Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

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Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby shinyotter on Fri Jun 19, 2015 8:03 am

I've just spent some time making small changes to a bunch of files, saving them and closing them. I opened one file to make a different change and... previous changes have disappeared. Thought I was going crazy at first, but it looks like Flare has failed to save the changes to about 30% of the files.

Has anyone else seen anything similar? This is the first time I've used Flare 11 for editing file contents; we upgraded very recently and everything else so far has been structural changes to our projects. I've never seen anything like it in previous versions of Flare.

The project is bound to Perforce, so I will cross post to the Source Control forum too. The attempts to save did check out the files, so something happened - but my changes have disappeared.

If anyone has a solution - great! But I'd be happy with a "me, too" (or three), too. Because then I know it's not just me, and I can raise it with MadCap support.

Cheers,

Alison
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby dorcutt on Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:14 am

I've encountered an issue where changes that I make to the checkboxes of Batch targets do not always get saved, but that's it. That issue is new in Flare 11. I have to close and reopen the batch target sometimes to get it to notice that I'm changing stuff and it should be paying attention.

Obligatory info: When you make a change, you often have to click in another text box or change the field highlighting somehow for Flare to notice that you've made a change. MadCap support called this "dirtying the file." If you watch the tab that you're editing, an asterisk appears when Flare has noticed that you've actually made a change, and you can save then. if you save before then, the change is not saved because Flare hasn't noticed that you've made it yet (but Flare should remind you that you have unsaved changes when you attempt to close the file).

It sounds like this is a more complicated issue than what I talked about above, but it had to be said. Just keep an eye out for that asterisk and see if it's appearing and vanishing as usual when you make a change and then save it. If the asterisk is doing it's thing, and then the change still isn't saved afterwards, then that's very weird indeed. Maybe the source control is overwriting your file with an earlier version?
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby shinyotter on Fri Jun 19, 2015 9:27 am

Thanks, Dan. I know what you mean about the asterisk, and about switching fields too. These were topic files though, so any old change to the text usually works (OK, this was review annotations, spans and conditional tags, but it all changes the XML under hte hood...)

I'm signing off for the day now, so I'll let this marinate for the weekend and see if it behaves itself on Monday. Fingers crossed! (I really don't want to have to mistrust file saving. Really...)

A.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby Dave Lee on Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:31 am

Were you editing the files in the text editor?

Since using v11, I've experienced quite frequent (daily) loss of changes to topics when I've been working in text editor view.

What usually happens is that after editing the topic in text editor view, if I don't save the topic, and I then move to XML editor view, the changes are lost.
Moving to the XML editor view seems to wipe/refresh the text editor view - taking it back to the last saved state. And worse, you can't undo or get back your changes.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby shinyotter on Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:06 am

@Dave Lee: Nope, XML view. (Is it me, or is that a confusing name? - I always have to check which editor is officially which..)

Thanks, guys; it seems clear that there's some unexpected behaviour around. I might just keep an eye on things and recommend that the rest of the team doesn't switch over until some of the gremlins have been hunted down and exterminated.

A.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby dorcutt on Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:56 am

I'd definitely file a bug report. Data loss is unacceptable, and MadCap support is quite good. Not sure if you have a maintenance plan or not, but even without one, MadCap is usually pretty good for the truly serious stuff from what I hear.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby ajturnersurrey on Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:52 am

I have had a similar experience, but in my case at least I *don't* believe the problem was due to Flare.

I had spent a day making the near final edits to 20 or 30 different files. I know Flare registered those changes or saved them because I ran a build at that point (which wouldn't be allowed without first saving files) and that build definitely included the changes I had made. I put the pdf out for review and when I had received changes opened the project in Flare, only to find that the Flare content did not include the changes I had made just before that build for review...

In my case there was a server migration going on and although the background script (which was keeping old and new servers in sync until final changeover) was only supposed to replace files in the new location (where I was at this point working) with 'newer' ones from the old location - I believe they got overwritten with older ones.

I don't believe it was Flare at fault because I found another person in the company who claimed to have lost Word document changes in the same way and at a similar time. Maybe in the light of your post I should reconsider the possibility that it was a Flare problem. Our IT guy was never certain what caused the problem and I was left to do a day of rework.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby kathryngz on Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:35 pm

I've noticed the same problem since upgrading to Flare 11. At first I thought it was just me, but it's been happening too often so I know it's not my imagination.

Today I got solid proof: I made changes to a topic, built the project, and uploaded it to the server. Then I noticed that a minor change was needed, so I quickly made it and built the project again. When I looked at the newly-generated output on my hard drive, I was stunned to see that all my recent changes were lost. Cache problem? No. I went back to Flare and the changes had been lost in the topic.

BUT the newer version was still on the server!!! Thank goodness. So I copied the changes back into the topic and saved them.

As others have observed, I've noticed that changes are most often lost when I change between the XML Editor and the Text Editor (although I'm not sure that's the only time the problem occurs).

This is serious. If I hadn't had the changes uploaded to the server, I would have had to recreate them all. Not only that, I was about to send my help file for review. If I hadn't noticed my changes had been lost, the reviewers would have received an outdated file and it would have wasted their time and mine.

Has anyone filed a bug report on this yet?
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby Nita Beck on Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:33 am

I have just now hit this bug myself and I pretty alarmed (and will be immediately submitting a bug report).

Yesterday, I spent a lot of time editing a stylesheet, typically by hand in the Internal Text Editor but occasionally in the Stylesheet Editor. This particular project is not yet in source control, so at the end of my workday, I zipped the project (using Project > Zip Project) to have a backup. THANK GOODNESS!

Now I've started to edit the project today, and I see in that MOST of my stylesheet has been deleted below what I think is the last bit I happened to edit yesterday. What the heck?!!!! :shock: :shock: :shock:

To my great good fortune, when I looked at the same stylesheet in the zipped copy, the stylesheet was intact so I was able to overwrite the copy in the project with the copy from the zipped backup.

I have NO idea why Flare would have cut the legs out from under the stylesheet in the project, but this is a SERIOUS problem... And as long as I'm editing this stylesheet, I will make lots of backups of it throughout the day.

I urge every one of us seeing this bug should take the time to report this to MadCap.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby Dave Lee on Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:53 am

Yeah, it's a very real bug - the worst I've seen in Flare because it results in data loss, often without you realising.

It can happen when you switch between the text view and an 'editor' view (e.g. XML editor, stylesheet editor).

For example:
1. You make changes and save the file in text view.
2. You switch to the XML editor.
3. After switching to XML editor view, the tab title changes to display a * (asterisk), indicating the file has changed.

This 'change' usually means the file has reverted back to the state it was in the last time you were in XML editor view.
So if you don't notice and continue working and save the file in XML editor view, you'll lose the changes you made in the text editor.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby Nita Beck on Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:51 am

More on my issue.

Upon further examination, I see that I actually had a bit of bad code in the stylesheet, caused by my hand-editing. But instead of Flare telling me that the code was invalid, when I saved the file, it just TRUNCATED everything below that bit of bad code. WHAT?!!!

So for all of us who like to edit our stylesheets by hand, BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby kkelleher on Wed Oct 14, 2015 5:04 pm

Dave Lee wrote:It can happen when you switch between the text view and an 'editor' view (e.g. XML editor, stylesheet editor).

For example:
1. You make changes and save the file in text view.
2. You switch to the XML editor.
3. After switching to XML editor view, the tab title changes to display a * (asterisk), indicating the file has changed.

I recently discovered the ability in the Flare UI to have both the text editor and the XML editor open at the same time by dragging the little handle at the bottom of the editor frame:

mc-flare-both-editors-open.png

It seems like it could be useful, but I worry that it might also have the changes-not-saved bug. Has anyone run into it when both editors are open to the same topic/file?

Thanks,

Kristen
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby Nita Beck on Wed Oct 14, 2015 6:55 pm

Kristen, I can't answer your question directly. But, just today, in a follow-up to my issue, MadCap tech support asked me if I happened to have been editing in split view (which is what you're talking about). I replied that, no, I wasn't because there isn't a split view to the Stylesheet editor. But honestly I can't remember if I had the XML Editor at the same time nor, if I did, if it was in split view. But my point is this: that MadCap appears to suspect there's something up with the split view of the XML Editor, so...
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby kkelleher on Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:46 am

Thanks for chiming in, Nita. Seems like something to avoid for the moment, then.

-K
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby kkelleher on Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:20 pm

Nita Beck wrote:But instead of Flare telling me that the code was invalid, when I saved the file, it just TRUNCATED everything below that bit of bad code. WHAT?!!!

I just had this exact problem, and suddenly 200 lines of CSS disappeared. I thought I'd made some minor error in the style definitions to cause some items to be right-shifted, but when I diffed the CSS, I saw I was missing the last part of the file. Let me go log that with MadCap.

Quick question: has anyone in the v12 beta been able to test this? I'd love to hear it's fixed in the upcoming release.

Thanks,

Kristen
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby doc_guy on Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:26 pm

Typically when MadCap does a beta release, the participants are under an NDA which would prohibit them from being able to answer your question. I must assume that such is still the case, so I'd direct any questions about potential future releases directly at the Support staff at MadCap.
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Re: Changes not saved? (Flare 11)

Postby kkelleher on Fri Feb 05, 2016 5:29 pm

Good point. Though that would be a 'forward-looking statement,' which can be a problem for software companies. I might just have to wait til April....
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