Large projects do not finish generating output -- Stuck in Page pipeline

In ePublisher releases prior to version 9.3, large projects with many groups, files, or page splits, sometimes ran into a fatal "Out of Memory Exception" error message that prevented successful output generation. For version 9.3, we addressed this issue by implementing a process to catch that exception and to pick up the conversion at the beginning of the stage that caused the memory depletion.

As we have now found, this fix has the negative effect of producing a loop in some very large projects, resulting in output that is not fully generated. The conversion doesn't fail outright; however, it may run for hours without making much (or any) progress toward completion.

This is a significant problem, and our engineers are working to address the defect in a future ePublisher release. There is a possibibility, though, that this problem just represents the manifestation of an upper limit on the scalability of ePublisher projects. In other words, some projects just might be too big to handle.

For now, there is one possible option for users who need to create WebWorks Help 5.0 output for very large multi-volume projects.

We offer an off-the-shelf Dynamic Merge service for users need to combine WebWorks Help output from multiple projects and/or groups in different configurations at runtime. With some preparation, this feature can be used to address the out-of-memory issue. It requires that you create several small projects containing subsets of the total number of groups in your large, error-prone project. If you can successfully generate output for each of these smaller projects, then you can use a vbscript to merge the output of all the constituent parts into a single WebWorks Help 5.0 helpset.

It is important to note, though, that the drawback of this procedure is that some cross-references may not be resolved in the output. That is, if you split your big project into smaller projects, and a document in one of the smaller projects has a link to a document in one of the other smaller projects, that link will not be functional in the output. So, try to organize your small projects such that groups with many links between each other are placed in the same small project.

Please contact support for details regarding obtaining this.

We realize the Dynamic Merge script is not a perfect solution to this unforeseen product bug, and we are working hard to find a more effective fix to be built into a future ePublisher release. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. If you have any additional questions concerning the Dynamic Merge solution, please submit a Support case, and we will address your concerns as quickly as possible.


Permalinks/Solutions/ePublisher/9.3/StuckInPagePipeline (last edited 2009-05-01 23:32:49 by LaurenLever)