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  • Michael Mattias
    replied
    I think that just confirms what I thought. It's Microsoft applications which "do something" to make *.chm files less than fully, immediately available, although that article suggests it's only when one opens the file from the Temporary Internet Files folder.

    Well, whatever the technical explanation, using an installer has kept my phone quiet. I think I shall keep things this way.


    MCM

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  • Egbert Zijlema
    replied
    This is what Microsoft reports: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/902225/en-us. Did you miss this "news" Michael?

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  • Michael Mattias
    replied
    I "think" the "downloaded and therefore blocked" is a function of the browser (or more specifically, Microsoft Internet Explorer), which adds some kind of "file property" if it "knows" the file was downloaded.

    This blocking also occurs when saving a *.chm or other file with a "potential danger" file extension which arrives as an email attachment when using Microsoft Outlook Express - but of course OE is part of IE so that's probably just two sides of the same coin.

    FWIW, the reason I suggested "an" installer program is because I have never ever had any problems like this when I ship software to clients packaged in an Inno Setup "setup" file.

    MCM

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  • Egbert Zijlema
    replied
    Originally posted by Michael Mattias View Post
    This suggests using an installer program might be in order. If the user can run the installer EXE he won't have to worry about the "downloaded file, blocked" thing.
    Well, I intended to suggest the opposite. After all a file inside a downloaded installer package is a file from a remote computer. So I was thinking that the HTML help files we carefully create for our customers would also be affected by this "security" update.

    In the meantime I've tested it, using Inno Setup to create a setup.exe file. After creation I uploaded it to my website and then downloaded/installed it. The help file was accessible without any hick-up. Not only programmatically (via the application's help menu or F1), but also directly in Windows Explorer by double clicking the file name. So no problem with "installed" .chm-files?

    Note: I've tested this with only 1 installing tool. Don't know anything about other brands.

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  • Michael Mattias
    replied
    They simply don't want to spend their costly time in order to find out how to unlock the content of just a simple help file.
    This suggests using an installer program might be in order. If the user can run the installer EXE he won't have to worry about the "downloaded file, blocked" thing.

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  • Rodney Hicks
    replied
    First it was going to be Help 2.0 and now they say it will be MAML. Eventually it will come,
    From what I gather, MAML, or some variation of it is the cause of some of the issues with Vista. I can believe this because the Vista help system leaves a lot to be desired. I have found it better to search the web for solutions than to use the misdirecting help offered by Vista. I'm beginning to think that the search option is insinuated into that help system, and/for these are the two items about Windows that I find difficult.

    I'm really wondering about some of the help issues, the further I dig into this.
    I'm thinking that an application that uses multiple libraries may require some sort of unique help on things that appear in those other libraries, and as the author of the application, am I entirely responsible for the help needed because of one or more of those libraries?

    Not that any of that is germane to my immediate needs, but I can see why M$ is trying to get some sort of handle on the situation.

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  • Egbert Zijlema
    replied
    Content of chm files blocked by security patch

    The real problem with .chm-files nowadays is that Microsoft updated XP with a security-patch locking the content when the HTML helpfile has been imported from a remote computer. Is this also the case when it is part of a downloaded or e-mailed setup package? Unfort. I could not test that.

    It's no real headache to unlock it via the file's properties pane (right mouse button) but the real pain is, of course, that the users of our brilliant applications are spoiled because everything always used to work flawlessly . They simply don't want to spend their costly time in order to find out how to unlock the content of just a simple help file.

    The screenshot attached is in Dutch. The left pane (year numbers in this case) is correctly displayed, but the right pane says: "Navigation to the webpage cancelled - Possible actions: re-supply the url". This action is, imo, the most stupid Microsoft (i.e. IE7) ever recommended. Supply an internet address? How? We try to cope with a compiled HTML-file here, which IE7 obviously does not recognize as such. Instead it "thinks" that a living human typed an incorrect url.

    And what's more: This is a file I created myself and then e-mailed it to myself, so it does not even come from a remote computer. It only made a short voyage along the internet.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Egbert Zijlema; 10 Dec 2008, 05:39 PM. Reason: In total 4 edits for additions and corrections

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  • Fred Buffington
    replied
    many times the chm will include html files used to access various parts. PB is that way (or at least you can get them). Therefore much if not all of the text can be found in these html type files.
    Last edited by Fred Buffington; 10 Dec 2008, 05:00 PM.

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  • Steve Rossell
    replied
    I used to work for BlueSky software (which later became eHelp), the makers of RoboHELP. I have been hearing promises of the CHM file format going away for over 10 years now. First it was going to be Help 2.0 and now they say it will be MAML. Eventually it will come, but we have been promised a new help format for so long now...

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  • Rodney Hicks
    replied
    This from the Wikipedia on CHM:

    In 2002, Microsoft announced some security risks associated with the .CHM format, as well as some security bulletins and patches.[1] They have since announced their intentions not to develop the .CHM format further, and will be moving to a new generation of Windows Help called Microsoft Assistance Markup Language(MAML) in the Windows Vista operating system.(bracketed mine)
    And from the MAML page:
    The MAML authoring structure is divided into segments related to a type of content: conceptual, FAQ, glossary, procedure, reference, reusable content, task, troubleshooting, and tutorial.

    Three levels of transformation occur when a topic displays: structure, presentation, and rendering.
    So, if I go ahead and fiddle with *.chm format(which is what is currently out there), how long before the *.chm format is no longer supported by software vendors? In other words, how much time do I have to do it all over again?

    Oh well. At least the principles/techniques I learn should last a week or two longer than the format.

    Leave a comment:


  • Rodney Hicks
    replied
    Well Dominic, it looks like you win.

    I tried a decompiler, as jcfuller suggested, and while it does a job of sorts, it gives me a parsable text file, it also may infringe on copyrights as Michael pointed out. It means creating a *.txt file out of the gist of a *.chm file and accessing the *.txt file by the program I envision. This complexity I think I should avoid.

    The same pretty much applies to Edwin's suggestion, although I kept getting errors when attempting his method. I searched for solutions to the errors and I didn't find one that was obviously applicable.

    First a couple of links:

    http://com.it-berater.org/COM/struct...s/IStorage.htm
    http://com.it-berater.org/COM/struct...es/IStream.htm

    So now I got a lotta learnin to do. I suppose it's my fault that as someone that first learned to program in the 80's that I didn't pay particular attention to some of the insidious changes that were creeping into, or perhaps growing predominant in creating a help file.

    Mumble....grumble...fumble...tumble...MUMBLE.
    Last edited by Rodney Hicks; 10 Dec 2008, 04:56 AM. Reason: speilling

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  • Dave Biggs
    replied
    Or "COM.STIPATION"

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  • Rodney Hicks
    replied
    I have about 150 from HP... and all I did was install two printers. However, you can't install an HP printer without installing "Manage my photo album" and "Do image editing" and "Drive a submarine under the North Pole with your hands tied behind your back (blindfolded)," too.

    Sheesh, whatever happened to "here's the floppy disk containing your new printer driver?"
    Perhaps it's time to coin a new term, somewhat akin to bloatware. My suggestion is "COM.BLOAT"

    I'll give each of these scenarios/means a looksee, thank you very much for the suggestions, folks.

    When I have found success, I'll report it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Edwin Knoppert
    replied
    Oh btw, the decompiler way may also work for you.
    The htmlhelp compile can decompile these files for you.
    Then you'll get htm files which may be easier for you to process with MSIE > save as..

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  • Edwin Knoppert
    replied
    The whole url can be used with MSIE and MSIE (afaik) has an option to save as text:

    So i placed:
    mk:@MSITStore:C:\Program%20Files\PwrDev2\PwrDev.chm::/calls/VD_INI_ByteToHex.htm

    into MSIE and used save as .. txt and did it fine.
    I think you can program that behaviour ??

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  • Michael Mattias
    replied
    >Over 70 [registered COM libraries] from HP alone

    I have about 150 from HP... and all I did was install two printers. However, you can't install an HP printer without installing "Manage my photo album" and "Do image editing" and "Drive a submarine under the North Pole with your hands tied behind your back (blindfolded)," too.

    Sheesh, whatever happened to "here's the floppy disk containing your new printer driver?"

    MCM

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  • jcfuller
    replied
    google chm decompiler

    James

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  • Rodney Hicks
    replied
    742 on my machine. Over 70 from HP alone, and Roxio has a large chunk too.

    Thanks Dominic, I'll go looking.

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  • Dominic Mitchell
    replied
    On a hunch I fired up the COM browser...
    Don't bother, that is a dead end.

    You will need to understand structured storage and how to used the methods of the IStorage interface.
    Do a search on "CHM Specification" or "ITSF CHM", and if after reading all that you are still willing
    to proceed, I can get you started.

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  • Michael Mattias
    replied
    I don't know how to use all that stuff either; however, when I first started playing around with ADO, I noticed the COM browser found a LOT of 'registered libraries' on my system (611).

    So I wuz thinkin'.... maybe there is some useful stuff in there and maybe I should try to familiarize myself with it.

    Far as I can tell, calling a property or method is pretty much the same as calling a sub or function, except for the call syntax.

    (The "isolation" offered by classes and instances is not much benefit to me... since I've always coded pretty well in that regard anyway).

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