when I click on certain TOC or index items, JavaHelp pauses for 5-10 seconds and then dies with no error messages at all.

I have no idea what the JavaHelp code looks like but is there any way for me to turn on internal diagnostics like System.out.println() statements that you might have in the code or any log files that you might be writing?

> Alternative approaches are to slowly remove pieces
> from the offending
> file until you determine what the problem is.
>
Since I can't think of an alternative, I guess I'll have to try removing things but I'm certainly not wild about this approach. As small as my help files are, there are just so many things that could be wrong - syntax, invisible characters, spacing, etc. etc. - that it could take a very long time to stumble on the quirky little thing that is throwing off JavaHelp.

I hope I find the problem quickly because if I don't, I'm inclined to write off JavaHelp for another year or two until it is more mature; right now it is starting to seem like a great idea that is still too buggy to use.

'Henry'

Roger Brinkley

Henry wrote:

> I've tried the Help from my application now and the same thing
> happens: when I click on certain TOC or index items, JavaHelp pauses
> for 5-10 seconds and then dies with no error messages at all.
>
> I have no idea what the JavaHelp code looks like but is there any way
> for me to turn on internal diagnostics like System.out.println()
> statements that you might have in the code or any log files that you
> might be writing?

Unfortunately not. Trying using jdbx or someother debugger and step
through the code. With some luck you might identify the problem area.

> Since I can't think of an alternative, I guess I'll have to try
> removing things but I'm certainly not wild about this approach. As
> small as my help files are, there are just so many things that could
> be wrong - syntax, invisible characters, spacing, etc. etc. - that it
> could take a very long time to stumble on the quirky little thing
> that is throwing off JavaHelp.

Shouldn't take that long. Split the file in half, continueing the splits
until you determine where the problem resides. If your files are as
small as you say they are it shouldn't take more than 20-30 minutes at
the most.

> I hope I find the problem quickly because if I don't, I'm inclined to
> write off JavaHelp for another year or two until it is more mature;
> right now it is starting to seem like a great idea that is still too
> buggy to use.
>

More mature? We're setting on V2.0_01 now and the JDK is on 1.4. It
isn't going to maturated to any great degree. You've just run into a
bizarre situation. You could try using jdbx and step through the code.
That might give you a better idea of where things are exiting (and they
are exiting because otherwise it would generate errors). It could be
JavaHelp but we don't have any calls to System.exit() in the JavaHelp
code. This means it is possibly in the JDK code or somethin bizarre and
strange in our content. Trust me you're the only one I know of having
this problem.

Binky

P.S. What authoring tool are you using.

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Roger Brinkley

I don't normally do this but if you can't find it in 20 minutes send me
the complete helpset (zipped or tarred) and tell me how to duplicate the
problem.

Binky

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Anonymous

> I don't normally do this but if you can't find it in
> 20 minutes send me
> the complete helpset (zipped or tarred) and tell me
> how to duplicate the
> problem.
>
Thanks, I really appreciate the offer! Debugging this without any clear clues has been something of a head-scratcher.

However, after considerably more than 20 minutes, I finally determined that the problem occured only on those index and TOC entries that used the presentationtype attributes. I took those out - for now - and all of my index and TOC entries display as they should.

I'm going to reread the manual section on setting up secondary and popup windows; it's very likely that I haven't done the preparation necessary for them to work correctly. They'll probably work fine if I just set things up properly in the helpset.

'Henry'

Roger Brinkley

> Thanks, I really appreciate the offer! Debugging this without any
> clear clues has been something of a head-scratcher.
>
> However, after considerably more than 20 minutes, I finally
> determined that the problem occured only on those index and TOC
> entries that used the presentationtype attributes. I took those out -
> for now - and all of my index and TOC entries display as they should.
>
>
> I'm going to reread the manual section on setting up secondary and
> popup windows; it's very likely that I haven't done the preparation
> necessary for them to work correctly. They'll probably work fine if I
> just set things up properly in the helpset.

Look at the idedemo as it has some examples that doe this.

Binky

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You may leave the list at any time by sending message with no subject and
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Submit bug reports at http://java.sun.com/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi.