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Profile files

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:03 am
by mbrazil
This question is for Jasmine, xiaobing, or Anderson (or anyone else who actually knows all the answers :wink: ):

What are the following Profile files used for, and what standard, if any, are they encoded with (is there any way to convert and/or read them?):

.vdt files
.atmp
.index
bookmarks.dat (Obviously Avant bookmarks -- how is it encoded?)
conf.dat (The one in the top folder of the profile.)
conf.dat (The one in the conf folder.)
emp.dat
forms.dat (Obviously for form filling -- how is it encoded?)
favicons.dat (Obviously favicons -- how is it encoded?)
sites.dat (I know this is the history file -- how is it encoded?)
ver.dat is ASCII encoded, so I just need to know what the contents mean and how it is used by Avant.

Also, is there any interaction between settings in these files and in those in the gecko profile? Do any of the Gecko settings override/take precedence over the same or similar settings in the Avant profiles? Same question regarding the IE and WebKit engines.

I'm sick and tired of having to replace and/or rebuild profiles :evil:, and since there is no way provided with Avant to repair profiles, :thumbdown: I want to be able to read and edit the contents of all of these files. Profiles in Avant are way to fragile :thumbdown:. They are easily and frequently damaged :evil:. If I'm going to continue to use Avant (and I would very much prefer to do so), I need a way to repair profile damage. Repair -- not replace -- not rebuild!

Re: Profile files

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:28 am
by Jasmine
Avant Browser manages its own settings like the ones listed under Tools>Clear Records. Since they're saved by Avant Browser, how other rendering engine manipulates them won't affect the data saved in Avant Profiles.
Most of above listed files are encoded and the author has no intention to make users know how to discode and see the actual content.

Re: Profile files

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:18 am
by Jasmine
*.vdt files --- check whether the originial file is modified before rewriting it.
.atmp --- it relates to the security of data of online storage
.index --- it relates to the security of data of online storage
bookmarks.dat (Obviously Avant bookmarks --- how is it encoded?)
conf.dat (The one in the top folder of the profile.) --- some basic settings
conf.dat (The one in the conf folder.) --- some advanced settings
emp.dat ---- tempalate, bookmarks and autofills are saved according to the formate defined inside
forms.dat (Obviously for form filling -- how is it encoded?)
favicons.dat (Obviously favicons -- how is it encoded?)
sites.dat (I know this is the history file -- how is it encoded?)
ver.dat is ASCII encoded, so I just need to know what the contents mean and how it is used by Avant. --- version number of online storage data

Re: Profile files

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:00 pm
by bigC

Re: Profile files

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:13 pm
by mbrazil
Jasmine wrote:Most of above listed files are encoded and the author has no intention to make users know how to discode and see the actual content.
Then we need a way to repair damaged profiles without replacing them. Avant's major advantage over other browsers is its extensive configurability, and since the profile is where all of these configuration settings and choices are kept, the complete lack of any way to repair damage to a profile except to manually replace all or parts of it is a major deficiency and a major problem. If we can't read and edit the contents of these files, we desperately need a command or a separate utility that can repair profile damage without resorting to losing all or most of the profile's settings. Forcing users to start over with a new profile or to replace individual files manually is about as user-hostile as it gets. I can't stress this enough. The average user will just abandon Avant altogether when they've experienced a damaged profile and find that there's no way to repair it except to start over creating a new profile. The Backup and Restore function and Online Storage are only a partial answer, unless you've made no changes since the backup. Also, I've experienced a number of occasions where after starting over with a new profile and restarting Avant, the new, default profile overwrites what's in Online Storage, effectively deleting it. Backup, Restore, and Online Storage need a lot of work, as they're awkward to use, far from foolproof, and generally unreliable. This is a major source of frustration.

Re: Profile files

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:53 pm
by mbrazil
bigC wrote:Here is a bit more information ..
http://wiki.avantforce.com/index.php?ti ... r_Purposes
Thanks bigC. I hadn't come across that page before, and it does provide some additional information. I think some of what's there is out of date, though. Maybe someone should update the page.

One thing that's missing from that page is any mention of History. I'm guessing that any settings affection History are kept in conf.dat along with all the other configuration settings (the actual history is in sites.dat). If that's true, there's still no way to resolve a History problem (or any other type of configuration problem) without replacing conf.dat, and when you do that, you lose all the other configuration settings you've made. This is a very bad way to manage this. If we could only read and edit conf.dat, we could troubleshoot and repair problems like the one I'm having without having to recreate every individual setting manually. There really ought to be a way to read and edit conf.dat. Locking us out of that file makes Avant much less reliable, and ultimately diminishes Avant's quality and usefulness. It's very discouraging.

Re: Profile files

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:53 am
by AbelAbel
http://forum.avantbrowser.com/viewtopic ... 6&p=188513

I guess that's why they add the backup/resotre feature.