PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

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VLMin
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PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-10-28, 20:44

Greetings everyone.

I am having awful problems with Pale Moon 28.1.0 on Windows 7, and I am at a loss as to how to diagnose the problem(s). I have tried several clean reinstalls using both x32 and x64 versions, but this has not helped. Presently I am using the x64 version, installed a short while ago.

1. Whether I use FEBE or try from the library using the built-in commands, the program will not back up my bookmarks — except occasionally. I have no idea why bookmark backups don’t work in general, nor have a clue why they work occasionally. Other backups (history, preferences, etc.) all work fine.

2. After I attempt to back up bookmarks, the program slows to a crawl, so slow that it becomes unusable in any practical sense. Restarting restores performance … temporarily. Alt-tab switching even slows, though I can work normally in all other applications.

3. At first, I thought I had an extension conflict. So I looked and looked using Chuck Baker’s FECT tool, but to no avail. Finally, when I did the most recent clean reinstall of PM, I loaded my bookmarks (more than 100,000 of them, I believe), then tried to back them up. The UI looks like a backup occurs, but no output file shows up in Windows Explorer. I installed FEBE, with no other extensions and having made no changes to the PM configuration other than the loading of bookmarks. Again, no bookmarks output file was produced (json or html), even though other items were correctly backed up.

4. I uninstalled FEBE, restarted PM, and tried to create a bookmark backup from the Library UI (both json and html). In frustration, I even tried saving the backup files to the default Documents folder, though I did not expect this to work. It didn’t.

5. One more thing … PM takes “forever” to shut down, at least 5 minutes most of the time. I sit and watch it using Windows Task Manager > Processes tab. The Memory (Private Working Set, goes up and down and up and down, gradually downward overall, until finally the palemoon item disappears. Apparently because of this, restarts never work; I must shut down PM, then launch it again from scratch.

So I am writing in the hope that someone, who knows far more than I, might have a clue as to how to go about diagnosing and fixing the problem(s).

Thank you!

EDIT: Right now, Task Manager reports that PM is using about 4.7 GB of memory. I have 3 tabs and 4 extensions loaded. The latter are Add Bookmark Helper, FEBE, Tab Mix Plus, and Vacuum Places Improved, all current versions, all but the last PM editions.
Last edited by VLMin on 2018-10-29, 00:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by therube » 2018-10-30, 15:51

As a test...

Create a new Profile
Install your extensions
Visit sites...
Open, closes, restart ...

Do not install your bookmarks.

See if RAM ramps up like you're seeing now.
Quit PM.
See if it exits in a timely manner.

---

As a test...

Create a new Profile
Copy over your bookmarks (places.sqlite should do the trick, with PM closed)
Visit sites...
Open, closes, restart ...

Do not install your extensions.

See if RAM ramps up like you're seeing now.
Quit PM.
See if it exits in a timely manner.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by therube » 2018-10-30, 16:06

Try a manual bookmark backup.
Check Error Console & see if it show anything of note.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by loxodont » 2018-10-30, 19:37

I only have near half as much bookmarks in one of my profiles, but when I make manual bookmark backups in PM's own bookmark manager it takes some seconds for saving.

I guess your bookmark file(s) have become very large. If you don't need the fav icons for all those bookmarks, you could try to use Sephiroth's add-on Delete Bookmark Icons 0.5.3.1-signed to clean out the bookmark icons and have a lighter bookmarks file.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... /versions/

I would recommend to first backup/zip your original bookmarks (with icons) from your userprofile directory manually, then install the add-on. In Pale Moon's bookmark manager under >> Organize you'll have the options to Delete ONE or ALL bookmark icons.
Deleting all might take some time. Try to do a manual backup then in >> Import and Backup (will take some time too). Usually the button is greyed while saving. If saving is done the button indicates this while hovering the mouse over it.
Might help, good luck.
In case nothing has changed and you want to have your original bookmark files with icons back, copy your backups to their old place.
Last edited by loxodont on 2018-10-30, 19:38, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Tomaso » 2018-10-30, 20:24

Probably related to this, which is a very old Mozilla bug:
https://github.com/MoonchildProductions ... ssues/587/
https://github.com/MoonchildProductions/UXP/issues/505/

But don't worry..
Even if Pale Moon becomes unresponsive during these operations, the exporting/importing procedure works.
You'll just have to give it a lot of time, and leave it alone until it finnishes.
I've got 7k+ bookmarks myself, and importing them takes about 5 minutes.
Last edited by Tomaso on 2018-10-30, 20:25, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Goodydino » 2018-10-31, 18:56

Why not back up the bookmarks as .json? That does not contain favicons, right?

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Tomaso » 2018-10-31, 19:22

Favicons are not the problem.
I never import them, but the problem occurs anyway.
But like I said; Just leave Pale Moon alone, until the operation has finnished (might take several minutes).
If VLMin is experiencing the issue that I refered to in my previous post, it will work!

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-10-31, 22:29

Thank you everyone. Since the rube offered his suggestion, I have been painstakingly running scenario after scenario in an orderly fashion. After all is said and done, I have concluded that Tomaso is quite correct.

I have written a detailed description of all my testing. If anyone wishes to read it, please PM me, and I will send it to you. But it's long, and a do not believe it helpful to publish it here. In lieu of the entire document, following is the last section, titled "Concluding Thoughts":

Concluding Thoughts

A. I don’t know how to count them, but I suspect that I have more than 100,000 bookmarks.

B. I tend to use the Name field as a notetaking repository. Thus, the Name field for thousands of my bookmarks is quite long.

C. Whether to json or html, Pale Moon requires a long time to generate backup files containing my bookmarks (about 12–14 minutes per backup file). PM also requires a long time to load the bookmarks in the first place, though this occurs only occasionally, typically upon re/installation of PM.

C.1. Once I turned off display of the busy script warning, bookmark backup files began rolling out smoothly, albeit slowly.

D. Assuming that FEBE is using PM’s built-in commands to generate bookmark backups (likely), FEBE requires the same length of time to generate backup files as does PM itself and is/was affected/interrupted by the busy script warning, as was PM.

E. Ergo, when I have believed that either PM or FEBE was failing to generate backup files, in fact the process was just taking far longer than I ever imagined or suspected. I would note that FEBE displays its report page far too quickly; I was misled by this.

F. Ergo, ergo: I recognize that an enormous amount of work has gone into transforming PM from a Firefox offshoot into a bona fide product in its own right. I now suspect that, in the course of all that work, the Library and its functions have remained largely untouched, and that at some size, backing up the bookmarks file brings PM, not to its knees, but certainly to a slow crawl, thereby obliterating many restart requests. Certainly, restart requests made over a backup-on-shutdown request fail routinely. This is why FEBE appears to fail as a matter of course, even though this is not so. I don’t know what, if any, plans the PM dev team may have for the Library and/or for the design and management of the bookmarks database. It seems like a potential modernization opportunity, and I would also understand if I were told that this is not a high priority item.

G. For now, patience is my friend. It appears that if I simply walk away for about ½ hour while backups are running, all will be well.

Many thanks to all who attempted to help with this. I feel truly grateful and blessed to be part of such an attentive and active community of fellow customers/users.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-10-31, 22:38

PS: NOTE to the dev team: One quick and dirty yet helpful step would be to turn off that script busy warning during bookmark imports and backups/exports. In those instances, I believe, the warning only serves to confuse the user without benefit, and the only way to accomplish the task at hand is to dismiss and stop displaying the warnings.
Last edited by VLMin on 2018-10-31, 22:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Tomaso » 2018-10-31, 22:42

In this discussion @ GitHub, I suggested adding a simple warning message:
https://github.com/MoonchildProductions ... -320440373
Perhaps it's time to reconsider it?

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Shadoefax » 2018-11-01, 00:48

You can change the number of seconds PM waits before displaying the "Script is busy" message by changing the preference dom.max_chrome_script_run_time from the default of '20' to something higher (or '0' for unlimited) in about:config.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-11-01, 01:25

Shadoefax wrote:You can change the number of seconds PM waits before displaying the "Script is busy" message by changing the preference dom.max_chrome_script_run_time from the default of '20' to something higher (or '0' for unlimited) in about:config.
Thanks for this tip, Shadoefax. Still, I think this warning message should be shut off altogether during bookmark imports and backups. In those instances, it's a big pain and, to my knowledge, adds nothing constructive. Just my opinion. ;)

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by loxodont » 2018-11-01, 01:30

VLMin wrote: A. I don’t know how to count them, but I suspect that I have more than 100,000 bookmarks.
...
G. For now, patience is my friend. It appears that if I simply walk away for about ½ hour while backups are running, all will be well.
The number of items in PM bookmark manager is shown if you hover over Menu> Import... >Restore

There's nothing wrong with patience, but are 100k bookmarks really necessary to be loaded in every session (and also regularly backed up in PM and with Febe)?
When my bm backups started to lag I started outsourcing old links for Voodoo 3 drivers, Firefox 24 tweaks, news articles, etc. and collected some of them in an external Bookmarkmanager (Urlbase) to keep the browser free from old junk. I guess my old Intel 900/1 GB notebook would permafreeze handling such places files. - Just an idea.

PS: Reading over the github thread I like to add, I know the "Unresponsive Script" warning from old Firefox versions, but haven't seen it in Pale Moon (with 50K bookmarks).

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-11-01, 02:10

I stand corrected! Apparently I have about 42,500 bookmarks. At one point, there was duplication of an entire set, so perhaps that's where I picked up the larger #. And yes, I use a great many of them. Otherwise, why would I have created them? :D

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Moonchild » 2018-11-01, 07:05

Importing a backup should pretty much be a one-time deal though. You'd only do that if there was a disaster of some sort that destroyed or corrupted your current set.
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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Tomaso » 2018-11-01, 09:25

Nevertheless..
Like I pointed out @ GitHub; my reasoning for adding a simple warning message, is that people currently have no way of knowing that the process actually works.
Something that has been proven quite clearly here now.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-11-01, 14:52

Moonchild wrote:Importing a backup should pretty much be a one-time deal though. You'd only do that if there was a disaster of some sort that destroyed or corrupted your current set.
Tomaso wrote:Something that has been proven quite clearly here now.
I agree with both of you. Moonchild, one would also import bookmarks upon any clean reinstallation of PM. Again, uncommon, but I don't know whether it's correct to call this rare. And going the other way — backing up one's bookmarks, among other items — is, or perhaps more properly, commonly is, something users (ought to?) do to protect their investment in time, energy, and data/information.

Where I differ, Tomaso, in in suggesting not a warning, but a complete shutting off of the busy script message during bookmark restores/imports and backups/exports (both json and html). Although the warning may serve a useful purpose in other situations and circumstances, in these, as far as I can determine given my admittedly limited understanding of "things", it does not, and in fact it hinders the process. For example, on several occasions I have mistakenly duplicated bookmark imports, thinking that my first attempt had failed. And exports, well, suffice it to say that your comment, "Something that has been proven quite clearly here now", is an understatement. If anyone wishes to read about my experiments during the past several days, I'm happy to send my write-up privately.

If anything is to be done WRT bookmark import/export, might I suggest that a warning be displayed to the effect that if one has a lot of bookmarks, this process may take awhile, that during this process PM may perform sluggishly, and that at least in this instance, patience is the user's friend (or words to such effect).

Well, I don't wish to beat a dead horse, enough said. Best to all, and wishing all a wonderful weekend!
Last edited by VLMin on 2018-11-01, 14:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Tomaso » 2018-11-01, 15:08

VLMin wrote:Where I differ, Tomaso, in in suggesting not a warning, but a complete shutting off of the busy script message during bookmark restores/imports and backups/exports (both json and html).
If you read up on the GitHub discussion, you'll see that Moonchild has already pointed out that this isn't possible:
https://github.com/MoonchildProductions ... -320423464

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by VLMin » 2018-11-01, 15:57

Other than at the top, Moonchild's name does not seem to appear on this page, at least not via the search function. Yours appears; his does not.

Of course this change is possible. I don't know how easy or hard this change would be to implement, nor how much effort it might take, nor whether it would be considered worth the effort, but in any event, the suggestion is certainly reasonable in a conceptual sense. Perhaps a modified version of it would be more desirable; this is why I commented that the suggestion was offered against a background in which my knowledge of "things" is limited.

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Re: PM slows to a crawl whenever I try a bookmark backup, which fails anyway

Unread post by Tomaso » 2018-11-01, 16:59

VLMin wrote:Moonchild's name does not seem to appear on this page
Moonchild, a.k.a. 'wolfbeast':
https://github.com/wolfbeast/
:)
Last edited by Tomaso on 2018-11-01, 17:00, edited 1 time in total.

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