Strange new error message with RW 8.1

Hi Dan,

Had a user email me with a strange new error message he got when he opened up his site in RW 8.1 and tried to preview any of his site pages that I had not seen before.

Any ideas on what is causing the error to appear for him? It happens every time time he tries to preview a site page.

1-errormessage-01

Thanks,
Charlie

Hey Charlie,

From the error message it looks like a plugin is trying to hack into RapidWeaver’s internals. If you can get the project to us I should be able to tell you which plugin is causing the problem. Send it to support@realmacsoftware.com with a subject FAO: Tom and a link to this thread.

Cheers
Tom

Hi Tom,

Just emailed you a link to the user’s zipped RW 8.1 site file. He has no issues working with the site using RW 8.03. Please let me know what you find out.

Thanks,
Charlie

it’s hard to be 100% certain, but i think this may be from a historical version of PlusKit. @blueballdesign can you check that you have the latest version (v4.1.3)?

a plugin is trying to hack into RapidWeaver’s internals

i didn’t write PlusKit. a friend asked me to take care of his customers. i said i would and do the best i can. it relies on swizzles and kvo to accomplish its main function. i wish it didn’t have to.

if @tpbradley or @dan would like to add API to RW i will happily update the plugin.

but until then i’ll just do the best i can with what i have and try not to take the ad hominem too personally.

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We are all sitting in one boat. We are one community. Community means speaking to each other.

Sigh.

Sorry what?.. Did I actually cause offence by stating a fact?

It’s well known that LogHound did some really dodgy things with plugins and Isaiah is doing his best to mop up the pieces. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a hack and will break in the future.

I didn’t even mention PlusKit in my comment, I simply inferred from the error message that a plugin is looking for a non-existent property… because I changed it in RW8.1

@isaiah We have considered enhancing the API but there’s a number of edge cases making this not such an easy task.

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Hi Isaiah and Tom,

I just reached out to my user that is having the problems with RW 8.1. Waiting to hear back from him on what version of Pluskit he is using on his site. I am betting it is an older one. Will let you know as soon as I hear back from him. He is a long time user of RW, not a beginner, and has been pretty prompt replying to requests for information.

Thanks,
Charlie

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@dan @tpbradley – Out of curiosity, what changed in v8.1.x that has lead to this huge increase in problems? Something with legacy code in RapidWeaver or 3rd-party stacks? Maybe the change is something that could be reverted for now so that it can be sorted out and between RMS and any affected plugins to give the users a good experience and not drown the forum, inboxes, etc. in support? The problem seems to be affecting a good chunk of users.

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Hi Tom and Isaiah,

Ok turned out the problem was being caused by a pretty old version of Pluskit. User updated to the latest version of Pluskit and then updated to RW 8.1.1 again. His site is now working in RW 8.1.1 as expected he says. He hasn’t published yet as he is updating his site this afternoon. Will let you know if he has any issues publishing. Thanks for your help on this matter.

Best,
Charlie

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One of our goals for RW is to improve overall stability. We receive a huge number of crash reports, most of which are caused by plugins. Along with this are numerous unhappy comments.

In RW8.1.1 we’ve improved exception handling so when an exception does occur, we analyse the stack trace looking for the origin. If this happens to be a plugin, we notify the user which plugin caused the problem.

There’s every possibility that a bug may exist in this code, but if a customer is reaching out to you with a crash report that lists a plugin in the stack trace, it’s most likely that plugin which caused the problem.

If you believe your plugin isn’t at fault please forward the crash reports to us for further investigation.

Remember, in all likelihood, the improved exception handling isn’t causing any new problems - these problems already exist and now you’re hearing about them.

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so… like… you meant to do this?

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So… like… tell you about problems in your plugin?

Edit: Sorry, that was a little sarcy, we could just sweep them under the carpet and have the user blame RW like in previous versions? At least now you have a chance of fixing them and make the user happy… right?

Another Edit: Just so you guys understand the magnitude of the issue here, in RW8.1 I closely monitored crash reports. There were 46 distinct issues, 28 of which were caused by plugins. Some were old plugins, but a lot were most recent version.

Why didn’t you inform the customer base and us developers before these changes?

Why didn’t you send out information emails to customers what will happen with their projects after the automatic update to 8.1? That now sandboxing is in place, and what they should do about it? That they have to redo all links to files on their HDD? That they aren’t able to go back to 8.0.3 without a backup file once saved in 8.1?

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why did customers need to be involved? if you wanted me to fix 46 things why didn’t you just ask?

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I don’t… 28 are in plugins and plugins doesn’t == stacks

I could spend half my life exporting each exception, analysing the stack trace and forwarding each one to the appropriate developer… or the user experiencing the problem could tell you and send their project so you have a chance of reproducing it too.

And the customer is already involved… RW crashed and they blamed us!

Some comments from involved customers…

Publishing
open a site. start find plus search. crash
on performing find plus search
Many stacks not working properly and view generation not displaying stacks that are in the edit mode. I have removed the version from the mac and reinstalled hoping this will solve problem
Trying to change from RW7 to RW8.
I have just upgraded from 6 to 8. Every time I click onto the Joe Workman HTML stack it crashes.
Every time I click on the page it crashes
At the converting to rapid weaver 8, rapid weaver breaked down and ended 
Publishing
Publishing
Publishing crash AGAIN
Clicked on „Test“ after re-entering the secret key of my S3 account
The app is crashing when I publish my project
Publishing …
Publishing …
Publishing crash. Again. Again.
Publishing crash. Again.
Crashed when uploading changes to one page and one new resource
I have updated RW to the new version 8 but I have a big problem. RW always crashes when I try to add a stack-page. Also many of the stacks are not recognized anymore (even if they are sitting in the add ons folder). I have just downloaded the recent version of the Stacks. Please help. Otherwise I would need to rebuild the whole page!…
App closed out and I just lost all info and 4 hrs of work.  But, fortunately, I did get the appllication activated after that occurred with the serial number! Thanks for being so prompt on you last
Piublishing
RW crashes when openings screen of project appears
keeps crashing during startup after clean install of system and of RW
Publishing a small change
tried to add a stacks page to new project , just quits
cannot load exciting project in RW8.3
cannot load RW8.3
same disappearing trick as previous version 
I am unable to open RW8 - it looks as if it will open but then just disappears with the whoops something went wrong 
I have sent a copy of the file via email as I cannot attach to this message for some reason
RW keeps quitting during launch of projects
Same with diffeent project.
RW stops reacting during loading of project.
Keeps crashing on startup.
another crash
still trying to open a project
trying to open project
Opening after inserting latest version of Stacks
Publishing 
Since 2 weeks RW 8 is working. Suddenly the program is always crashed.????
Publishing
rebooted computer , tried to open RW project , again a flash then this error message 
RW8 won’t load - open a project, it just flashed then this error box pops up
trying to open RW8 - just hung 
As soon as I updated to Stacks 3.6.4, RW 8.0.3 started crashing.
I changed the AddOns folder location
Editing new stack plist.
Editing stacks
Was trying to move RW8 on adds folder back from dropbox to controlled by Rapidweaver
publishing to a local folder
The minute I open my website created in RW7 the application crashes
RW8 opens on my Blog page, when I try and move to any other website page such as Home the application immediately crashes
RW8 crashed upon opening 
After copying stacks from RW 7 to RW 8, the application crashes
Problem from resources.

i’m really not sure why you’re treating me this way. was it something i did?

@dan @ben anytime you want to jump in and let me know what the heck just happened, that would be awesome. because i’m at a loss.

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Agreed. It seems like dealing with this on the developer side of things before throwing it out into a wide spread, public build like this would have been the good thing to do for customers. This way these problems could have been solved before causing problems for customers. Just letting the developer(s) involved know during testing that this new error handling exists so they can address it would have been the right thing to do for customers.

There doesn’t need to be this animosity. We are ALL on the same team.

Please @dan can we roll things back temporarily, get information to affected developers that will aid in fixing the problem, and then re-release the new exception handling again in a future update? Seems like this would be the right thing to do for customers.

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Guys, come on… this isn’t personal. Software is hard, crashes happen.

Since RW8 launched there have been 16,832 crash reports submitted. As far as I know none of the problems users are reporting to you in RW8.1.1 are new or caused by 8.1.1. Customers had all these problems before, but when they occur they saw a generic RW crashed message. Now they’re asked to contact the plugin dev that can actually solve the problem.

Rolling back this change solves nothing. The users will still get crashes, but you won’t hear about it.

I’ll reiterate, if you believe your plugin isn’t at fault please forward the crash reports to us for further investigation.

To the customer is does not matter if its Realmac or a third party. To them its not working. Unfortunately, that means that many times RapidWeaver will bear the brunt of the blame. This is completely understandable. This is just part of supporting 3rd party plugins.

RapidWeaver’s power is that we as a team and achieve more than what RW can do by itself. There are obviously technical costs to these benefits. @tpbradley gets the pleasure of dealing with those. Just as @Isaiah gets the pleasure of dealing with the crazy technical debt that I bring to my stacks. :wink:

So to customers, we cannot be pointing fingers. They do not care. They just want to build a website.

This is why when changes are made to the core of the product, it’s important that developers get advance notice prior to public release on what things have changed. When this is done, issues can be ironed out well before any of the users ever receive a new build.

I could be wrong, but it does seem that many important changes are made behind closed doors without consideration of 3rd party developers. When these changes are released to users, it blows up in everyones face and we end up here.

Even if none of those 28 were duplicates, you could analyze one per day and have it all done in less than one month? As I mentioned earlier, if you were to take ownership of this instead of passing the buck, then it would really make a much stronger eco-system and user’s would have a more stable and nicer to use app. I am not saying this to attack you at all. It’s purely my opinion and some constructive feedback form the outside looking in. (I say outside since I do not have any plugins that use the SDK)

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