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[Ext] BackTrack Tab History

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Str0ngwun

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Joined: January 29th, 2011, 9:50 am

Post Posted July 18th, 2015, 1:44 pm

Hello, AlexVallat.

I've been a huge fan of Tab History and then Tab History Redux but they always were a buggy/incompatible with some add-ons and later eventually even died completely.
A few days ago I discovered your add-on and now I hope it will be different.

However, my extreme happiness didn't last for long: I stumbled upon a bug where I can't open new tabs, neither with middle click on a link nor by clicking the 'new tab' button.

I went to Error Console and this event occurs every time I try to open a new tab:

ReferenceError: onBeforeFunction is not defined chrome://treestyletab/content/windowHelper.js line 204 > eval:5:0

So clearly it's a conflict with TreeStyleTab add-on, could you please fix that?

sumguy
 
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Joined: September 24th, 2008, 6:55 am

Post Posted July 30th, 2015, 7:20 am

If you're using Tree Style Tab, you need to set BackTrack's compatibility hidden preference in about:config. I think that should really be in the main Preferences of the addon, and probably be the default setting. If you install BackTrack with Tree Style Tab, you may no longer be able to open any windows, including about:config and the Add-ons Manager. If that happens, you'll need to start in Safe Mode, disable BackTrack, and create and set the hidden preference. That's asking a lot from the average user, and isn't a very good first impression of an otherwise great addon!

How to set the preference:
- if you can't open any windows or tabs, choose "Restart with Add-ons Disabled" from Firefox's Help menu
- type "about:config" in the URL address bar
- right-click in the window and choose New->Boolean
- enter the name: extensions.backtrack.stringPatchCompatibility
- set the value to True
- restart Firefox

Str0ngwun

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Joined: January 29th, 2011, 9:50 am

Post Posted August 9th, 2015, 11:02 am

thx sumguy, I've added that preference and hope it helps.
At very least that preference should've been added by default (even in "false" state), I don't know where you've taken it from, but thanks anyways.

digital_carver
 
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Joined: September 7th, 2013, 3:10 am

Post Posted August 23rd, 2015, 12:17 pm

This bug is pretty enormous, and needs better documentation in the page the addon shows on first startup i.e. something better than "addons that use string patching eval method" which as an end user tells me nothing. Mentioning at least the most popular addons that use this method would be useful to us.

It had been long since I'd encountered addon issues, and given Firefox's recent updates, I thought I'd come across a bug in the browser itself. Led me to try out a new browser (Vivaldi - reminds me of old school Opera, as intended, but in both good and bad ways).

Anyway, other than this issue, my experience with this addon has been great - particularly the branched history mode, which is just awesome and far beyond my expectations. Hope this preference now resolves this problem, and lets me keep on using the excellent addon.

AlexVallat
 
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Joined: September 30th, 2006, 8:53 am

Post Posted August 23rd, 2015, 2:03 pm

It's not a bug, but I agree it would be nice to have a list of incompatible addons which require this workaround. Ideally, a specific warning could then be shown at install time if one of those addons was present (although I'm not 100% sure if detecting other installed addons is possible).

Unfortunately no such list exists. So far I only know of Tree Style Tabs, but if anyone would like to report other incompatible addons that use string-patching I can collate a list.

What I will not do is make the string-patching workaround the default, as it is the wrong approach and will probably lead to further compatibility issues with other addons that are doing things the right way.

digital_carver
 
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Joined: September 7th, 2013, 3:10 am

Post Posted August 24th, 2015, 7:18 am

Oh, I certainly did not mean it as a bug in this addon, sorry for the poor wording. I guess I was referring in general to the undesired behaviour that arises out of this incompatibility.

> (although I'm not 100% sure if detecting other installed addons is possible).

Addons like https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/opie/ get other addons' preferences - I'm not sure if their method will detect all installed addons, but it may provide a start if you decide to implement this.

But I think just adding those addons that are known to use the method to the "Known add-on incompatibilities" section - and editing the list as users discover and report other ones - would be sufficient (especially given the proposed shifts in the landscape of Mozilla addons, a change in the code to autodetect might not be worth it).

hmijail
 
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Joined: September 15th, 2013, 11:32 am

Post Posted September 23rd, 2015, 3:51 am

I would ssssttttrrrronnnngggllllly suggest to document at the very least in the first-run info page that TreeStyleTabs requires the about:config preference. I had abandoned BackTrack Tab History months ago because of what I thought was some Firefox-crippling bug, after even trying the development version linked to in add-ons.mozilla.org . Only now I found this discussion.

The thing is: the pattern I have found, in myself and in other's comments around the web (everyone loves anecdotes, right?), is that TreeStyleTabs users usually are people using hundreds of tabs – because TreeStyleTabs makes it so easy. And THAT is the use case which NEEDS, REQUIRES, WOULD LOVE BackTrack. So I will bet that TreeStyleTabs users are just the kind of users that are looking for something like BackTrack. (I would love to see some statistics to check whether I'm mad wrong, of course)
So if BackTrack clashes with TreeStyleTab (or is perceived as doing so), it's rejecting the very people that want it the most. I can do without BackTrack, but not without TreeStyleTabs (I probably would not be using Firefox if not for it).

So, really, really, really, .... make it absurdly prominent, if you can't directly fix it yourself.

AlexVallat
 
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Joined: September 30th, 2006, 8:53 am

Post Posted September 23rd, 2015, 5:20 am

I've certainly added Tree Style Tab to the list of known incompatibilities on the FirstRun page. It would be really, really, nice if Tree Style Tab could be fixed to not use string patching, but I guess that's not going to happen any time soon.

The problem with using the stringPatchCompatibility pref is that while it might work (and at least it appears to work, for the current version of Tree Style Tab), there's no guarantee it will continue to work if Tree Style Tab makes any change to the way they do their own patching, or that it won't break any other add-on. It's more of a last ditch attempt to salvage something.

Officially, then, this addon and Tree Style Tab are incompatible because Tree Style Tab string-patches a function it requires. Unofficially, the pref workaround has experimentally been shown to work for the current version.

All this will soon enough become moot anyway, as Mozilla have stated that they are going to do away with allowing extensions this level of access in favour of a webExtensions architecture.

hmijail
 
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Joined: September 15th, 2013, 11:32 am

Post Posted September 27th, 2015, 2:54 am

OK, will be interesting to see what happens with the webExtensions changes.
Thanks anyway for your consideration and for your work.

hmijail
 
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Joined: September 15th, 2013, 11:32 am

Post Posted September 29th, 2015, 8:20 am

Unfortunately looks like even BackTrack Tab History 0.8pre3 breaks Firefox 42.0b1. The moment that the back button's history shows "paths", it stops actually taking you anywhere.

AlexVallat
 
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Joined: September 30th, 2006, 8:53 am

Post Posted September 29th, 2015, 11:50 am

Thanks for reporting this, but I haven't been able to reproduce it yet (although I'm on 42.0b2, not b1). Could you give me some steps which demonstrate it, starting from a blank window with no history? What settings for BackTrack Tab History are you using?

Str0ngwun

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Joined: January 29th, 2011, 9:50 am

Post Posted October 19th, 2015, 1:03 am

Alex, I have 2 issues with BacktrackTH:
1. It completely wipes away local paths from the tab's history. My homepage in Firefox is an HTML file on a local disk. Opening new tab and then navigating to any site in that tab - makes that tab have 0 history (the 'back' button is grayed out).
2. It messes with 'Yandex mail watcher' add-on by Sonthakit: actions like 'Open new tab/Open new background tab' for that add-ons icon click stop working completely and in the Error Console I see just this error:
11:01:31.682 TypeError: params is null profile/extensions/backtrack@byalexv.co.uk.xpi!/bootstrap.js:463:13.

AlexVallat
 
Posts: 79
Joined: September 30th, 2006, 8:53 am

Post Posted October 19th, 2015, 5:18 am

Thanks for reporting this. I tried installing Yandex Mail Watcher and it seems to be working fine - could you try the beta version of BackTrack (0.8pre3): https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefo ... sions/beta

If it's still not working, please let me know what version of Firefox you have installed, and I'll try and reproduce it again.

For your question 1, I'm not sure I understand. If you open a new tab, the new tab will show the "New tab" page, not your homepage. Navigating away from that will have no history, but that's nothing BackTrack is doing, Firefox simply doesn't record the New Tab page in your history.

Str0ngwun

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Joined: January 29th, 2011, 9:50 am

Post Posted October 19th, 2015, 11:09 am

Alex, thanks for the hint to try the beta version from AMO - it works fine with Yandex Mail Watcher.
As for question 1: when I open new tab - it's not a 'new tab' for me, it opens home page (a local html file) for me, because I'm using New Tab Override (browser.newtab.url replacement for Fx 41+) v1.0 by Sören Hentzschel.

AlexVallat
 
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Joined: September 30th, 2006, 8:53 am

Post Posted October 19th, 2015, 11:41 am

Great, I'm glad to hear 0.8 is OK for you with Yandex Mail Watcher. Is it still exhibiting the problem with the new tab? I tried New Tab Override and putting in a file:// local file URL to use, and it seems to work OK for me...

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