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Poco Forums • View topic - "New messages to top of index" is unstable

"New messages to top of index" is unstable

Help and advice on using PocoMail

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"New messages to top of index" is unstable

Postby Hogyt » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:01 am

Hi,

Recently i've been getting AVs

Image

when toggling "New messages to top of index" in Options->Checking Mail so today i decided to investigate this further. It doesn't happen every time and it seems to require several hundred messages in the mailbox (i tested it on my inbox).

Thinking it may be due to my setup, perhaps some duff messages and/or a corrupt mailbox, i reinstalled Pocomail 1880 (on Win XP SP 1) into a new directory.

In this nice clean installation i had waiting for me the 'PocoMail 3 Welcome Message', perfect for testing with as it rules out any problems with corrupt downloaded messages.

I went to Options->Checking Mail and toggled the "New messages to top of index" button (procedure A, for brevity). No problems, it worked perfectly.

Next up i did a ctrl-a (select all) then ctrl-c and ctrl-v to duplicate the message/s (procedure B). I now had 2 messages. Again i repeated procedure A and there was no problem.

I repeated procedure A and procedure B until i had 128 messages (it doesn't take that long, honest) and at this point i noticed the first problem. After repeating procedure A several (at least 5) times the mailbox would go from having 1 highlighted message to having several highlighted (scroll through to check). Clearly something is going wrong. Selecting several messages then repeating procedure A seemed to make this more obvious since it does not happen every time.

I again repeated procedure B to give myself 256 messages. Then, after several applications of procedure A i started getting the AVs as shown in the picture above, just like i was getting on my original Pocomail installation.

So if anyone would like to repeat this procedure, or maybe just try procedure A several times on your inbox, i would like to know if you also get the AVs (which seem to require at least several hundred messages so if using procedure B and 256 messages works fine please try it with 512). Although i have not lost any email i would recommend backing up before trying this.

If the Pocomail staff cannot duplicate this i will send them my mailbox with the 256 emails from above for them to play around with.

Cheers,
Mat
Hogyt
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Postby frazmi » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:06 pm

Well, I can confirm your scenario with my Win2KPro system.

I made multiple copies, as you did, and tried enabling/disabling "New messages to top of index" multiple times after each copy.

Below 250 messages in the In box, there was no problem. However, at 250 messages, after about 5 or 6 togglings, I got the AV error. This was repeatable -- every time I tried to toggle the option, I got an AV error, about 9 or 10 times in a row.

I compressed the In mailbox, and the problem went away. That is, the toggling worked correctly, and the AV did not occur.

I then tried emptying the In box, and copying 256 messages at once into the In box. I expected an AV error, but it did not occur. However, when I copied a second batch of 256 messages, the AV error started up again. Note, when the AV error occurs, it happens after the setting of the toggle. That is, the toggle change sticks after the AV error occurs.

Unlike in the previous test, compressing the mailbox did not cause the AV error to stop -- it took about 5 or 6 togglings, but the AV error came back. After that, it was 100% repeatable. That is, toggle the setting, AV error occurs.
frazmi
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Postby Hogyt » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:10 pm

Thanks for taking the time to test it Frazmi, i really appreciate that! Maybe something is declared as an int in the Pocomail code giving a problem over 256 messages or perhaps it's more complicated than that... I shall email support and point them this way.

Thanks again,
Mat
Hogyt
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Posts: 241
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Location: England

Postby frazmi » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:47 pm

No problem...

More info, however, on this issue. I went back to my Test setup, and when I started Poco I noticed that the In box preview pane was blank. No messages were showing. And the "Total number of messages" (T column) for In mailbox also was blank.

Compressing the mailbox restored all the messages.

Also, I just restarted my main Poco program, and tried to set the "New Mail to top of Mailbox" and got the AV error. It's repeatable right now, even after a compress mailbox. The in box has 962 messages in it.

Another test. I copied all but 255 messages in my In box to an archive folder (about time to do it anyway), then tried the toggle (without compressing the mailbox). For the first 5 times, the toggle worked. However, I noticed that the time it took to execute the command was much longer than when there were more messages -- perhaps a function of the lack of compression.) Anyway, on the 6th toggle, the AV came back.

After canceling the AV, I notice that again the Message Index Pane for the In box is blank. (However, the total column shows the correct count of 255 messages). Also, trying to click any other mailbox also gives the AV error. After a little "clicking around" I'm finally able to reselect the In box without getting an AV.

I do a compress on the In box, and the mailbox is restored. All messages are back in the MIP. SO I try the toggle again, and it works 3 times before giving me the AV. Again, the MIP is blank, and compress brings it back.

This really feels like a bug. I suggest you post it to Bug Traction.
frazmi
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Postby frazmi » Wed Aug 11, 2004 11:55 pm

Also, I've discovered that [sometimes | most of the time | always] Poco rewrites the idx file as a result of the toggling operation. Perhaps the AV error occurs when Poco is rewriting the file to disk in one thread, and trying to resort the same file at the same time.

In my testing, I was toggling the setting very fast -- every 2 or 3 seconds. I noticed that the command only took 1 second to execute when I had a lot of messages in the In box, but that it took 3 seconds or more when there were only 255 messages there.
frazmi
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Postby Hogyt » Thu Aug 12, 2004 12:03 am

Thats some good ideas! Maybe this bug is linked to some of the other random AVs people get so i hope it gets fixed in the next version. I've added it as bug #1123 and emailed support.
Hogyt
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Posts: 241
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Location: England

Postby Cowboy02 » Sat Aug 21, 2004 2:00 am

We get the same thing on our XP machine. Drives my wife crazy! We have Pocomail setup with 2 users (default & Joe).

[still better than OE] [still not better than a Mac]
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