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Author Topic: XMetaL 6.0 Hangs When Generating Output  (Read 14867 times)
kwag_myers
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« on: May 19, 2011, 12:55:54 PM »

I'm getting the same thing as severin.foreman in http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,251.msg777.html#msg777, where there process dialog displays, but no little green thing sliding back and forth. Only I'm trying to generate webhelp.

I get this from time to time, but a fresh machine boot-up usually solve the issue. This time is a little more serious.

Also, I noticed the Resource Manager File Menu looks funny (see attachment).

Windows 7, XMetaL 6.0


* ResourceMgrMenu.png (5.43 KB, 220x200 - viewed 670 times.)
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gcrews
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011, 02:12:55 PM »

Sounds like the same issue that I was running into a while back as well.  (http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,971.msg3037.html#msg3037) .

I haven’t run into the issue in a long time though. One of our writers had the issue the first time they tried to compile an output on their new windows 7 computer. A reboot fixed the issue and it has not occurred again since.  The weird thing is the cmd.exe and java run fine in the background and you can see the log file expanding in the background.  My wild guess would be that it has something to do with that green progress bar and something with the video graphics driver mode. Though that’s just a wild guess.

I take that back , one of our writers just messaged me because they tried to run a compile and had the exact same issue. They are on XP though.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2011, 06:47:06 PM by gcrews » Logged
kwag_myers
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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2011, 05:58:48 AM »

Thx, g. Well, I have good news and bad news. This morning I was able to generate the WebHelp I needed for two products. However, when I changed the Conditional Text setting for the second product I got a Script Error (attached).

In regards to your thread, and more specifically, Derek's last post, all my stuff is local with a nightly SVN check-in.

Here's another possibility - Yesterday, I was running a lot of stuff throughout the day, including Pandora (my cube-mate talks to himself, and the team leaders on the other side of the wall never agree on anything). Anyway, I'm wondering if it's a cache issue? But that doesn't explain the odd ink blobs on the Resource Manager File Menu, or the script error.


* XMetaLScriptError.png (9.63 KB, 442x256 - viewed 627 times.)
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Derek Read
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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2011, 12:46:47 PM »

Could be a memory issue. We use Internet Explorer (the "WebBrowser" ActiveX control) for the Map Editor so we're not sure what the black blobs are, but they sound like some sort of application painting issue which can often be indicative of memory problems.

Can you check Task Manager when these are occuring to see if lots of memory is being used by either xmetal60.exe or iexplore.exe?

I have yet to see this occur here. We'll try to stress test some more.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 12:49:39 PM by Derek Read » Logged
kwag_myers
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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2011, 02:23:12 PM »

I did some testing with Task Manager running and here's my results:

First, I didn't see iexplorer on the list during any of this.

With XMetaL idle, the Memory (Processes tab) is at 47,700 K. With the Script Error dialog box displayed the memory jumps to 49,348 K. CPU usage while generating output is 48% - 73%, but mostly around 55%.

A couple more notes: Sometimes the Show/Hide Content Text dialog box doesn't display completely. The frame is there, but the Attributes - Values pane doesn't show until I change focus and come back to it. Also, and I doubt this has anything to do with it, but my default browser is Firefox. I rarely use IE.

I'll be sure to check the Task Manager in the event of another Not Responding incident.
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gcrews
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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 03:59:58 PM »

When was the last time you rebooted? It sounds like you are having common resource issues that I always run into.  For years now, whenever I do any heavy folder browsing, or haven’t rebooted in a while windows starts to go funky. In the task manager try turning on the handles, Threads, User objects, and GDI objects columns. Lots of times ram usage can be low but exploere.exe had eaten up user and GDI objects over time. This usually fills up the graphics ram and you start having issues.  It could by graphics drivers / hardware issues as well.
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kwag_myers
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« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2011, 06:38:25 AM »

I reboot all the time (laptop). I went into msconfig.exe to shut off some junk that had accumulated. Also, I noticed (in my System Properties) my Windows Experience Index needed to be refreshed (that's a new one on me). The rating of 4.1 was unchanged by the refresh.

After a fresh reboot both the ink blobs and script error are still there. I've attached my Task Manager ('cause I really don't know what I'm looking at). My machine specs are:

Windows 7 Home Premium
AMD Athlon II P320 Dual-Core Processor 2.10 GHz
3.0 GB RAM
64-bit OS
AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 Display Adaptor


* TaskMgr.png (49.36 KB, 852x593 - viewed 684 times.)
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Derek Read
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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2011, 05:33:16 PM »

It is possible this might be a Windows 7 issue related to 64-bit. Not sure why that would be but I will ask our QA team to specifically watch out for this as they test our next major release (probably numbered 7.0) which is slated to officially support 64-bit Windows 7.
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kwag_myers
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2011, 06:15:21 AM »

XMetaL hung up on me again yesterday (while I was rushing to meet a deadline). I looked at the Task Manager and noticed Firefox was running about 140,000 K. Other than that, everything else seemed to be okay. I had to reboot, etc. I'm still having the Script Error issue and my machine is really slow with XMetaL running.

Also, I tried a Repair Install and got stopped by a 1913 error. There's already a thread on that, but I haven't been able to get around the issue. I have another deadline today, so no time to play with it. I plan to do a fresh install over the weekend. I don't know if this is a separate issue or related.
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Derek Read
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2011, 12:19:11 PM »

If you haven't installed XMetaL Author Enterprise 6.0 SP1 that is definitely worth a try. We addressed a number of issues related to crashing (specifically to McAfee VirusScan but the same fixes may help in general). This release still doesn't officially support 64-bit Windows 7 but it could help.
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gcrews
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« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2011, 03:43:43 PM »

We have updated everyone to XMetaL 6 sp1. We are still having quite a few issues with XMetaL and we only have 3 people using XMetaL and dita.

Just today trying to help someone generate an output. In about a 10 minute period we had the following issues:
   •Got the same exact script error in the conditional filtering dialog.
   •XMetaL crashed twice when switching back to XMetaL from a different application.
   •XMetaL froze while generating output.
   •xmdpe.exe processes locked up running at 25% (one core total) and had to force end task on it.

I opened a case about output generation issue to possibly try and provide more detailed information to pinpoint the issue. It’s sometimes hard to get detailed information or be able to get in contact while it’s having the issue because were trying to finish and compile something. Currently I’m not having any issues but I know it will start acting up at the most inconvenient time.

fyi, I looks like you changed the way that the “cmd_synchro_mode  =  2” now works. The generation dialog process seems to be embedding in XMetaL now. I have had a few issues with it:
    •Have to open task manager and force kill the xmdpe.exe process now when it goes into its infinite loop. Before just pressing the x a few times on the dialog brought up the crash message and it would kill just xmdpe.exe.
      •When you use the “show details” button the dialog jumps to a different location, sometimes off viewable area in XMetaL.
     •The secondary chm progress dialog is still within the context for xmetal60.exe causing it to go into an infinite loop.
     •It was also nicer having a separate task bar item for the output generation.

« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 12:05:06 PM by gcrews » Logged
kwag_myers
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 11:28:29 AM »

Also, I tried a Repair Install and got stopped by a 1913 error. There's already a thread on that, but I haven't been able to get around the issue. I have another deadline today, so no time to play with it. I plan to do a fresh install over the weekend. I don't know if this is a separate issue or related.

Okay, it's been a while. Several last minute deadlines and a stay in the hospital (nothing serious, but thank you for caring) have kept me from attempting this until now. I got around the 1913 error by changing the name of the xmetal60.ini file ( see thread: http://forums.xmetal.com/index.php/topic,1073.0.html).

After uninstalling and installing fresh, I still get the script error when I change the Conditional Text setting (which reverted back to the default of Products A, B, and C). Having XMetaL crap out on me when I'm generating a deliverable has become a very serious and frustrating issue.  One thing I noticed is the .../Program Files/XMetaL 6.0/ directory seems unaffected by the uninstall. So, the hunt for the corrupted file continues.

If you haven't installed XMetaL Author Enterprise 6.0 SP1 that is definitely worth a try. We addressed a number of issues related to crashing (specifically to McAfee VirusScan but the same fixes may help in general). This release still doesn't officially support 64-bit Windows 7 but it could help.

Windows 7 has been out for two years now. Any plans on going 64-bit in the near future?
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Derek Read
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2011, 01:18:38 PM »

Windows 7 is supported it is just that the 64-bit version is not. We have some clients that tell me they have not had any issues but the software was never officially tested by us.

64-bit support is coming with our next major release (XMetaL Author Enterprise and Essential 7.0) and that testing is underway. We do not plan to support 64-bit versions of Windows other than Windows 7 at this time (XP and Vista shipped in 64-bit versions) as there seems to be no demand for that. Most corporate systems skipped Vista and those that run XP typically use the 64-bit version of XP only for servers.

Windows 7 64-bit is supposed to magically handle 32-bit software using something Microsoft calls "WOW64" but it doesn't seem to always work. The version of WOW64 running varies depending on your system so that may be why some clients do not have any issues while others do (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WoW64)

Have you considered using Windows 7 "XP Mode"? This is Microsoft's answer for 32-bit software that Windows 7 has issues running on "WOW64". It is basically a "Virtual PC" running XP. As far as I can tell it should be truly compatible because Microsoft says it is really a 32-bit Windows XP computer. See: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx

If most of your issues occur while generating output then that is possibly because of some limitation in the DITA OT or perhaps Java. We will be investigating this as we continue testing for 64-bit.

« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 01:22:46 PM by Derek Read » Logged
kwag_myers
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« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 02:37:59 PM »

Have you considered using Windows 7 "XP Mode"?
Yeah, and no (it didn't help).
If most of your issues occur while generating output then that is possibly because of some limitation in the DITA OT or perhaps Java. We will be investigating this as we continue testing for 64-bit.
After a fresh install I still get the script error with the XMetaL_Evaluator_Guide.ditamap. And by "fresh install" I mean deleting the SoftQuad folder, XMetaL 6.0 folder, and any other related folder I could find before installing.

I wanted to try the SP1, but haven't been able to find where to download it from. I did find a post (and can't find it again to provide the link - sorry) where you state that anyone with a maintenance agreement can get it from sales. My agreement ran out two weeks ago. Why was I not provided with this information when you first mentioned it back in May? I just assumed I could download it whenever I had the time. Wonder where I got that impression?

Out of desperation I tried to install one of our Developer seats. The installer keeps telling my it can't find necessary software, like Visual Studio .NET, that is already installed.

Basically, I'm over it. I'm resigned to the fact that I'll have to deal with the issue until I can find a suitable replacement.
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Derek Read
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« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 10:33:20 PM »

Maintenance is sold for exactly this reason, it allows you to obtain technical support and as long as it is paid up you are entitled to each new version we release (this is pretty standard with most software but agreements do vary). If sales didn't provide this information with your support agreement then somebody dropped the ball but I'd be pretty surprised because the info sent out when you purchase is standardized and mostly automated. Contact them anyway and see what they say (and I'll see if I can do anything).
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kwag_myers
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2011, 01:24:33 PM »

Sales responded with a quote. Pretty much what I suspected. I think I've spent enough of my client's time and money on this. I might feel differently if you were sure the service pack was the fix. But, from your post, it sounds like a shot in the dark.
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gcrews
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2011, 02:59:14 PM »

Is XMetaL still hanging, or is it just the conditional text script error?

As a XMetaL user, Here are a few things that I would look into if i was having the issue:

     •Does your customized ct_config.xml have any strange characters or xml tagging?
Did it work when it was the default Product a,b,c?

     •You mentioned all your stuff was in SVN,  perhaps  your SNV client  has done something ( locked a file, marked  folders as read only, made a datival file read only, ect…)

     •You could try using the advanced conditional text options and use a datival file instead of the dialog options.

     •Try running XMetaL as administrator or elevated mode.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 04:27:29 PM by gcrews » Logged
Derek Read
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2011, 01:27:24 PM »

@kwag_myers: From what I understand (from our sales team) the company you are doing this contract work for will be renewing maintenance on the licenses of XMetaL Author Enterprise that they have. I assume that includes your copy.
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kwag_myers
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2011, 02:22:13 PM »

Is XMetaL still hanging, or is it just the conditional text script error?

As a XMetaL user, Here are a few things that I would look into if i was having the issue:

     •Does your customized ct_config.xml have any strange characters or xml tagging?
Did it work when it was the default Product a,b,c?

     •You mentioned all your stuff was in SVN,  perhaps  your SNV client  has done something ( locked a file, marked  folders as read only, made a datival file read only, ect…)

     •You could try using the advanced conditional text options and use a datival file instead of the dialog options.

     •Try running XMetaL as administrator or elevated mode.


I'm still suffering all the issues I've stated in this thread: crashing, freezing, script errors, etc. As for your suggestions: Yes, the error occurs with the default Product A, B, C (as I've stated). I replaced the ct_config.xml file with a backup copy, too.

I didn't think is was possible to lock files in SVN. However, that does explain why I have trouble with the default map.

I've tried running as admin and in XP Compatibility mode. It crashed again on me this morning.

I noticed another thread on the same issue with Windows 7. My suspicion is that one of the many Windows 7 updates in late April through early May has something to do with it.

While I appreciate your efforts to help, I cannot conscientiously invest any more of my client's time on this.
@kwag_myers: From what I understand (from our sales team) the company you are doing this contract work for will be renewing maintenance on the licenses of XMetaL Author Enterprise that they have. I assume that includes your copy.

The person who makes that decision has been on vacation all week. So, we'll have to wait and see on that.
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