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I keep on getting a null exception when I attempt to parse an Html string built in a stringbuilder object to an list. If I swap out the string builder object for some hard-coded HTML, it goes off without a hitch. I know the string builder is actually doing it's job because I have it outputting to a textbox. It displays flawless HTML, but when I attempt to call that string out with the HtmlWorker class. Does anyone have any clue why it would generate output when it is referenced as a string, but not when I attempt to drop it in the list object? I've included my code, and I will bold the exact Line I receive the error.
private void createPDF()
    openFileDialog.Filter = "HTML Files (.html)|*.html";
    openFileDialog.FilterIndex = 0;
    if (openFileDialog.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
        System.Text.StringBuilder store = new System.Text.StringBuilder();
        string fileName = openFileDialog.FileName;
            using (System.IO.StreamReader htmlReader = new System.IO.StreamReader(openFileDialog.FileName))
                string line;
                while ((line = htmlReader.ReadLine()) != null)
                    store.Append(line + Environment.NewLine);
                this.textBox1.Text = store.ToString();
                string html = store.ToString();
                Document document = new Document(PageSize.LETTER, 20, 25, 35, 35);

                PdfWriter.GetInstance(document, new FileStream("c:\\Data/my.pdf", FileMode.Create));
                System.Collections.Generic.List<IElement> htmlarraylist = new List<IElement>(HTMLWorker.ParseToList(new StringReader(html), new StyleSheet()));
                foreach (IElement element in htmlarraylist)
        catch (Exception ex)
Like I said, if I swap out the line that links the Stringbuilder object to the string 'html' it works fine. The Null reference occurs every time on the bold line.
Posted 6-Jul-12 6:14am
Wes Aday at 6-Jul-12 11:30am
Try changing new StringReader(html) to new StringReader(html).ToString() and see what happens.
MikeVaros at 6-Jul-12 11:43am
"Cannot convert from 'string' to 'System.IO.TextReader'" I'm almost positive I tried that myself yesterday, but I figured it may be worth a shot. Thank you for the response though. It seems to think that the "store" String is empty. If I manually enter the html as a string, it works perfectly, but this isn't dynamic enough to suit my needs. I'm banging my head off the wall trying to figure this out.
I'm just going out on a limb here, but if the size of the string exceeds Stringbuilder's default capacity, could it return a null exception?
Wes Aday at 6-Jul-12 11:48am
Probably but it would have to be a really huge string to exceed the capacity. My bad I read your line wrong anyway. What is it on that line that is null?
MikeVaros at 6-Jul-12 11:55am
I'll paste in my stack trace. It's pretty large to describe easily.
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker.CreateLineSeparator(IDictionary`2 attrs)
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLTagProcessors.HTMLTagProcessor_HR.StartElement(HTMLWorker worker, String tag, IDictionary`2 attrs)
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker.StartElement(String tag, IDictionary`2 attrs)
at iTextSharp.text.xml.simpleparser.SimpleXMLParser.ProcessTag(Boolean start)
at iTextSharp.text.xml.simpleparser.SimpleXMLParser.Go(TextReader reader)
at iTextSharp.text.xml.simpleparser.SimpleXMLParser.Parse(ISimpleXMLDocHandler doc, ISimpleXMLDocHandlerComment comment, TextReader r, Boolean html)
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker.Parse(TextReader reader)
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker.ParseToList(TextReader reader, StyleSheet style, IDictionary`2 tags, Dictionary`2 providers)
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker.ParseToList(TextReader reader, StyleSheet style, Dictionary`2 providers)
at iTextSharp.text.html.simpleparser.HTMLWorker.ParseToList(TextReader reader, StyleSheet style)
Thank you for your help,
Wes Aday at 6-Jul-12 12:08pm
Sorry. Nothing is standing out to me. The only thing I can think of is that the StringReader is returning null... ah ha.... I think I see it now. In your StringBuilder you are appending newlines (CR/LF) which in not good HTML. In HTML you would want <br> so I think that your StringReader is choking on that.
Wes Aday at 6-Jul-12 12:09pm
Meant to say your StringReader is choking on the newlines not the stringbuilder.
MikeVaros at 6-Jul-12 13:36pm
I feel like an idiot now. But I suppose I'd prefer it was something simple as opposed to a logic error. I was using the horizontal line tag in each of the html pages I was trying to run through the program. And it doesn't look like HTMLWorker has any methodology for handling this tag. The reason my hard-coded HTML worked was because I didn't use that tag in there. I was just doing a short snippet in a string. I figured it out the second I tried to insert one of those "hr" tags into that string. Instantly got a Null Reference Exception, and it clicked.
Thank you for helping, and I'll keep that in mind about the <br> tags if I notice any formatting issues with the string builder.
MikeVaros at 6-Jul-12 11:59am
It only seems to error out when that string "html" is created with a stringbuilder object. So the problem is there. The only problem is, that sb object renders the correct output to the textbox, so I know it isn't empty. And it doesn't truncate any text, so I know it isn't going beyond capacity.

1 solution

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Solution 1

Glad you got it working. Solution here is to make the question drop off the unanswered list.
The problem was a null reference exception being thrown due to HTML tags that the parser was unable to handle. Solution was to remove the tags.

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