FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Firefox Extension Conflict Troubleshooter

FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby grahamperrin » Sat May 12, 2018 7:21 am

Original subject line:

FECT Start Session: menu of extensions

With a 'lightweight' profile (relatively few extensions), I do get the menu. For example:

2018-05-12 15.25 OK.png
The menu of extensions.


With a heavily-laden profile (many extensions), the menu will not populate:

2018-05-12 15.17.24 FECT Start Session.png
No menu …


Please, any suggestions?

I assume that there's a conflict with FECT itself, and I'll happily share a list of enabled extensions but first, I thought I'd ask; maybe you've encountered this with Firefox.

(Here: Waterfox 56.1.0.89 on FreeBSD-CURRENT.)

TIA
Last edited by grahamperrin on Tue May 22, 2018 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FECT Start Session: menu of extensions

Postby cbaker_admin » Sat May 12, 2018 10:17 am

No, I don't believe I've ever tested it on any platform besides Fx, and It's always worked for me. The profile I usually test with has about 60 or so extensions installed and I've never had the issue you are having with Waterfox.

Have you checked the error console for any FECT related errors?
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Re: FECT Start Session: menu of extensions

Postby grahamperrin » Sun May 13, 2018 9:09 am

Hmm. The symptoms today (with just one tab open, before I try to proceed) are different.

I could select an extension, then there appeared the two columns of extensions (enabled | disabled) but clicking 'Continue' had no effect.

Eventually I reset the database, now I can select an extension but the two columns are empty. I'll restart Waterfox and retry …
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Re: FECT Start Session: menu of extensions

Postby grahamperrin » Sun May 13, 2018 9:18 am

… OK, AFAICT sometimes there's simply a waiting period for population of the two columns.

cbaker_admin wrote:… Have you checked the error console for any FECT related errors?


I'm very inexperienced with consoles. Not sure whether I'm looking in the right place. I get this, from the JS part of the browser console, when I click 'Continue':

Code: Select all
TypeError: result is undefined[Learn More]  FECT.js:448:3
   executeStatement chrome://fect/content/FECT.js:448:3
   buildIterationData chrome://fect/content/FECT.js:422:3
   startSession chrome://fect/content/FECT.js:403:2
   anonymous chrome://global/content/bindings/dialog.xml%20line%20379%20%3E%20Function:3:1
   _fireButtonEvent chrome://global/content/bindings/dialog.xml:380:28
   _doButtonCommand chrome://global/content/bindings/dialog.xml:348:28
   _handleButtonCommand chrome://global/content/bindings/dialog.xml:336:18


– please, does that help?

TIA
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Re: FECT Start Session: menu of extensions

Postby cbaker_admin » Sun May 13, 2018 2:10 pm

FECT uses Mozilla's SQLite database manager and may work differently with Waterfox. FECT was written with the most current SQLite API at the time which may not be the same one Waterfox uses.

From the MDN documentation:
The API is currently "unfrozen", which means it is subject to change at any time; in fact, it has changed somewhat with each release of Firefox since it was introduced, and will likely continue to do so for a while.


The error console message indicates that FECT was executing a SQLite instruction but did not receive a response and timed-out.

Sorry, but it seems that FECT is not compatible with your version (or perhaps any version ) of Waterfox.
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby grahamperrin » Tue May 22, 2018 2:42 am

Updated to the most recent build of Waterfox on FreeBSD-CURRENT. Good news:

  • with a relatively 'light' profile (fewer extensions), FECT works as expected.
However:

  • with a relatively 'heavy' profile (more extensions) – the profile that I'd currently like to troubleshoot – FECT has not yet worked predictably.
I'll take a look at its FECT.sqlite file to maybe tell whether something about my set of extensions causes FECT to not work. I'm not familiar with database technologies, but I'll do my best to look for any anomaly.

If not a conflict (with FECT itself), then might anything in about:config have an adverse effect on FECT?

Code: Select all
$ pkg info waterfox | grep Version
Version        : 56.2.0.13
$ date ; uname -v
Tue 22 May 2018 10:35:05 BST
FreeBSD 12.0-CURRENT #2 r333587: Mon May 14 01:59:02 BST 2018     root@momh167-gjp4-hpelitebook8570p-freebsd:/usr/obj/usr/src/amd64.amd64/sys/GENERIC
$
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby cbaker_admin » Tue May 22, 2018 12:51 pm

If not a conflict (with FECT itself), then might anything in about:config have an adverse effect on FECT?

Nothing I can think of offhand.

I have not tried installing Waterfox on a *nix platform, so I don't know if there are any install options that affect SQLite files.
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Attention to names of extensions

Postby grahamperrin » Tue May 22, 2018 2:50 pm

Attention to names of extensions.

The first that caught my eye was the # in Display #Anchors (note, the apparent ending and repetition):

2018-05-22 10.57.50 hash.png
Display #Anchors


At some point, I wondered about multiple extensions sharing the same name:

2018-05-22 11.17.35 Hypothesis.png
identical names


After a few rounds of removing suspects (each round requiring one restart of the browser for the removal to be recognised by FECT, with a second restart to end the session that could not be ended before the first restart), an early sign of success. A–W enabled followed by 2–Z disabled:

2018-05-22 13.42.58.png
early sign of success


If I'm not mistaken (it's been a long day!) there's trouble if the name of an extension includes an apostrophe,

'

Other names that caught my eye included:


With these four extensions removed:


– I reinstalled Display #Anchors, Awesome Screenshot Plus - Capture, Annotate & More, Find & Replace for Text Editing, Resize Window & Viewport, Shift + Scroll (Horizontal Scrolling), WhatsApp™ Quartz plus a handful of others that probably need not be mentioned in this post.

Then restarted Waterfox, began a FECT session with … something like 141 of 383 extensions enabled. The session ran to completion. FECT rocks!

----

OK, if it's true that

'

is a source of trouble, then the only other characters that I couldn't test today were these two:

=

!

----

HTH.

If you test with e.g. You're Not So Special installed, does it throw a spanner in the works?
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby cbaker_admin » Tue May 22, 2018 6:18 pm

Looks like you found the problem! It seems the apostrophe in the extension name is causing the SQLite record not to be written/read. I tried installing "You're Not So Special" in Fx and FECT failed. It didn't matter whether it was enabled or disabled, just merely having it installed caused FECT to crash.
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby grahamperrin » Wed May 23, 2018 7:47 am

Thanks! Firefox 56.x there, yes?
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby cbaker_admin » Wed May 23, 2018 9:42 am

grahamperrin wrote:Thanks! Firefox 56.x there, yes?


Yes .. Fx 56.0.2 (64-bit)
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Nudge

Postby grahamperrin » Thu May 31, 2018 12:47 pm

Hi, just wondering whether you plan to update the extension.

Not for me, but I'm recommending use of the extension in some tech support cases. One less thing for end users to think about when they're troubleshooting.

No pressure, just wondering. Thanks again for … almost the most useful extension I have ever found. (Second only to Tab Groups.)

Cheers!
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby cbaker_admin » Thu May 31, 2018 1:11 pm

Eventually, yes. Right now I'm in the process of updating my TIRE extension and porting it to Quantum. Also, Paste Email (Original) needs to be written for Chrome and Pagemarks need to be ported to Quantum.

Since FECT is a 'legacy'* extension written in XUL/XPCOM, support for the APIs will eventually wane and I'm not really sure how long I can provide updates.

* I hate that word 'legacy'. To me it implies something is outdated, no longer useful, or just not needed anymore.
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Thanks / OT

Postby grahamperrin » Thu May 31, 2018 11:33 pm

Great! Thanks.

If you like I can add a note under viewforum.php?f=18 with my first impressions of Pagemark (for Chrome) with Waterfox. Loving it already.

that word 'legacy'.


Yeah. I can't argue with the word, in the context of Mozilla drawing a line (over an extended period), but legacy technology is, to me, like learning to type on (amongst other things) an Oliver. Fun, back in the 1970s (I loved the mechanics and so on), quite ridiculous but ultimately one hundred percent practical. And decades later it's legacy because available alternatives are both practical and better.

For me the most ticklish aspect of being edged towards a WebExtensions-only culture is that whenever I went looking for one Firefox Quantum-compatible extension, the 'shopping trip' would inevitably result in me stumbling across two or three legacy extensions that made my day better.

Better than the word legacy, a phrase such as fourth generation or G4 might have been less dismissive, but then there would have been endless wrangles about what's meant by one, two, three and four (or whatever). Hey ho!
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Re: FECT apparently random behaviours with one profile

Postby cbaker_admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:36 pm

If you like I can add a note under viewforum.php?f=18 with my first impressions of Pagemark (for Chrome) with Waterfox. Loving it already.


All feedback welcome!
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