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"Conversion Error" not very descriptive

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  • "Conversion Error" not very descriptive

    Dear all,
    I am having an issue as of today. I am using the HTML tidy module for BC3. As of today I cannot compare valid HTML files using this anymore. Instead BC3 shows an "Conversion Error" on top of the window where actually the file content is presented.

    How can I "debug" what exactly happened = The log is empty and the status bar also just shows "Error"...?!

    Is it possible to e.g. trace the output of the tools running to present this is case of an error to the user? Cause I am a bit lost now...?!

    With regards, Morten.
    Last edited by MortenMacFly; 07-Dec-2009, 02:22 AM.

  • #2


    • #3
      Is your XML document well-formed? Can you open it in IE without error?
      BC v4.0.7 build 19761


      • #4

        Could you send us your and a pair of example files to [email protected] ?
        Please also include a link back to this forum post.

        The issue is our External Conversion can call any command line to perform a conversion. We can check for basic error code returning, or if the returned document is empty, but it is difficult to pass back exactly what may have gone wrong with a User's customized bat or a 3rd party conversion tool. Many of our Additional File Formats are not written by us, but use other tools to help with the conversion.

        What I normally do is call the External Conversion from the command line manually. Use a source file in place of %s and a temp target file in place of %t. The command line will usually have a fair amount of error text pop-up if it fails.
        Aaron P Scooter Software


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Bulgrien View Post
          Is your XML document well-formed? Can you open it in IE without error?
          Hmmm... somehow I don't get notifications when this thread is answered...?! So I am sorry for the delayed answer.

          However, I will have a look into this once I get the phenomena again. Surely this could be a reason. For now I would assume that this was correct.

          Please notice that the actual issue here is that the message is not very helpful. IN fact (even worse) if I do a rule based comparison and the underlying htmltidy command fails I don't even get notified, too. What happened in the past is that I didn't realise differences until I switched to "default" HTML comparison (which I didn't want to use on purpose actually).

          So maybe a "nicer" handling of the messages coming from underlying tools (like formatter) could be piped and presented in a log or alike so that I don't need to manually need to run the tools from a shell to see what's wrong. Would that worth the a feature request? Would you generally agree? Is that probably already possible?!


          • #6
            Another thing I've just noticed:
            On my laptop I am running the portable version of BC3. Using a rules based comparison I get errors like this:
            [Date] [Time]: External program not found.
            I've setup the log level to "Operation details" already, but I don't know what external program failed or what file was being compared (this would lead me to the application, too).

            Could you please be more descriptive in such error messages, providing either the full call that failed (would be perfect!!!) or at least which files could not be compared due to the missing external program?

            Otherwise "External program not found." does not really help but leaves a user (me at least) kind of in the dark...?!


            • #7

              I've also been getting this with some XML files.

              Problem occurs when a file has a UTF-8 Byte Order Mark (BOM) which BC3 handles transparently but HtmlTidy doesn't like.

              You can do a BC hex compare of BOM.xml / noBOM,xml to see the 3-byte BOM header, then try a text compare as "XML tidied" to see a "Conversion Error".

              Using HtmlTidy on the command line (batch file in zip attachment) shows noBOM.xml is OK but BOM.xml gives this error ...
              line 1 column 1 - Warning: specified input encoding (unknown) does not match actual input encoding (utf-8)
              >Exit code: 1
              I hope that's enough to whack those HtmlTidy guys with because I might get called to a Christmas party at any moment.

              I guess Scooter could send a temp file to HtmlTidy (with BOM stripped) instead of waiting for a fix from them.




              • #8

                Thanks for the suggestion. Providing better error handling for external programs is on our wish list for a future release.

                The error means BC can't find one of the conversion utilities located in the Helpers subdirectory of the Beyond Compare 3 folder. If you can determine the file extension of the file generating the error, that might help you narrow it down to a file format in "Tools > File Formats" that isn't working correctly.
                Chris K Scooter Software


                • #9
                  I'm getting this on old working (don't know whether formally valid or not) HTML files, so that my local files no longer match their remote copies. I don't have time to troubleshoot it this month, just want to turn off Htmltidy altogether. How do I do that? Thanks.


                  • #10
                    Select Tools->File Formats, then uncheck the checkbox next to "HTML Tidy" in the table on the left.
                    Zoë P Scooter Software


                    • #11
                      Thanks, Craig!