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dickflanagan
August 23rd, 2013, 01:50 AM
Hi, Folks!

I just purchased VEDIT about a week ago. I'm attaching a bunch of screen captures to document what appear to be problems with the Help system.

One file shows one column of Help text covering up a portion of the adjacent column. The other files show what appear to be instances of significant missing text.

I understand the Help system was re-worked a few years ago. Could this problem have been around for that long?

By the way, I haven't been a VEDIT customer for quite some time, but I think I still have my 180 Kb VEDIT Plus floppie around here somewhere. I think it was v2 or something like that. :)

Dick

PS: I e-mailed a report of these problems to support@vedit.com a few days ago, but I haven't received any response. I'm hoping someone here in the Forum might be able to help me.

VEDIT v6.23.1, Windows 7 Pro x64

Scott Lambert
August 23rd, 2013, 11:13 AM
Hi Dick,

Welcome back to the wonderful world of Vedit.

I have had similar issues with the help system, but usually right clicking and selecting refresh fixes the problem.

It is inconsistent problem, sometimes everything displays properly. Usually I run into the problem on the page that lists the predined string values.

As I say, try right clicking and selecting refresh.

Scott

PS: just tried the p. string value page again, and text was missing, refresh fixed it, but less then 10 minutes sooner the page had displayed correctly.

dickflanagan
August 23rd, 2013, 06:14 PM
I have had similar issues with the help system, but usually right clicking and selecting refresh fixes the problem.


Hey, Scott.

Well I'll be darned, that worked! It certainly isn't what some would call intuitively obvious, but it does work. Thank you, Scott.

Now, of course, the obvious next step is to fix the problem. To a new user who can be expected to rely heavily on the Help system, this problem could be a rude introduction. It feels like a timing issue where the text is being displayed too soon, where a Refresh is a brute-force solution.

Do the bug-fixers read this Forum? I'm disappointed that my e-mail to support@vedit.com was simply ignored, but I am very glad the Forum has folks like you watching over it.

Thank you again, Scott.

Dick

ian binnie
August 23rd, 2013, 08:56 PM
I can't comment on your problem, as I still use XP (When I do use Windows).
I also note that you are using 64bit Windows, but Vedit is a 32bit application, and Microsoft's kludge to "support" 32bit applications has lots of issues.

Where have you installed Vedit? Installing in "Program Files" contributes to these problems; I recommend installation in C:\vedit or similar.

Microsoft abandoned the old help system (I can't remember if Vista or Win 7) - forcing Vedit to change. In my opinion this was never as good as the original.
Mind you Ted and co have my sympathies. Writing the old help was arcane, but html help is worse.

I recommend you forget help, and instead use the pdf manuals.

dickflanagan
August 23rd, 2013, 10:17 PM
Hi, Ian.

I installed into C:\vedit to hopefully eliminate some of the protected-file compatibility problems.

I, too, sympathize with the difficulty in converting a Help system as large as Vedit's, but the facts that the problem is intermittent and that Refresh is almost a universal cure implies to me that the fundamental conversion to .html was successful. The problem seems to be in displaying those files, not building them.

I guess my biggest concern is the impression this problem can leave with new users. I know how I felt the first time I saw all that missing text and it just seemed so...well...sloppy to leave that kind of problem around for so long.

Has anyone figured out what triggers the problem? Why the same page will display correctly one time and incorrectly ten minutes later?

Dick

PS: I just went to a Help page I know has consistent problems (Editing Topics -> Block Operations, 3rd page and beyond) and, yes, Refresh cleaned them up. Then I clicked on another page and immediately clicked back and the text was missing again and needed to be Refreshed again.

PPS: I also found a page that Refresh will NOT clean up. Go to Getting Started -> Keyboard Layout and move down to "Normal" IBM PC Keyboard Layout and you will find the left column of text frequently overwriting the right column of text. Again, this seems to be a display problem (Tab spacing??) not a conversion problem.

I would fix this stuff myself if I could--Lord knows Ted could use a break--but I can't. :(

Scott Lambert
August 24th, 2013, 11:58 AM
Some software, notably the browsers, but also Photoshop Elements, when you access the program
help, your browser opens up and you are sent to a regular website. They avoid the whole *.chm
business.

I am thinking this would be a good way for Vedit to handle help.

Some advantages:

1. Easier to maintain and update. Ted just edits the page needing change, uploads the page.
Help is always 100% up-to-date in almost real time.

2. Users can view help in browser of their choice.

3. Help could stay open even if you need to restart vedit.

4. In the (far?) future, video could be added (via youtube or ?) to help demostrate complex
actions / concepts.

5. For users whose first language is not English, Google's translation service would be
available. Google search could be used to search help.

6. Pages could be added for wildfile, scribe, other important included macros, hopefully
written by user who wrote the macro.

7. Would be easy to reference a help page in the user forum, just add the link to your post.

Just a thought...

Scott

dickflanagan
August 25th, 2013, 12:36 AM
By definition web browsers require an on-line Internet connection. I'm not sure the Vedit powers-that-be are willing to make that a requirement for their Help function to work. Nice idea, though.

Dick

pal
August 26th, 2013, 04:12 AM
Hi, Ian.
I installed into C:\vedit to hopefully eliminate some of the protected-file compatibility problems.

I, too, sympathize with the difficulty in converting a Help system as large as Vedit's, but the facts that the problem is intermittent and that Refresh is almost a universal cure implies to me that the fundamental conversion to .html was successful. The problem seems to be in displaying those files, not building them.

PS: I just went to a Help page I know has consistent problems (Editing Topics -> Block Operations, 3rd page and beyond) and, yes, Refresh cleaned them up. Then I clicked on another page and immediately clicked back and the text was missing again and needed to be Refreshed again.
I have seen that same problem on my work computer (Windows 7, 64 bit), but I am not sure if it ever happens on my home computer (Windows XP, 32 bit).
I now tried that example page, and the problem appears on my work computer but not on my home computer.
On both computers, Vedit is installed in c:\vedit and the user-home is in Vedit home directory.

I usually fix the problem by adjusting the window size slightly. That causes window to be re-drawn and the text appears.

pal
August 26th, 2013, 04:26 AM
PPS: I also found a page that Refresh will NOT clean up. Go to Getting Started -> Keyboard Layout and move down to "Normal" IBM PC Keyboard Layout and you will find the left column of text frequently overwriting the right column of text. Again, this seems to be a display problem (Tab spacing??) not a conversion problem.

The overlapping text is an entirely different problem. It depends on the font size you are using.
Most likely the problem is that the column widths have been specified as absolute values (e.g. in pixels).
The column widths should be specified as relative to font size, for example as ems.
Another option would be to specify column widths as percents and allow the text to wrap.

pal
August 26th, 2013, 04:55 AM
Some software, notably the browsers, but also Photoshop Elements, when you access the program
help, your browser opens up and you are sent to a regular website. They avoid the whole *.chm
business.

I am thinking this would be a good way for Vedit to handle help.


Using a web page as help is a bad idea. It is generally used by lazy developers.

It is better to include the html files with the distribution so that user always has the files available even offline and the help matches the software version the user has. Anyway, changes to help are only needed when there is change in the software (except when fixing errors).

Even better is to compile the html files into chm and call that file from the application. This way, there is only one compact file. The help loads much faster and uses less screen space than browser. And there are much less problems with browser compatibility. This is the option used by Vedit.

The best option would be to integrate the help in the application itself and just call the API functions. This requires more work but gives more control on the appearance and functions of the help system.

dickflanagan
August 27th, 2013, 01:50 AM
Well, it appears from our limited sampling that we have two common denominators: Windows 7 and 64-bits. I wonder if anyone has seen the missing text with a different OS or 32-bits?

Dick

rrkramer
November 28th, 2013, 04:04 PM
I have a Win 7/64 Home and had the same problem and discovered that it could be fixed by cleaning up the HTML markup, but that was too much work. I use FireFox as my default browser and discovered that when I switched to MSIE the problem mostly went away.

The disk died and the backup was only semi-useable so I re-installed everything from CDs, etc. Lo and behold, Vedit Help works well whether or not MSIE is the default. Perhaps there was something different about the OS image or maybe some MS updates that were installed got skipped the second time around, or maybe some old XP or Win 2K apps did not get installed or ...

Richard