Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

This forum is for all Flare issues related to the Microsoft HTML Help target.
This target produces "CHM" files in the output.

Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby steveh on Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:01 am

I'm in the process of bringing some HTML/CHM manuals into Madcap Flare but have run into an out-of-memory problem with the "Combined HTML Help" target.

We've been writing these manuals in HTML in various simple text editors and then building CHM files using hhc.exe directly for many years. We have about a dozen manuals in all, with a combined TOC. In the past we've always placed all the manuals in the same folder and they work fine. However, when I try the same thing with the "Combined HTML Help" target outputs from Madcap Flare, I get the following error when trying to view any of the CHM files: "There is not enough memory available for this task. Quit one or more programs to increase available memory, and then try again."

Each manual is a separate project in Madcap Flare. I have produced simple "HTML Help" builds of each manual and placed copies of all such builds in a "CHMSupport" folder for each project, which then allows me to create the "Combined HTML Help" builds for each project. When I do a "Combined HTML Help" build of a given project I get an output folder containing the "Combined HTML Help" manual of the given project plus the simple "HTML Help" manuals of all the *other* manuals.

So far so good (almnost): In each project's output folder, I can open that project's "Combined HTML Help" manual and it views OK, although even here there is one oddity -- if I navigate to any other linked manual in the combined TOC then I see a weird double entry for those manuals, which you can see in the attached DoubleEntry.png ("Radpunch" is the current manual in this case; it views OK, but the other three linked manuals ("Recent enhancements", "Radraft" and "3D") have all gone wrong).

The real trouble begins when I try to put all the "Combined HTML Help" manuals together in a single folder as we have always done in the past. If I do that then when I try to view any of them then I get the attached Error.png message.

What's even weirder is that if I place just two of the dozen "Combined HTML Help" files that we have together in one folder then I can view one of them but it has a very broken TOC, which gives some hint of why it is running out of memory -- see the attached TOC.png. If I add a third CHM file to the same folder then I can't open any of them.

Can anyone hazard a guess as to what the problem might be here?

It has been suggested to me that this is somehow related to how Madcap Flare uses hhc.exe (it uses the same version, 4.74.8702, as were using directly in the past, but uses it differently), and that it is now a requirement to keep all the "Combined HTML Help" files in separate folders. Is that true? It seems crazy to move from using hhc.exe directly, which supported creating a single folder with a dozen CHM files in it, to Madcap Flare and now having to have a dozen folders, with a dozen CHM files in every folder, and even then have to suffer the oddity of the double entries for all the manuals other than the current one in the TOC.

I find it hard to believe that it's not possible to do better than this with Madcap Flare, but I don't know what the problem is and I don't want to waste ages trying to solve these issues if they really are known limitations of this system.
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Re: Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby steveh on Wed Jul 31, 2019 10:41 am

Further to my earlier post, I've now managed to reproduce the problems using a pair of trivial Madcap Flare projects, cut down from a pair of our real projects: See Example.zip. (Note: I've removed all the CHM files that got built from this ZIP file because of the limitation on attachment size.)

Both projects have "HTML Help" and "Combined HTML Help" targets. The outputs of the former are written to the "Output\shay\HTML Help" sub-folders and work correctly. I copy those into the "Content\Resources\CHMSupport" sub-folders before doing the "Combined HTML Help" builds, the outputs of which are written to the "Output\shay\Combined HTML Help" sub-folders.

In the case of the "welcome" project, the "combined TOC" CHM file ("welcome\Output\shay\Combined HTML Help\welcome.chm") shows its own "book" (titled "Welcome to Radan") correctly, but the other "book" (titled "Recent enhancements") gets a doubled-up TOC entry: See Error1.png.

The "enhancements" project has the same problem in reverse: "enhancements\Output\shay\Combined HTML Help\enhancements.chm" shows "Recent enhancements" correctly, but has "Welcome to Radan" doubled-up: See Error2.png.

Finally, I then copy those two "combined TOC" CHM files into the "combined" folder, which causes even worse problems:

If I open combined\welcome.chm then "Welcome to Radan" is fine as before, but now "Recent enhancements" is more than just doubled-up! It seems to have a never-ending tree of alternating welcome / enhancements books within it, which is no doubt what leads to the "Not enough memory" error that I get in my real-world example: See Error3.png.

And again, if I open combined\enhancements.chm then I get the same problem in reverse: See Error4.png.
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Re: Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby Nita Beck on Wed Jul 31, 2019 1:43 pm

Welcome to the forums and sorry that you are having so much trouble.

I'm not a support tech, just a fellow Flare user, though one with a lot of history using Flare. I would suspect that there is a corrupted file or perhaps one or more with invalid XML somewhere in your project. Perhaps they still made it into the CHM output and the CHM viewer can't load them so runs out of memory.

Try running the Analysis > Summary report to see if Flare indicates any issues.

Otherwise, I suggest you pursue this with MadCap Tech Support.
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Re: Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby steveh on Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:26 am

Thanks for the suggestion, but the summary report is clean after removing a couple of unused skins and targets that it complained about (which makes no difference to my problems). See attached summary.png.

If you look at the pair of example projects that I attached then you can see easily that nothing is corrupt or invalid in the (X)HTML. There are only three tiny HTM files in each project. Nothing broken here other than seemingly Flare itself.
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Re: Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby steveh on Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:23 am

One more thing to add here: The attached ExampleCHM.zip contains the original pair of simple HHP projects which the broken Flare projects are based on. These are each built by simply running "hhc.exe <project-name>.hhp", and their CHM files are both output to the "combined" folder. Either output CHM file can then be opened without any trouble. Each one contains itself and the other one in its TOC, with no doubled-up entries or runaway recursion / out of memory problems.

This is what I want to recreate with Flare projects, but so far it's not working. I don't know if the Flare projects I've created have something wrong with them (and/or maybe there is an easier way to do it?) or if there is actually some bug within the Flare software that causes the problem.
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Re: Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby ChoccieMuffin on Thu Aug 01, 2019 8:35 am

This really does sound like a troubleshooting job for Tech Support. If you send them your zip they'll be able to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in there.
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Re: Not enough memory when opening Combined HTML Help

Postby Nita Beck on Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:05 pm

Just thought of something. Here's a link to a Flare knowledge base article that isn't about your particular problem but it might have some relevance. You might need to register the ITCC.dll on your system.

http://kb.madcapsoftware.com/Content/Flare/Outputs/HTML_Help/OUTH1003_-_Missing_Search_Results_in_HTML_Help.htm
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Content Strategist / Information Architect / Flare Consultant: http://beck-communications.com
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Nita Beck
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