User-defined backups issue

My Firefox extensions that have been released for Pale Moon

User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:20 pm

I have FEBE 10.2, running on Pale Moon 27.8.1 (32 bit), on a Windows 7 (64 bit) SP1 operating system.

You previously showed me how to use the user-defined backup screen to load Stylish's User Styles.

I select New, then check File, then add the Label, Description, and Source.

If I then check 'Include in backup, Submit, and Restore Extensions, it all works as it should.

But the next time I go back to User-defined backups, wanting to run the very same File, everything is blank, and I have to start again. I cannot find any way to have this Label, Description, and Source information saved so I can use it again.

Clicking on OK at the bottom of the page, which saves all of the other settings I have made in FEBE Options, does not work on this user-defined backups page.

How do I get my user-defined backup information saved? I did a forum search, and could not find this problem addressed.


Thanks,


Harry
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:50 am

After clicking the "Submit" button, you need to click "Post entries and exit".

To see if the entry has been saved, re-open FEBE Options > What to backup > User-defined backups and click the "Edit" button. Click the down-arrow on the "Select" button and see if the entry label is there.

If it is still not saving, try clicking the "Reset" button and re-enter the entry. There should always be at least one entry named "FEBE data" that is automatically added if any other entries are added.

Note: Also make sure that FEBE Options > What to backup > Backup type > Additional items > User-defined backups is checked.

For complete instructions, click the little blue 'i' icon next to "User-defined backups" (near the top of that window).
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Sun May 27, 2018 5:38 pm

Chuck:

Sorry to be so late in responding. I have been out of town.

First, I do use your instructions (the blue "I" icon), and find that they are much better than supplied by most add-in authors. Thanks for taking the time to do this for your users. I looked at 'User-defined backups' instructions (screen #14) before I wrote you. Unfortunately they don't include the suggestions that you made.

I have attached a file which contains a series of screenshots as I proceeded through FEBE to backup my stylish.sqlite file, using your suggestions. Each screen has a number in a blue circle I added in the upper right corner.

The 1st screen just indicates where the stylish.sqlite file I want to back up is located. Screen #2 indicates that on the Backup type tab I have chosen a Selective backup, and User-defined backups. Then on screen #3, on the User-defined backups tab, the Source is the location shown in screen #1. I then clicked on the Submit tab. On screen #4, I clicked the Post entries and exit tab.

On screen #5, I followed your instructions and clicked the Edit button, then the arrow next to Select. There is no entry here: not mine or FEBE data. Clicking the Reset button gave me screen #6. I tried again, with the same results.

I then went back to Pale Moon (screen #7), and you will see under Restore User-defined backups, is Stylish User Files. Screen #8 only shows that FEBE did create a new file folder. Then I selected Screen #9, the original Pale Moon profile folder (that was shown on screen #1). I first moved the original stylish.sqlite to another location. Then I restored the stylish.sqlite that I had created in FEBE. Screen #10 warns me that I am about to restore. I clicked OK, and screen #11 says the Stylish files have been restored.

But when I go to screen #12, there are NO User Styles restored! Screen #13 shows what User Styles contained before I ran the FEBE User-defined backup for stylish.sqlite.

So what did I do wrong?


Harry
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Mon May 28, 2018 12:08 pm

As per your image #3, it appears you did not check the box "Include in backup". This is necessary if you want the item to be backed up when FEBE Options > What to backup > Backup type > Additional items > User-defined backups is checked.

If it is included in the backup, it should be listed in the 'FEBE Results Report' that is generated when the backup completes. It should be listed in the "Additional items" section as "User-defined 'These are the User Files I currently use with Stylish' backed up to: Stylish User Files{default}-stylish.sqlite".

Also note that the Stylish backup file in your case will be named "Stylish User Files{default}-stylish.sqlite" and will be located in your FEBE backup destination directory. This is the file you would select to restore (not stylish.sqlite in your profile directory, which appears to be what you are doing in images #9 and #10 if I am understanding them correctly).
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Mon May 28, 2018 10:53 pm

cbaker_admin wrote:As per your image #3, it appears you did not check the box "Include in backup". This is necessary if you want the item to be backed up when FEBE Options > What to backup > Backup type > Additional items > User-defined backups is checked.

If it is included in the backup, it should be listed in the 'FEBE Results Report' that is generated when the backup completes. It should be listed in the "Additional items" section as "User-defined 'These are the User Files I currently use with Stylish' backed up to: Stylish User Files{default}-stylish.sqlite".

Also note that the Stylish backup file in your case will be named "Stylish User Files{default}-stylish.sqlite" and will be located in your FEBE backup destination directory. This is the file you would select to restore (not stylish.sqlite in your profile directory, which appears to be what you are doing in images #9 and #10 if I am understanding them correctly).


I'm going backwards, not forward.

Screen #1 are my revised backup items. For 'Additional Items' I only checked 'User-defined backups' to reduce the variables.
On screen #2 I have checked to Display progress window, Display results page (Detail), and Save results with backup.
Screen #3 shows I have now checked 'include in backup. Then I pressed the Browse tab.
Screen #4 shows that it has been submitted, and will be added on exit. I then pressed Post entries and exit.

Nothing happens. No reports are generated, no backup file is created---nothing. I tried this several times.

What did I miss this time?


Harry
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Tue May 29, 2018 2:17 pm

If you are not getting the results page, FEBE must be generating errors during the backup and not completing. If you attempt a backup without checking "User-defined backups" under "Additional items", does the backup complete withe the results page?

I noticed that the "Source" field in image #3 contains the string "XXXDefaultXXX". I doubt this is correct. The profile directory usually is named with an eight character "salt" value followed by a period and the profile name, (i.e., "C:\Users\cbake\AppData\Roaming\Moonchild Productions\Pale Moon\Profiles\xw8yf888.Development in my case").

Have you been getting results pages with previous backups? You can verify this by clicking FEBE Options > Where to backup > Lists/Reports > View backup history

Are you getting any FEBE related errors in the error console (Tools > Web Developer > Browser Console)?

Also try running "Clear FEBE preferences", "Verify extension directory" and "Check AddonManager functionality" in FEBE Options > Advanced. (You will need to re-enter your FEBE backup destination directory and other backup options after clearing.)

If you are still experiencing problems, try this: Open and clear the Error console. Leave it open and perform a backup. Examine the error console for any FEBE related error messages (type febe in the "Search:" box). Copy/paste them here.
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Thu May 31, 2018 1:52 pm

Chuck:

Here is what I have learned after following the guidance in your May 28 & May 29 posts.

Make sure not to miss any steps! It had been March since I opened FEBE before my May trials. With the screenshots I showed in those two May posts, I forgot to execute the last step: Tools->FEBE->Perform Backup Now. After adding that step, I am able to receive the Results Report.

I 1st chose Selective' and backed up only the extensions and themes. That worked fine. So next I only chose the User-defined backups, and selected as my Source the stylish.sqlite file from my open Pale Moon profile. That seemed to run fine, and I got a Results Report.

Now that I had two successful backups, on FEBE Options->'What to backup', ->'User-defined backups' tab, when I clicked on Edit, I saw entries on the 'Select…' dropdown.

FEBE Options->Where to backup->Lists/Reports->View backup history now gives me a list of all backups I ran in the last couple of days. But I do notice that some, in the Report? column, have 'Yes' in red and underlined. Clicking on one that is underlined brings up a copy of that Report. But the others have 'Yes' in black, and the report is not accessible from this screen. Why is that?

Along the way I also ran 'Clear FEBE preferences', 'Verify extension directory' and 'Check AddonManager functionality'. These last two passed all the tests.

You questioned my Source field entry (image #3 of previous post). It is correct. I have learned the hard way that I never overwrite my 'master' Pale Moon profile (in my case that is su46gg4v.default) when I want to test new add-ons, new versions of Pale Moon, etc. What I do before testing any of these is make a copy of my master profile, and give the copy a descriptive name. Then I run 'palemoon –p' and create a new profile with the descriptive name. Look at screenshot #1,
"paleMoon -pUserProfilesE.png" attached.
On the 2nd screen I have highlighted the name Laptop, and you will see that I have given it the name XXXDefault.XXXfromLaptop. Now when I click on the Pale Moon icon on my desktop, the 2nd screen pops up. I select the profile I want to run, and then click on the 'Start Pale Moon' button. I really like this feature.

But I am confused as to why FEBE creates two *stylish.sqlite files.
They are exactly the same file; only the file name FEBE gives them are different. One file name is based on the Label and Description I provided on the User-defined backups tab, but I am not sure what the 2nd is based on. See screenshot #2, "FEBE_ResultsReport1.png", attached. Which one do I select to back up, or does it matter? Also note the Browser Console results. I cleared it just before I ran this backup. I have no idea if any of that is important or not.

It also appears that FEBE will only backup stylish.sqlite files that are in the Profile that is open in Pale Moon at the time. I tried several times to backup a stylish.sqlite file in a profile that was NOT OPEN. Sometimes I got the message that is screenshot #3, "FEBE_ResultsReport2.png", attached, and other times there was no warning message. What got backed up was the stylish.sqlite file in the OPEN Profile. [Of course the contents of all of my stylish.sqlite files are identical.]

I was able to successfully restore stylish.sqlite (I deleted stylish.sqlite in the open profile 1st, to make sure that the file from FEBE was installed). It was nice to get a warning before FEBE took the action.

So except for the few clarification questions above, it appears that I now am able to successfully backup and restore User-defined backups.

Thanks so much for all this help.


Harry
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paleMoon -pUserProfilesE.png
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:53 pm

... I forgot to execute the last step: Tools->FEBE->Perform Backup Now. After adding that step, I am able to receive the Results Report.

Yes, if no scheduled backup is defined (FEBE Options > When to backup) then a manual backup must be performed (either Tools > FEBE > Perform backup now or clicking the FEBE toolbar icon).

FEBE Options->Where to backup->Lists/Reports->View backup history now gives me a list of all backups I ran in the last couple of days. But I do notice that some, in the Report? column, have 'Yes' in red and underlined. Clicking on one that is underlined brings up a copy of that Report. But the others have 'Yes' in black, and the report is not accessible from this screen. Why is that?

That column should display either 'Yes' or 'No'. If 'Yes', then a results page was created after the backup while 'No' means the results report was not created (probably because FEBE Options > How to backup > Display results page and/or Save results page with backup is un-checked). If the 'yes' is a link, that means the results page is still available to view. Otherwise the results page has been deleted (most likely due to FEBE having removed the older backups according to FEBE Options > Where to backup > Maximum backup directories to keep).

... I have learned the hard way that I never overwrite my 'master' Pale Moon profile (in my case that is su46gg4v.default) when I want to test new add-ons, new versions of Pale Moon, etc. What I do before testing any of these is make a copy of my master profile, and give the copy a descriptive name. Then I run 'palemoon –p' and create a new profile with the descriptive name.


Now that FEBE is working for you, you can let FEBE create and populate new profiles using Tools > FEBE > Restore profile.

But I am confused as to why FEBE creates two *stylish.sqlite files. They are exactly the same file; only the file name FEBE gives them are different. One file name is based on the Label and Description I provided on the User-defined backups tab, but I am not sure what the 2nd is based on. See screenshot #2, "FEBE_ResultsReport1.png", attached. Which one do I select to back up, or does it matter?


The best way for me to see exactly what is happening, I need to examine the contents of your febeUserDefinedBuData.json file located in your PM profile directory. You can open that file with any plain text editor. If you would copy/paste the contents here, I can better give you an answer.

Also note the Browser Console results. I cleared it just before I ran this backup. I have no idea if any of that is important or not.

Those appear to be missing localization (language translation) strings. They are not really important.

It also appears that FEBE will only backup stylish.sqlite files that are in the Profile that is open in Pale Moon at the time. I tried several times to backup a stylish.sqlite file in a profile that was NOT OPEN. Sometimes I got the message that is screenshot #3, "FEBE_ResultsReport2.png", attached, and other times there was no warning message. What got backed up was the stylish.sqlite file in the OPEN Profile.


You cannot use wildcards or other reserved characters in the fields:
  • < (less than)
  • > (greater than)
  • : (colon)
  • " (double quote)
  • / (forward slash)
  • \ (backslash)
  • | (vertical bar or pipe)
  • ? (question mark)
  • * (asterisk)
It appears your label "Backing up a non-open profile?" contains a question mark. That won't work. (I apparently neglected to sanitize those fields when I wrote FEBE :roll: ) Were it not for the question mark, the file should have been backed up. In fact, FEBE will attempt to backup any selected file anywhere on the filesystem if it is readable.
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Fri Jun 01, 2018 5:31 pm

cbaker_admin wrote:
FEBE Options->Where to backup->Lists/Reports->View backup history now gives me a list of all backups I ran in the last couple of days. But I do notice that some, in the Report? column, have 'Yes' in red and underlined. Clicking on one that is underlined brings up a copy of that Report. But the others have 'Yes' in black, and the report is not accessible from this screen. Why is that?

That column should display either 'Yes' or 'No'. If 'Yes', then a results page was created after the backup while 'No' means the results report was not created (probably because FEBE Options > How to backup > Display results page and/or Save results page with backup is un-checked). If the 'yes' is a link, that means the results page is still available to view. Otherwise the results page has been deleted (most likely due to FEBE having removed the older backups according to FEBE Options > Where to backup > Maximum backup directories to keep).


Two interesting items. 1st, on Where to backup tab, I do NOT have 'use timestamped directories' checked, yet all my directories have the 'Timestamp directory format' which is slected (grayed out), and retains the Maximum backup directories to keep' that is specified there (grayed out).
2nd, the results which have the underlined 'yes' are the OLDER of the sub-directories listed there, and are in a different directory.

Now that FEBE is working for you, you can let FEBE create and populate new profiles using Tools > FEBE > Restore profile.


No I cannot use FEBE to capture and recreate a complete new profile. That is what I tried initially. FEBE does not distinguish between add-ons that are enabled and those that are disabled (you confirmed that all are enabled by FEBE.). So not only did I have to manually disable some add-ons, but sometimes one that had been disabled would conflict with one that was enabled. That problem is one of the reasons I started looking at the User defined options.

But I am confused as to why FEBE creates two *stylish.sqlite files. They are exactly the same file; only the file name FEBE gives them are different. One file name is based on the Label and Description I provided on the User-defined backups tab, but I am not sure what the 2nd is based on. See screenshot #2, "FEBE_ResultsReport1.png", attached. Which one do I select to back up, or does it matter?

The best way for me to see exactly what is happening, I need to examine the contents of your febeUserDefinedBuData.json file located in your PM profile directory. You can open that file with any plain text editor. If you would copy/paste the contents here, I can better give you an answer.


It is attached.


It also appears that FEBE will only backup stylish.sqlite files that are in the Profile that is open in Pale Moon at the time. I tried several times to backup a stylish.sqlite file in a profile that was NOT OPEN. Sometimes I got the message that is screenshot #3, "FEBE_ResultsReport2.png", attached, and other times there was no warning message. What got backed up was the stylish.sqlite file in the OPEN Profile.

You cannot use wildcards or other reserved characters in the fields:
  • < (less than)
  • > (greater than)
  • : (colon)
  • " (double quote)
  • / (forward slash)
  • \ (backslash)
  • | (vertical bar or pipe)
  • ? (question mark)
  • * (asterisk)
It appears your label "Backing up a non-open profile?" contains a question mark. That won't work. (I apparently neglected to sanitize those fields when I wrote FEBE :roll: ) Were it not for the question mark, the file should have been backed up. In fact, FEBE will attempt to backup any selected file anywhere on the filesystem if it is readable.


Thanks for the wildcard clarifications. I was guilty as charged.
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:55 pm

Two interesting items. 1st, on Where to backup tab, I do NOT have 'use timestamped directories' checked, yet all my directories have the 'Timestamp directory format' which is slected (grayed out), and retains the Maximum backup directories to keep' that is specified there (grayed out).
2nd, the results which have the underlined 'yes' are the OLDER of the sub-directories listed there, and are in a different directory.

Most likely because at one point you clicked FEBE Options > Advanced > Clear FEBE preferences which set everything back to default including "Use timestamped directories" which is unchecked by default.

No I cannot use FEBE to capture and recreate a complete new profile. That is what I tried initially. FEBE does not distinguish between add-ons that are enabled and those that are disabled (you confirmed that all are enabled by FEBE.). So not only did I have to manually disable some add-ons, but sometimes one that had been disabled would conflict with one that was enabled.

There are two distinct types of FEBE backups: "Selective" and "Full profile". A full profile backup is an exact snapshot of the profile at the time the backup was created. Restoring that backup preserves all the settings in PM including the state of the enabled/disabled extensions. Under FEBE OPtions > How to backup there is an option to "Ignore disabled extensions", but that only applies to a selective backup.

It is attached.

The way your user-defined backups are defined, you should have three backup files that appear on your results report as:

  1. 'FEBE user-defined backup data' backed up to: FEBE data{Default}-febeUserDefinedBuData.json
  2. 'Another test. Ran all 'clear options"' backed up to: Opened PaleMoon with default profile{Default}-stylish.sqlite
  3. 'test on PM 'default' profile' backed up to: User Defined backups only{Default}-stylish.sqlite

Are these listed on the results report?

Note that number two has an extraneous double-quotation mark which was probably a typo on your part.
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:28 pm

cbaker_admin wrote:


>>Most likely because at one point you clicked FEBE Options > Advanced > Clear FEBE preferences which set everything back to default including "Use timestamped directories" which is unchecked by default.<<

I did run 'Clear FEBE preferences' at one point, because it was on your list of items to try. That is probably the problem. Sorry for the confusion.

>>There are two distinct types of FEBE backups: "Selective" and "Full profile". A full profile backup is an exact snapshot of the profile at the time the backup was created. Restoring that backup preserves all the settings in PM including the state of the enabled/disabled extensions.<<

Thanks for the clarification. At my age, I have trouble remembering all this, as you can tell :mrgreen:

The way your user-defined backups are defined, you should have three backup files that appear on your results report as:

  1. 'FEBE user-defined backup data' backed up to: FEBE data{Default}-febeUserDefinedBuData.json
  2. 'Another test. Ran all 'clear options"' backed up to: Opened PaleMoon with default profile{Default}-stylish.sqlite
  3. 'test on PM 'default' profile' backed up to: User Defined backups only{Default}-stylish.sqlite

Are these listed on the results report?

[i]Note that number two has an extraneous double-quotation mark which was probably a typo on your part.


Yes, the *.json and two *.sqlite files. The attached provides the user defined backups, the results report, the Browser Consule for that run, and what Explorer shows. As you told me earlier, perhaps the 'double quote' also created a problem.

If everything on that backup is in order, then I ask my question again: "Does it make any difference which of the two *.sqlite files I choose to back up, or does it matter?


Harry
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:42 pm

Does it make any difference which of the two *.sqlite files I choose to back up, or does it matter?

No, it doesn't matter because you are backing up the exact same file twice during the same run. They both have the same content, just different names.
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 12:57 pm

Chuck:

I think (thought?) I understand everything that you have explained.
So today I ran a Fulll Profile. Even though all of the Backup items are greyed out, I checked them all to be sure. (See screen #1 on the attached). Then I made sure that the Display Results Page, Detail, where checked (see screen #2). Then in screen #3, I see that the the Current profile name is just the SUFFIX of the file name (The red arrow points to a dot in the Profile name). I assume that this is correct?

Screen #4 is my Results Report. I assumed that this page would provide a detailed list of each item that was backed up, but it does not. Also it indicates that 0 extensions and 0 themes were processed! The .fbu file that was created is over 30,000 KB. Is it compressed? My actual XXXDefault.XXXfromLaptop profile is over 57,000 KB.

Assuming that this backup was done correctly, why does it indicate that 0 extensions and 0 themes were processed? And is there any way to get a listing of the extensions and themes that were backed up?

Thanks again,


Harry
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby cbaker_admin » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:01 pm

Consider the results report to be a list of items that can be restored individually. Each item can be an extension, theme, user-defined backup, a full profile, etc. Restoring a full profile is an all or nothing proposition - you cannot restore just a portion of it (at least not easily).

Any backed up item that has a .fbu file extension is a compressed file. It is actually just a renamed .zip file and can be opened with any zip reader (like 7-zip).

I believe you mentioned that when you create a new profile, you first manually create a folder in the profile directory. I'm not sure why you think it is necessary to do this manually. If you use PM's (or Fx's) profile manager to create the profile, the folder is automatically created for you. The folder name is exactly eight random characters (called 'salt'), a period and the descriptive profile name you supply. It is probably best you let PM decide which salt characters to use.

When you use FEBE to create/restore a profile (Tools > FEBE > Restore profile > Create new profile), you are prompted for the profile name. FEBE will then create a folder in the profile directory named 'febeprof.profileName'. 'febeprof' is the salt and profileName is the suffix you mentioned. I believe the reason for using salt characters is to allow for more than one profile with the same name. In practice, this is really not desirable. Each profile should have its own unique name. I noticed in your image #3 you have several profiles named 'default' with different salt characters. This could get very confusing when selecting which profile you want to open when using the profile manager (palemoon -p).

When you preform a full profile backup only, the results report will indicate that no extensions, themes or anything else were backed up. This means that they were not backed up individually, but they are always included in the full profile backup file.
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Re: User-defined backups issue

Postby bex1210 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:18 pm

cbaker_admin wrote:Consider the results report to be a list of items that can be restored individually. Each item can be an extension, theme, user-defined backup, a full profile, etc. Restoring a full profile is an all or nothing proposition - you cannot restore just a portion of it (at least not easily).

Any backed up item that has a .fbu file extension is a compressed file. It is actually just a renamed .zip file and can be opened with any zip reader (like 7-zip).

When you preform a full profile backup only, the results report will indicate that no extensions, themes or anything else were backed up. This means that they were not backed up individually, but they are always included in the full profile backup file.

Thanks for those clarifications. I renamed the .fbu file as .zip, and opened it in another folder to see how it was structured.

I believe you mentioned that when you create a new profile, you first manually create a folder in the profile directory. I'm not sure why you think it is necessary to do this manually. If you use PM's (or Fx's) profile manager to create the profile, the folder is automatically created for you.

I do it because I usually do my testing on portable versions of the program installed on a USB stick. I never just install a new release over my current release. If there is a problem, I am in trouble--although now if I use FEBE to do a full profile backup 1st, then I could always restore that profile later if required.

PM's Profile Manager does indeed SHOW me the name of an automatically created directory if I decide to create a new profile. However that option is grayed out. I can only choose one of my current profiles, manually add a name of my choice or manually add their suggested name. Using just their random character 'salt' provides no descriptive information as to what it is based on.

I noticed in your image #3 you have several profiles named 'default' with different salt characters. This could get very confusing when selecting which profile you want to open when using the profile manager (palemoon -p).

If you look at image #3, you will see that most of my backups either reference a version of Pale Moon, what User files I backed up, etc. Sometimes I add the prefix/suffix 'XXX' so Pale Moon does not pick up a profile by mistake. It certainly can get confusing if there are too many options, but for me it would be much worse if all of those just had random character names.

Currently, because I have been testing FEBE, I have several profiles with distinct names based on where they come from. But usually I only have a couple. I won't dispute that your suggestion is easier and less confusing.

Thanks for all your help and patience on this topic. I think I have enough information to do some more FEBE backups on my own.

Harry
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