Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 7th Jun 2010 22:34 UTC
Windows "While I long for the day when I no longer experience the effects of buggy software, there's something rewarding about solving my own troubleshooting cases. In the process, I often come up with new techniques to add to my bag of tricks and to share with you in my 'Case of the Unexplained...' presentations and blog posts. The other day I successfully closed an especially interesting case that opened when Internet Explorer crashed as I was reading a web page."
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wow.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 7th Jun 2010 23:56 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

While very impressive and he did definitively determine the cause of the crash, I think there are very few other people that could have done that. Certainly no non windows programmers.

The correct fix, should be to figure out a way to prevent the piggybacking ( I understand thats not very easy, but ultimately would be very helpful), as well as better error reporting that would do some of the magicial detective work he did himself. Ideally, if IE does crash it should explain why.


Something like "Internet explorer crashed due to an error in the Yahoo Toolbar. Would you like to disable this plugin to prevent future errors [Yes] [No]"

Reply Score: 3

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 8th Jun 2010 05:10 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

I think all that effort goes to show that browsers should ban toolbars like that - I've yet to experience a toolbar that doesn't bring the whole browser to a crashing halt and provide services that outweigh the crash inducing nature of them. There are features of the Bing toolbar for example that should be rolled back into the browser itself such as spell checking.

As for the article itself, it really does go to show that the crashes one see's inside Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and so on aren't always the result of shoddy programming by the software vendor but could be due to something unrelated. In the case of the article it is traced back to a dll for a toolbar that isn't installed by the dll has hung around probably because of a crappy uninstallation tool from Yahoo.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by dvhh on Tue 8th Jun 2010 06:19 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
dvhh Member since:
2006-03-20

I've yet to find a browser toolbar that is actually useful for the screen estate it use.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Brendan on Tue 8th Jun 2010 06:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

I think all that effort goes to show that browsers should ban toolbars like that - I've yet to experience a toolbar that doesn't bring the whole browser to a crashing halt and provide services that outweigh the crash inducing nature of them. There are features of the Bing toolbar for example that should be rolled back into the browser itself such as spell checking.


Hmm - if you want spell checking, you need to use the Bing search toolbar? Sounds like a strategic marketing decision to me...

As for the article itself, it really does go to show that the crashes one see's inside Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and so on aren't always the result of shoddy programming by the software vendor but could be due to something unrelated. In the case of the article it is traced back to a dll for a toolbar that isn't installed by the dll has hung around probably because of a crappy uninstallation tool from Yahoo.


[devil's advocate]
It's possible to pass dodgy data (e.g. an uninitialised pointer) to a function in a DLL, and make the DLL crash even though the bug is not in the DLL itself. Removing the Yahoo toolbar might just hide the symptoms of a bug in IE. Of course it's more likely that the interface plug-ins use was changed in IE8, subtly breaking things like other search company's toolbars designed for previous versions of IE.
[/devil's advocate]

-Brendan

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 8th Jun 2010 07:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Hmm - if you want spell checking, you need to use the Bing search toolbar? Sounds like a strategic marketing decision to me...


You can achieve integration without an obnoxious toolbar; if the default search engine of bing is provided in the box, there are links in the favorites, and a spell checking feature is provided - what more does one need to do? they really thinking they're doing a service by having a bloated toolbar to provide all that?

[devil's advocate]It's possible to pass dodgy data (e.g. an uninitialised pointer) to a function in a DLL, and make the DLL crash even though the bug is not in the DLL itself. Removing the Yahoo toolbar might just hide the symptoms of a bug in IE. Of course it's more likely that the interface plug-ins use was changed in IE8, subtly breaking things like other search company's toolbars designed for previous versions of IE.[/devil's advocate]


The more crap you load into something the more things can go wrong; stick to the KISS principle and the scope of possible avenues for things go to wrong dramatically decreases. If the uninstaller worked then the DLL wouldn't have existed and its existence would have been deregistered.

Edited 2010-06-08 07:20 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by vodoomoth on Tue 8th Jun 2010 09:43 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30


The more crap you load into something the more things can go wrong; stick to the KISS principle and the scope of possible avenues for things go to wrong dramatically decreases. If the uninstaller worked then the DLL wouldn't have existed and its existence would have been deregistered.

What's that KISS principle?

Shouldn't "to" come before "go" in "possible avenues for things go to wrong" ? I'm asking cause I had never read such a sentence construct before and I'm not a native speaker, I'm not even a speaker since I don't get to speak the language. I may learn something more today.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Tue 8th Jun 2010 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

What's that KISS principle?


KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid

Don't make things more complex and convoluted than it needs to be. In the case of Microsoft and others, the focus should be to deliver a browser that can be extended but not at the expense of stability.

Shouldn't "to" come before "go" in "possible avenues for things go to wrong" ? I'm asking cause I had never read such a sentence construct before and I'm not a native speaker, I'm not even a speaker since I don't get to speak the language. I may learn something more today.


Yeap, the sentence is correct - be it a little less smooth than what one would use in formal writing. I tend to write on this forum like I speak which is a totally different style to formal writing.

Edited 2010-06-08 10:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Comment by kaiwai
by JonathanBThompson on Wed 9th Jun 2010 16:47 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

Standard users have about the same chance of tracing through debuggers as non-English speakers have if making sense of Kawai's bogus claims of his faux-English grammar: difference being that the debuggers are 100% self-consistent in my experience, and don't lie to cover their butts (as ling as the debugger isn't buggy!) ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Lazarus on Tue 8th Jun 2010 23:09 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Lazarus Member since:
2005-08-10

There are features of the Bing toolbar for example that should be rolled back into the browser itself such as spell checking.


Out of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux* and Solaris, isn't Windows the only one that does not have built-in system-wide spell checking?

* Of course I'm only referring to major distributions when I say that, being fully aware that such a feature is usually tied into a DE.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by darknexus on Wed 9th Jun 2010 08:55 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Out of Windows, Mac OS X, Linux* and Solaris, isn't Windows the only one that does not have built-in system-wide spell checking?


Isn't OS X the only one that actually does? Windows certainly does not (although Firefox does and that's what I use when I'm on Windows), but as far as I can tell GNOME doesn't really have it either. Oh, it has a basic framework for it but I've yet to see it integrated on a system-wide level as OS X does (right now each application has to link to it if they want it and explicitly allow it in every text field). That's one thing where OS X really shines, all of the services and frameworks are so tightly integrated that everything works just about everywhere in the os no matter what app you're running. Does KDE have system-wide spell checking? Not just a standard framework for it, but an integrated system-wide facility? I'm not a KDE user, so don't know.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by boldingd on Thu 10th Jun 2010 23:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
boldingd Member since:
2009-02-19

If you count aspell, then yes, Linux distros do have a system-level spell checker. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Not alone
by malxau on Tue 8th Jun 2010 08:13 UTC
malxau
Member since:
2005-12-04

I recently had a similar experience. IE was crashing every time I closed a tab. At least in this case it was reproducable.

I installed windbg, set it to be the postmortem debugger (rather than watson), and closed the tab.

A simple backtrace ('k') showed the culprit - Skype had registered a plugin, and unloaded itself before it had finished executing. Executing unloaded code == bad.

What annoyed me with this experience is that I had no idea Skype had any IE integration at all. The installer does not highlight the fact, although it creates a seperate uninstaller to remove the IE integration post-install. Since I didn't know I had it, I don't think I'm losing much by removing it.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Not alone
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 8th Jun 2010 18:23 UTC in reply to "Not alone"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

Apparently that thing parses a lot of text to find things that look like phone numbers, so they can append a little skype phone call icon next to the text.

Needless to say, this has a performance effect.

Reply Score: 2

Nth_Man
Member since:
2010-05-16

He can always debug the program, with its source code.

(I duck down to avoid the stones :-)

Reply Score: 1