Ctrl+C on invisible topic does not generate unique TopicID

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Ctrl+C on invisible topic does not generate unique TopicID

Unread postby tmcdos » Mon May 17, 2010 9:09 pm

I have a Help & Manual project, where if I try to duplicate some invisible topic - the new topic acts like an alias to the old one. What I mean ?
I select the chosen invisible topic on the left pane, then press CTRL+C. Then press CTRL+V - the new topic is copied after the currently selected. But it has the same TopicID as the old one instead of a uniquely generated new topicID.
Even more - when I manually change topicID of the new invisible topic - the topicID of the original (old) topic is also changed and equals my input.
This is very strange - how could I have 2 topics on the left pane and when I change one of them, changes magically propagate to the other one.
I have also met a case where this "magic" connection was covering over 10 topics !
The version of H&M is 4.5.1 build 1380.
I can provide the problematic HMX file or I can make a movie showing the wrong behaviour.
tmcdos
 
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Unread postby Tim Green » Tue May 18, 2010 6:49 am

Your HM4 installation is out of date, please download the current build from the downloads page here (the HM4 download is further down on the page):

http://www.ec-software.com/downloads.html

This is not a bug, it is a feature. If the new topic does not have the word "(COPY)" in its name you are actually creating is not a copy of the topic but a second reference to the same topic, which can be very useful for a number of purposes. See this topic in the help for information:

Basic Working Procedures > Managing Topics in the TOC > Multiple TOC entries for one topic

However, using Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V will normally create a copy, not a second reference. I just tested this several times in HM4 1392 and it works every time. You can also create a second reference by holding down Ctrl and dragging the topic to a new position. Holding down Ctrl+Shift creates a copy.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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The same behaviour with build 1392

Unread postby tmcdos » Tue May 18, 2010 4:43 pm

I upgraded to build 1392 - but the situation is the same.
As you can see on the movie ("www" dot "ivogelov" dot "com" slash "tutorial_02.avi") - I am doing exactly these:
1. Open my project
2. Select my original topic (THatchOptions Properties by object)
3. Press CTRL+C
4. Select the nearest sibling of my new topic (TPersistentPoint Methods alphabet)
5. Press CTRL+V
6. Select thew newly pasted topic "THatchOptions Properties by object (COPY)"
7. Change its topicID from "THatchOptions_Properties_object" to "TPersistentPoint_Properties_object"
8. Now select the original topic (THatchOptions Properties by object) - and its topicID is also changed, which is my problem

You said that if there is the word "(COPY)" in the name of new topic - then it is not a reference, but a real copy of the original. You also said that using CTRL+C/CTRL+V will always produce a new copy but not a second reference.
So, where am I wrong ?
tmcdos
 
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Joined: Mon May 17, 2010 8:56 pm

Unread postby Tim Green » Wed May 19, 2010 10:00 am

Your problem is the length of your topic ID: It is exactly 31 characters long. There is an uncorrectable bug (no longer present in version 5) in the topic ID structure of Help & Manual version 4 that causes problems when IDs have exactly this length or multiples of this length (62, 93 etc). If you add some characters to the ID before copying to make the ID a little longer (32 or 33 characters) or several characters shorter (so that it can't become 31 even with the additions for the "new" ID) then the problem will go away.

This is an annoying restriction but it is not possible to fix it in HM4 without completely changing the underlying topic ID structure. The problem no longer exists in Help & Manual 5.
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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Unread postby tmcdos » Thu May 20, 2010 9:54 am

Thank you.
I understand the reasons. I do not plan to move on to H&M 5 - the user interface is slithly away of my taste and H&M 4 is more familiar to me :D

Best wishes.
tmcdos
 
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Unread postby tmcdos » Fri May 21, 2010 2:31 pm

Probably it would be a good idea and much more friendly to customers, if H&M shows a warning or any other visual clue that the TopicID is multiple of 31 characters and this leads to a wrong behaviour (may be even automatically adding an underscore at the end of TopicID)
tmcdos
 
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Unread postby Tim Green » Fri May 21, 2010 3:18 pm

tmcdos wrote:Probably it would be a good idea and much more friendly to customers, if H&M shows a warning or any other visual clue that the TopicID is multiple of 31 characters and this leads to a wrong behaviour (may be even automatically adding an underscore at the end of TopicID)


HM4 does prevent the automatic creation of 31-character IDs but there's no check for manual editing that results in them. I don't know if it would be possible to add one but HM4 isn't being developed any more now... :?
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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