Middle-click on slashdot links locks up GreatNews

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djmitchella
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Middle-click on slashdot links locks up GreatNews

Postby djmitchella » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:14 pm

If I use middle-click to open a slashdot story in a new tab, GreatNews locks up and I have to kill it.

If I right-click, do "copy location", open a new tab with control-T, and paste the link into that tab, it works, but this is a lot more steps to remember to do.

This has been happening for a while now, so I thought I should mention it.

djmitchella
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:00 pm

Uninstall and reinstall fixed this. (note: a full uninstall, rather than just one of the automatic updates, those have never helped)

djmitchella
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:04 pm

Woops, I spoke too soon -- now it's locking up again just like before. I guess it only fixed it for the very first run after the install?

muntealb
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:57 am

Postby muntealb » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:27 am

I tried to reproduce the bug and nothing bad happens. I click on the wheel and the Slashdot pages open normally, in a new tab. I have XP SP2. So the problem is not with GreatNews.

djmitchella
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:15 pm

Interestingly, it's not just slashdot, and it's not just the feeds page; Opening this page in greatnews: (which was linked to from boingboing)

http://kempton.wordpress.com/2007/12/09 ... ry-part-2/

and clicking on the 'michael's blog entry' link there:

http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view ... ents_start

locks up GreatNews with it using up all my CPU. As with slashdot, there's no problem if I manually open a new tab and paste that link in there.

And it's even more complex than that -- if I middle-click to open that link, and then switch over to the new tab quickly enough, things are fine. If I leave the link to try and load in the new tab in the background, GreatNews dies. (sorry, I'm not sure what 'quickly enough' means here, but I'd guess something on the page kills background loading of tabs).

muntealb
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:57 am

Postby muntealb » Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:14 pm

I have no problem in doing what you say (middle click on the specified link) and GreatNews displays the pages just fine, without freezing or crashing.

GreatNews is very stable, I don't remember it crashing in the last year and I used it under Vista and XP.

Maybe there is a problem with your settings of GN. How many items displays GN per page (Tools>Options>Reading)? I myself have 20, but if you have something like 100 or more maybe the CPU is overwhelmed on some feeds with many pictures.

Maybe the database is too big. I clean the feeds every 7 days and keep only the last 100 items per feed. If you have a big database that was not cleaned for months the CPU may again be overwhelmed.

Post some pictures with the options panels and maybe someone will spot the problem.

djmitchella
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Wed Dec 12, 2007 8:21 am

Well, I can't create an exact repro at home, but I just killed greatnews fairly easily, and it's nothing to do with number of feeds or history or whatnot, it's background loading in tabs.

1. clean install of greatnews
2. delete all existing feeds.
3. add slashdot (using http://www.slashdot.org, rather than typing in the feed address)
4. middle-click on three different stories
5. click around the other tabs as they load
6. scroll down in some of them

...and greatnews died, 100% cpu. Trying this a second time, it did't die, but the crash is certainly there to be found..

djmitchella
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:02 pm

A fairly painless workaround: set left-click to "open in new tab" as well -- the difference being that it opens the new tab in the foreground, so the background loading bug doesn't show up. I still get new tabs, I just have to sit on that tab for a moment until whatever the critical point is has passed, then I can get back to the list of feeds.

muntealb
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:57 am

Postby muntealb » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:37 am

I really cannot reproduce the bug with the Slashdot feed. I used middle click on three different stories as you said and they loaded in seconds, without GN crashing. I have a 3 Mbps connection so it's not a surprise, but the bug doesn't appear. I even click on the tabs as the pages are downloading and nothing bad happens. Maybe you have a slow connection and that is causing the problems.

Or maybe you have an antivirus that scans aggresively in realtime all the downloaded pages. Try disabling the realtime scan engine of the antivirus. To me it seems that GreatNews is not the cause of the problem. I have used it on XP and Vista and the latest version does not crash. One year ago it was a version of GN that crashed relatively frequently, but with the last one I did not have any problems.

muntealb
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:57 am

Postby muntealb » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:44 am

Subscribe to the Lifehacker feed. Then go to the post http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/lifehacker/f ... 333300.php . Then click on the link http://www.dashes.com/anil/2007/10/smug-ugly.html (it's in the article about Apple using BSOD to depict non-Apple computers on the network). Then you will see that GN hangs or maybe crashes in your case. On my computer that page from the link takes like 30-40 seconds to load but it does not crash GN, although it makes it iresponsive for a short time. But if you open the page directly in IE, Maxthon2 or Firefox the same thing happens, the program seems to hang and does not respond for a brief time.

The problem in this case is a page with many comments on it and GN has problems because it uses IE's engine to render web pages, but if it would use FF's engine it would be the same.. So there are some pages that cause problems, although Slashdot never caused a problem for me in GN and I check the feed daily.

djmitchella
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Thu Dec 13, 2007 1:22 pm

It's not AV, there's nothing that scans downloads either here or at home.

And the number-of-comments is an interesting thought, but it's not that:

http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl? ... 3&from=rss is only about five pages long, but still locks GreatNews up. The dashes.com page does take a long time to download (anywhere), but eventually GreatNews recovers and shows the page.

And it's still only a problem if I do background loading of tabs; even really long slashdot pages show up fine if I left-click, they only go wrong if I middle-click.

I agree that it's probably something about this PC that makes it happen so often, but given I can reproduce it on the PC at home with a bit more effort, it's not _only_ this PC that has problems.

Interestingly, testing on a Win2K machine here, exactly the same thing happens -- which makes me suspect it's something about our LAN. There's a Websense proxy between the LAN and the internet -- it's transparent, though, we don't have to enter a password or username or anything, it just blocks some sites. Presumably something about this is confusing GreatNews, but why only on Slashdot (which is not blocked) and why only on background tabs?

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Jack
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Postby Jack » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:56 pm

Interesting observation. I don't recall the background tab has anything different from a foreground tab in downloading. It might be the rendering causing the delay...

djmitchella
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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:19 am

It's certainly strange, yup. For what it's worth, opening rss feed links from slashdot in Maxthon works fine, so it's not IE-in-a-background-tab when it's not doing it in GreatNews.

muntealb
Posts: 29
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2007 6:57 am

Postby muntealb » Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:54 am

It is something related to the software configuration of your system. Maybe you installed something that interferes with the functioning of GN. I myself can open any link from the news items in background tabs without any problem, either by middle click, or by Ctrl+Click.

You can try to verify my hypothesis by creating a virtual machine with WMWare (free) , Virtual PC(free) , Parallels (trial) , Virtual Box (free) . You will have a completely new installation of XP to test GN in it, without erasing and reinstalling your main OS. And because there will be no software installed on this virtual machine other than GN you probably will not experience the bug.

djmitchella
Posts: 24
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:13 pm

Postby djmitchella » Mon Dec 17, 2007 12:36 pm

I'm sure it's something about this PC, yes -- but whatever it is can also happen on the PC at home, just much less often, and the PC at home has essentially zero overlap in software with the PC at work, other than both being XPSP2.

Either way, it's still only GreatNews that crashes, other things that embed IWebBrowser2 don't have the problem.


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