Avant loses MANY user settings if shutdown is incomplete

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mbrazil
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Avant loses MANY user settings if shutdown is incomplete

Post by mbrazil » Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:05 pm

This is a MAJOR PROBLEM with both Avant and Orca (I'm going to cross-post this in the Orca bug forum also). If Orca or Avant are terminated before they have completed shutdown in some situations, MANY, MANY user customization settings are lost and must be individually reset manually. This is VERY annoying and time-consuming. This has happened to me enough times over the years with various versions of both browsers that I'm convinced it's an inherent problem or oversight in the basic code.

These are some of the settings, etc. that are lost (probably not all of them): skin, toolbar choices, toolbar positions, sidebar width, all browsing history, all installed extensions (in Orca), Avant account login, Avant account sign-in settings (show dialog, auto sign-in, etc.). There's one more that takes a little more explanation: AutoFill contents (usernames, paswords) are not lost, but the browser doesn't autofill the usernames and passwords and asks again whether to save the login for each site, even though the login is still shown under AutoFill and still contains the correct login information.

In addition to all this, if you make the mistake of trying to access your Avant account to restore settings, the browser connects (once you provide your login again, even though it already has it) and then, instead of restoring the previous settings listed above, it overwrites the saved settings on the server with the current ones in your running browser, effectively eliminating your previous settings in all locations and forcing you to restore everything from scratch.

This hasn't happened often, but after it happened again this morning, I decided that I had to post this, because it has happened often enough with various versions of both browsers that it's obviously a significant and long-standing defect. It seems to me that Orca and Avant should save settings changes as they are made rather than waiting to save current settings during shutdown. If there were at least a button or command somewhere to save all current settings, you'd at least have a backup you could restore.

It also seems that it would be appropriate for all these settings to be saved in your account on the Avant server and that the default action when you log onto the server would be to ask if you wanted to restore the saved settings or overwrite them with the current settings.

The way things are now, you are totally unprotected. This is unacceptable.

This is what triggered the problem this time: I was shutting my system (XP Pro SP3) down, and soon after I clicked the Shutdown icon, I got a BSOD for some yet unknown reason (BSODs are a rare occurrence on my system). Orca (current version) was running at the time, so it was improperly terminated. My system booted normally this morning, but when I ran Orca, I found that all the settings listed above were lost.

Mike

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Circumlocutus
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Re: Avant loses MANY user settings if shutdown is incomplete

Post by Circumlocutus » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:45 am

This happens because when Avant & Orca are asked to close, they write their current settings to a file (I cannot remember the name of the file, it's been a while since I actually used the program). As this file is open should a shutdown be forced while it is being written to, the file will become corrupted.

As for the following quote.
This is unacceptable.
This is free software, It would be unacceptable if this were commercial software enabling productivity of any kind and work were to be lost to a improper shutdown (however it occurred). But it is just a shell to a web browser, you lose nothing but a little time.

The real problem is the BSOD's that your system is suffering from, It's like saying, "My car's fuel tank leaks, and when I run out of fuel, I have to prime my fuel injection system, having to do that is unacceptable." I should get the fuel tank fixed (and be more mindful of my fuel level), rather than complaining about something that only happens when something else goes wrong.

But, Online storage of the programs settings is a good suggestion, please make that in the appropriate forum here.
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mbrazil
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Posts: 1966
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Windows Version: 10
Avant Version: 2015 Ultimate Build 28
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Re: Avant loses MANY user settings if shutdown is incomplete

Post by mbrazil » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:36 am

As I mentioned in my post, I rarely get a BSOD, and I've seen this happen a number of times with Avant when there was no BSOD and some other problem within Avant caused the settings to be lost.

I see no value in recording settings only when the app is closing. It would make a lot more sense to record them whenever a setting is changed so that there is less chance a file containing these settings would be open when a problem occurs.

As far as your comment regarding acceptability, if the people who code and support Avant and Orca would like to continue to see their user base grow, and if they'd like to receive donations for their hard work creating, updating, and supporting these browsers, problems like these should be addressed in a timely manner. If I, as a user, am inconvenienced enough to become annoyed, and I find the problem unacceptable, I may choose to use a different browser, and if that happens, I certainly won't make any further donations. Therefore, I repeat that the lost time and frustration caused by having to re-do all the many settings, etc. because Avant, Orca, some other app, or even the OS has a problem and as a result Avant or Orca trashes its own configuration file(s), it is unacceptable.

Mike

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