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Archived Message:

Major Problem

kjedwards Hi

I downloaded v4.22 and installed ok.

Everything seems to run ok but I get a major problem.

I set up a new ebook, created two simple html pages in Word 2000 and imported them into e-books. I ran build and that was ok  and an exe file was created BUT when I try to run the exe I just get a flash and er nothing.

I set up my own Splash screen (correct file format) and that shows up for a second or two then er nothing - just end up back to the e-book program.

It is like the exe just won't run.

The program looks stable and everything seems to work - no errors, nothing, just cannot run the exe the builder produces.

I am running win2k pro

Any ideas?


PS I even tried uninstalling/reinstalling but get the same result.

Posted on: 11:19 pm on December 1, 2002
Alaska Kevin -

 It's hard to say what the problem is without more input: for instance, have you built any other books sucessfully?  Have you tried running the uncooperative .exe on any other machine?  Do the html pages display on their own?  

 It could be any number of things, such as an errant  Word XHTML tag or a restrictive browser setting.

 If you like, feel free to zip up the project and post or mail it to me, and we can scratch our collective heads on it.

 best -

Posted on: 10:26 pm on December 2, 2002
kjedwards Hi

Thanks Alaska

I have actually got this thing working. I think the problem was a currupted file somewhere - I unistalled, re-booted, re-downloaded the demo and re-installed and it seems to work but I have only tested with a very basic (1 page book) containing very basic html.

We will see how we go - lack of support seems a real worry though. And judging by some of the other posts people have problems running downloaded exe's - not a good sign for anyone selling eBook material

I am also amazed at the exe file size - nearly 1/2MB for a 1 page book with no images!

Do you or anyone else know of an eBook creator program that -

1. works with most browsers/platforms - I understand Active e-book only works with IE on Windows

2. produces secure ebooks of a reasonable file size to easy download times

3. offers support - regular upgrades



Posted on: 10:50 am on December 3, 2002
Alaska Kevin -

Don't get discouraged - I believe Activ is the best compiler for your money.  Admittedly, the learning curve is a bit steeper than some others, but that's only due to the fact that one has more options and functionality to learn.  

It's like the difference between having dials and gauges, or only having the cryptic 'idiot lights' on your car dashboard.  The more dials and switches, the longer it takes to learn. But you know more, have more control, and are better off for having them.

 There are a lot of other products out there, but you have to choose what's important to you.   Adobe, for instance, has the cross-platform .pdf format, a $250 Acrobat compiler, and a million-dollar support system.  They need it.  Have you ever tried to build a table of contents for a .pdf file?  Talk about a steep learning curve!  And, .pdfs are great to print, hard to navigate and often difficult to read.  Their security is good, Russian programmers notwithstanding.  And, your Mac users can open and read .pdfs.

E-ditor has a great 'skins' feature, but doesn't work with all my JavaScripts, doesn't have a user forum, and they have not answered my recent emails.  I still use it, though.

Here's where I start blithering on, based on my experience as a help author:

As far as support goes, it is a proverb that users will ask their forums and support groups for answers to problems before they read the documentation.  I'm as guilty as anyone for asking questions that could be answered in the help file.

Some beginners just shrug when they are asked if they went through the help and tutorials.  The usual justification is that they're in a hurry, under a deadline, don't have the time.  What they don't realize is that the other forum members are under just as much pressure to produce as they, and don't have time to research every question.  

Further, forum members are reluctant to offer suggestions for solving problems when the nature of the problem is not clear.  A simple "I've built these files and compiled the ebook but it doesn't run." is not going to get an adequate answer.

Lastly, this forum is still young: you may have noticed that there are a lot of subscribers, but only a handful of posters actually offering suggestions or solutions.  This too, shall pass, as the forum numbers grow, and users become more experienced and confident.

Remember - established companies are starting to charge for their support more and more now, but here, it's still free!

Regarding difficulties running the exe book, the problem is almost always human error.  As a friend says, it's usually 'PEBCAK' - 'Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard' ... and, the chance always exists for the possibility of file corruption as well.

As far as file size goes, there is an overhead, but I believe you were looking at an .exe compiled without any compression options selected.  I assure you that your one-page, no image file will be much smaller upon compression.

So, in short, there are other compilers out there with different (and usually lesser) functionality, and different levels of support.  None of the others, I feel, have anything comparable to the flexibility, programability or functionality that is available in Activ.

So, don't despair, and give it another shot before chucking it, eh?

best -


PS - I should have some demos online athttp://www.copperfieldpub.comsoon - along with more scripts and tools that work with Activ compiler and ebooks in general.  You might find something helpful or inspiring there!

(Edited by Alaska at 8:42 am on Dec. 4, 2002)

Posted on: 9:39 pm on December 3, 2002
dreuby Hi Kevin,

As well as the tutorial that came with Activ, have you checked out thehttp://www.ebookapprentice.comsite? It has step-by-step help, plus info on other aspects of ebooks.

Posted on: 10:50 pm on December 3, 2002
kjedwards Hi

Thanks for that

I will give it a good try now it seems to work. I haven't really had much chance spent most of the time trying to get the thing to work.

I will explore the compression options. The thing I do like about this program is the possibility of security - I trust it works ok.

It is always reassuring to hear comments from people who actually use a product, and these are most welcome.

I have used Acrobat at work but only in its simplest form - we used it mainly for multi-language web docs  because it seems to incorporates fonts - so anyone reading it over the web doesn't need the special fonts  installed (of course most people reading it in their own language would probably have the fonts relevent to their own language installed anyway)

As a person who only knows English I won't be wanting that facility anyway.

I just want something to produce e-books that can be distributed both as freebies and maybe for sale if they warrant it.

I don't mind spending time learning any software, but I have spent time in the past learning only to find out that the program is bug ridden and not frequently updated making it practically useless. There is nothing worse than spending hours trying to solve problems only to find the problem is fundemental to the program. So I don't mind spending the time if it will be time well spent - again here is where comments from experienced users is invaluable.

I will give this program a try over the next few days (and read the tutorial!) No doubt though there will be something that will cause me to post and ask further advice  

Thanks again


Posted on: 11:20 pm on December 3, 2002
EBookCompiler Kevin I believe your installation is probably corrupted.

Uninstall the compiler
Delete ANS2000.INI from Windows
Reinstall the compiler

Posted on: 5:22 pm on December 15, 2002

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