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Arachnophilia Frequently Asked Questions
Arachnophilia is © Copyright 2020, P. Lutus.

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When I try to run Arachnophilia, something goes wrong -- it doesn't run, or some menu items are inoperative, etc..
First, try deleting the user configuration directory located at (user home directory)/.Arachnophilia and run Arachnophilia again.

Next, check that the Arachnophilia executable JAR file (Arachnophilia.jar) is uncorrupted by running a checksum (instructions on the Arachnophilia Home Page). If this test fails, be sure to download a fresh copy, but only from this site.

Next, make sure that you have an up-to-date Java version. At the time of writing, the most recent Java version is available for all major platforms and this should remain true in the future — there's no reason to use an out-of-date Java runtime engine.
Sometimes when I try to read a file I get an "encoding error" and the file fails to load.
This is caused by your file not having valid content for the character encoding chosen under "File ... Character encoding." The recommended remedy is to:

1. Choose an older encoding at menu item "File ... Character encoding", such as ISO-8859-1 or ASCII.
2. Load the problem file.
3. If the load fails, choose another encoding until the file successfully loads.
4. Now, at "File .. Character encoding" choose "UTF-8", the present, highly recommended, international standard character encoding.
5. Save your file with this new encoding.

Read more on this topic at http://arachnoid.com/arachnophilia/Documentation/AdvancedFeatures.html#Unicode_Support
When I load a file containing Unicode or extended characters (like Ä or É), all I see are little white squares instead of the desired characters (or I see the wrong characters).
Try changing character encodings with menu item "File ... Character Encoding" — choose "ISO-8859-1" or "ASCII", then try loading your file again. If this remedy works, you may choose to keep this setting (Arachnophilia will remember your selection), or you can convert your documents to UTF-8 (recommended) by choosing this character encoding as above, then saving your document.

NOTE: If you don't see the above-described menu item, follow the instructions below titled: "I tried everything, and I can't get Arachnophilia to run ..."

For more details, please read about Unicode in the Arachnophilia documentation, and remember that to see Unicode characters while editing in Arachnophilia, your system must have an appropriate display font installed and selected within Arachnophilia (Menu item "Text ... Set Editor Font"). To see Unicode on your browser, it must also have an appropriate font installed. Finally, for your visitors to see Unicode characters on your published pages, they must have an appropriate font installed.

Read more on this topic at http://arachnoid.com/arachnophilia/Documentation/AdvancedFeatures.html#Unicode_Support
I tried everything, and I can't get Arachnophilia to run (or Arachnophilia ran once, but won't any more).
Although most likely a resource issue (see below in this answer), this may be caused by a bad installation of Arachnophilia's user directory. Take these steps:

1. Delete the directory (user home directory)/.Arachnophilia
2. Try to run Arachnophilia again. If this fails, go to step 3.
3. Download the current Arachnophilia build from the Arachnophilia Home Page www.arachnoid.com/arachnophilia.
4. Reinstall.
5. If this fails, look for an error log file at (user home directory)/.Arachnophilia/ArachErrorLog.txt. If it exists, this file may offer some clues. If you submit a bug report, be sure to include the contents of this file.

Finally, chronic unsolved problems of this class are almost invariably caused by not having enough system RAM and/or hard drive space. To solve this problem, purchase more RAM and/or free up hard drive space.
While editing my one-page copy of "War and Peace", I ran out of memory! How do I get more memory for Arachnophilia?
This issue is covered the documentation — under "Common Problems - Memory Issues".
I saw a note about a bug fix, but my fresh copy of Arachnophilia doesn't seem to reflect it.
Always perform a fresh install in a case like this. "Fresh install" means removing or renaming the directory (user home directory)/.Arachnophilia. This triggers the creation of a fresh user directory, with all the latest files.

This is also the default procedure in the event of difficulty. If something you have done causes Arachnophilia to misbehave, and you can't seem to correct it any other way, use the above approach — just rename or remove the Arachnophilia user directory and run Arachnophilia again.
I can't get Arachnophilia to start. It installed uneventfully, but it won't start.
If you downloaded the Windows installation package, simply click the icon at "Start ... Programs ... Arachnophilia ... Arachnophilia". This icon can be copied anywhere you would like.

If you downloaded and installed the JAR package, open a command window (Linux: shell console) and type:

java -jar (path to Arachnophilia location)/Arachnophilia.jar

This command can be included in a shell script, and if you are using X windows, you can easily create a desktop icon.

If you are running Windows, try this variation (although clicking the provided program icon is still the best approach):

javaw -jar "C:\Program Files\Arachnophilia\Arachnophilia.jar"

-- or --

start "C:\Program Files\Arachnophilia\Arachnophilia.jar"

Will Arachnophilia work on (name an operating system)?
Arachnophilia is written in the Java computer language. Java is available for virtually all operating systems. So yes, unless you just wrote a new operating system over the weekend, Arachnophilia works on your operating system.
When will Arachnophilia support Unicode?
Recent Arachnophilia versions (> 5.3) support Unicode. Users are cautioned that there are a number of difficulties with creating Unicode Web content, most prominently the requirement that the content developer as well as all site visitors have appropriate Unicode fonts installed.
Arachnophilia takes a long time to start. Why?
This is caused by the Java runtime engine, which must load before Arachnophilia can run. This doesn't mean the Java version of Arachnophilia is slower than its predecessor — in fact, in many tasks it is faster. It just takes longer to launch.
When I try to run Arachnophilia by clicking the program icon, my ZIP program runs instead.
The solution is to remove the ZIP program and throw it away. Any program that tries to take over the JAR file suffix, a suffix reserved to Java programs, is written by incompetents and deserves to be tossed out.

1. Remove the ZIP program and discard it.
2. Re-install the Java runtime engine.
3. Run Arachnophilia.
How do I wrap lines?
In the current version of Arachnophilia, you can right-click a document and select "Enable/Disable Line Wrapping". Syntax coloring works in both modes.
Using Arachnophilia's File Picker, I don't see the files I expect to see in a directory
This is because the file list is filtered according to the accepted file suffixes for the chosen file type. If you want to see all files, choose "All" using the file type selector at the bottom of the display.

And remember — you can always add file suffixes to any file type you want, in the configuration file (user home directory)/.Arachnophilia/ArachConf/FileData.txt.
I've never tried to run a Java program before. How do I do it?
If you have not downloaded the Windows package and/or you want to find out how to launch Arachnophilia directly:

1. Make sure you have installed the required Java runtime engine.
2. Windows: Open a DOS window.
3. Other platforms: open a command shell.
4. Move to the Arachnophilia program directory.
5. Type "java -jar Arachnophilia.jar".

This can, of course, be made part of a batch/shell file.
My favorite tag is not included in Arachnophilia.
You can add any number of toolbar buttons and menu items. You can create entire new toolbars and menus. You can switch between huge subsets of commands for different purposes.

It is not possible to include even a small fraction of all the tags and variations on tags that now exist. And there is no point to that — to try to include them all would make a program too large to use.

Just add the tags you want — your additions become part of your copy of Arachnophilia. Start by reading the documentation.
I made a bad program selection that, after it was made, I cannot undo from within Arachnophilia. How do I recover?
(usually asked with regard to program font family or size)

1. Exit Arachnophilia.
2. Use Notepad or another editor to edit (user home directory)/.Arachnophilia/ArachConf/Arach.ini.
3. Change the mistaken entry manually.

Example — program font size too large. Change this entry:


Make this number something like 10 - 12.
Or to correct a bad choice of program font name, change to:


4. Save the file, restart Arachnophilia.

If this approach doesn't work, delete the directory (user home directory)./Arachnophilia after saving any parts of it you want to preserve. Or rename this directory, to avoid losing something you may want later.
I tried to upload my multi-directory site by way of the FTP service, but something very strange happened.
Make sure you have placed a forward slash — "/" — at the beginning of your remote directory path. This is a very common cause of problems. Unfortunately, some configurations require that the prefix take a different form (like "~/"), so it cannot be arbitrarily entered without knowing what form it takes. You should really ask your ISP for guidance.
How do I find out what version of the Java runtime engine is installed on my machine?
Well, first, if you don't want to bother finding out before downloading Arachnophilia, just download and run Arachnophilia — it will tell you if you need to download a more recent Java runtime version, with no harm done.

But if you really want to find out, simply open a command shell (on Windows it's called a DOS console) and type:

java -version

The Java runtime engine version you have installed will be printed on the screen. Compare this to the version specified on the Arachnophilia Home Page. If the version you have has a smaller number, you need to download the latest Java runtime engine (JRE) at http://java.com .
I am having problems with the RTF converter
First, to use the RTF converter, if you have a prior version of Arachnophilia, you must perform a fresh install.

Second, the RTF converter will not convert all RTF content, only a subset. Among other things, it will not convert images or tables. It will satisfactorily convert normal rich-text content.

Third, make sure the document you are trying to convert really is RTF and has an appropriate filename suffix. By default, the suffix is .rtf, but you can add any additional suffixes you care to.

Fourth, there is a special, separate template for RTF conversions named "RTFConversionTemplate.html" that you can customize for this particular conversion. It is located in the template directory.
If I apply [CvtExtChars] more than once, it finds all the ampersands and converts them into & again.
Yes, and this is by design, not by accident. It must be this way.

Suppose you are an HTML instructor and you want to create a page that lists all the HTML entities. You type them all in. But when you display the page, the characters, not the entities, appear, because the browser correctly translates each entity into the equivalent character.

To solve this problem, you need to apply [CvtExtChars] to the list, so that each "&" becomes "&", so that the entites will appear as strings, not characters. This is exactly what Arachnophilia does.

To put it another, simpler, way, if you feel you must report a bug having to do with [CvtExtChars], then you don't understand the function or how it must work.
There are no printing features available.
Yes, true.:)

Because Arachnophilia is a cross-platform program, supporting reliable printing would have been very difficult. Instead, I recommend that you make an HTML version of the document you want to print (using Tools - Convert Document to HTML), then click the preview button to launch the system browser, then print from there.

This handy HTML conversion feature also allows you to publish your program listings on the Web while retaining the original's indentation and syntax coloring. It was how the help file document listings were created.
The FTP Service sometimes tries to load all my pages, not just the ones I need to upload.
Use this procedure:

1. Run the FTP Service and press "SyncLog." This synchronizes the local FTP file log with your file dates, but doesn't upload anything.

2. Create (or load and edit) the pages you want to work on.

3. Return to the FTP Service and press "Execute." Only the changed pages wil be uploaded.

Another common problem with the FTP service setup is that the destination path must begin with either "/" or "~". A typical entry is "~/html" or "~/www". If you are unsure, consult with your ISP for the specifics.
I installed the latest Arachnophilia in Windows, but when I click the icon, I get the old version.
That is a left-over icon from the previous version. Find the new icon here:

Start - Programs - Arachnophilia folder - Arachnophilia icon

You can make copies of this new icon wherever you please.
Will Arachnophilia run on a Macintosh?
My understanding is that the current version of OS X contains a suitable Java runtime engine, and some people have reported good results with Arachnophilia on this platform.
I clicked a folder in the "Open" dialog but, instead of opening the folder, Arachnophilia thought I had chosen it as a file.
The easiest way to avoid this problem is to upgrade to the most recent version. But if you cannot do this, you must choose folders in the left-hand window and files in the right-hand window. Like this:

1. Choose the desired folder in the left window. Double-click to open the folder and show subfolders.
2. Choose the desired file in the right window.
3. Press "Open."
I need to use bracketed expressions and prevent their being interpreted as Arachnophilia macros.
Normally this is not an issue, because if the text between the brackets doesn't evaluate to an Arachnophilia macro name, it will be accepted as literal text. But in cases of doubt, just precede the first bracket with "\", like "\[text]". This causes the entire expression to be skipped by the macro processor.

If you need to use brackets as part of a macro's argument, you have two options: (1) again, if the bracketed expression doesn't contain the name of an Arachnophilia macro, just use it as a string:


But (2) if the bracketed expression may evaluate to a macro and you want it to be accepted as a literal, precede it with two escape characters:

If I place HTML tags and JavaScript code on separate lines in an HTML document, the Arachnophilia syntax coloring engine correctly switches between the separate syntax-coloring modes on the fly. But if I try to mix HTML and JavaScript within a single line, the rendering engine gets confused.
I have reduced the severity of this problem, but, to put it simply, the solution is not to mix HTML tags and JavaScript code within a single line. For a number of excellent reasons including this one, professional Web developers place their JavaScript code in a separate file and link to it using a "script" tag.
A special anchor tag containing "ArachTempDocPos" is always inserted into the temporary browser preview file, and this tag prevents my (CSS formatting|script contents) from working as they should.
This is a feature to make the preview browser scroll down to the area you're editing at the moment. To prevent this side effect, select menu item "HTML ... Configure Browsers" and disable the option "Jump to Doc Pos".
While developing Web content on Windows, I can't place my documents on a separate drive letter (or use drive letters in hyperlinks).
This is by design, and it's not an Arachnophilia issue. All modern operating systems have long since done away with drive letters, and drive letters are not supported by standards-compliant Web servers. Even if Arachnophilia were changed to support drive letters during local development, after uploading to a standards-compliant server, the Web pages would instantly fail (and I would hear about a new "bug").

The solution is to either (a) dump Windows and install Linux, or (b) place everything on one drive and never use drive letters. I personally recommend option (a).

Having — and requiring — drive letters in a modern operating system would be like opening the hood of a car and discovering a horse hidden in the engine compartment.


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