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Lazarus (for Lost Form Recovery) 1.0

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sethop

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Post Posted May 5th, 2008, 7:43 pm

Announcing Lazarus, a new add-on from the Interclue team.

Ever had one of those "oh $*#@" moments when you've finally finished filling out a web form, and then hit submit only to see an error message because you got logged out, or lost your connection or the server malfunctioned? And then when you hit the back button, the form you spend half an hour entering data into was *blank*?

Well, that has happened to me one too many times, and after scouring addons.mozilla.org for an add-on that would make the pain go away, I couldn't find one, so I asked Karl to build one. It became Karl's unofficial "20%" time project for the last couple months, and as a result has become a very high quality add-on.

Check it out at: http://lazarus.interclue.com

There have now been 9 beta versions, and the new version, 1.0, is the first to be nominated for public release.

We would really appreciate if more people put reviews on addons.mozilla.org so that we can get it out of the "sandbox" area. At the moment you have to be a registered addons.mozilla.org user to install Lazarus - registering at a.m.o is free and easy and gives you access to 1000s of new and experimental addons, but most people don't bother which is why we need to get it out of the sandbox.

Download Lazarus from here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6984

Share and Enjoy :-)
Last edited by sethop on December 2nd, 2008, 10:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.

keithy397

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Post Posted May 6th, 2008, 1:46 am

Sounds very interesting Seth.

If it retains all form fields data, where does it actually store it? Does the data then need to be purged every so often or does it overwrite itself after a certain use of memory?
Cheers,
Keith

sethop

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Post Posted May 6th, 2008, 1:41 pm

Hi Keith,

Lazarus creates a SQLite database (Firefox now incorporates SQLite, very handy) in your user profile directory. In the Lazarus options you can set data to be expired after a certain time, or just "delete everything". The next version of Lazarus (due real soon now) also encrypts that database and gives you the option to use the firefox master password (usually used for protecting password storage) as the access key for it.

Cheers,
Seth.

keithy397

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Post Posted May 6th, 2008, 2:13 pm

Cool, I was hoping there'd be a few options like you mention.
Cheers,
Keith

keithy397

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Post Posted May 7th, 2008, 6:58 pm

Seth, I forgot to ask a question which relates to people like me who use multiple profiles.

Would it be possible to store the data centrally where it could be accessed from any number of profiles? If not, perhaps import/export function?

You can imagine the scenario - filling form fields and crash - no time, gotta go, do it when I get back. On return you can't remember what profile you were in so now you got to search for the right profile, Gawd!!

Not too sure about my analagy, but I hope you understand where I'm coming from!!
Cheers,
Keith

the-edmeister

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Post Posted May 7th, 2008, 11:18 pm

Would it be possible to store the data centrally where it could be accessed from any number of profiles?

IOW, a preference to relocate where the lazarus.db file is saved.
Along the lines of:
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.bookmarks.file
or
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.cache ... _directory
Of course the problem then would be that it could get overwritten all too easily when closing another Profile running that extension, or if those Profiles are run simultaneously.

My question is, why is the database named lazarus.db, when all the other SQLite database files in Firefox are *.sqlite?


Ed
A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Mine has wandered off and I'm out looking for it.

keithy397

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Post Posted May 8th, 2008, 1:01 am

Hi Ed and thanks for the input there.

Are you saying you can now (in FF3 (any version with Places)) set a path from one profile to another much like you can with the old bookmarks.html file but instead using places.SQLite? ie:
// relocate bookmarks.html file:
user_pref("browser.bookmarks.file", "C:\\Documents and Settings\\Owner\\Application Data\\Mozilla\\Firefox\\Profiles\\ss2kck9w.Profile1\\bookmarks.html");

For example, if I have 4 profiles (1 thru 4) and decide to keep the 'master' set of bookmarks in Profile 1, I can then stick a pref (similar to above) in user.js with the path to that bookmarks file from the other 3 profiles? I certainly hope so!

I know I used bookmarks as an example above, but I'm assuming if it works for bookmarks it would work for the Lazarus data also.
Cheers,
Keith

werehamster
 
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Post Posted May 18th, 2008, 6:01 pm

Hi Keith,

Sharing the database across multiple profiles a tad tricky because of the security features we have put into the addon. Let me explain...

All the form information is encrypted before it is saved into the database. Otherwise anyone with access to the database file (%profile%/lazarus.sqlite) could see all the data you have entered into any form (but not passwords, unless you have selected "save password fields"). The encryption process uses a key that is unique to each profile. So if you were to move the database to another profile, the keys wouldn't be the same and you would be unable to encrypt or decrypt any of the data stored in the database.

To allow the database to be transferable between multiple profiles we would have to either
* allow unencrypted data to be saved to the database or
* re-write the encryption/decryption process to use a key supplied by the user

The former is not going to happen, the privacy issues outweigh any gain in usability.
The latter is a possibiliy that I will looked into, but it's a large amount of work, and may end up needing an external program to do the encryption/decryption as javascript is just not fast enough in most cases.


However there is one way that it can be done.

<strong>WARNING: THE FOLLOWING WILL DESTROY ANY SAVED PASSWORDS IN THE DESTINATION PROFILE!</strong>

The key for the lazarus database is kept in Firefox's key3.db file.
If you copy the following files from your profile folder into the new profile it should work
* lazarus.sqlite
* key3.db
* signons2.txt (Firefox 2) or signons3.txt (starting in Firefox 3) (this will copy any saved passwords from the source profile to your destination profile. The old signons2.txt files will become unusable as soon as the key3.db file is copied over).

Obviously this is not recommended. But if you really must have access to the lazarus database across multiple profiles, then the key3.db file must also be accessible to all the profiles.


I'll look into the possibility of sharing the database over the next couple of weeks, or making the process easier, but it will be given a low priority.

Karl

werehamster
 
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Post Posted May 18th, 2008, 6:06 pm

the-edmeister wrote:My question is, why is the database named lazarus.db, when all the other SQLite database files in Firefox are *.sqlite?


Hi Ed,

Sorted in 0.9.5+ the database is now named lazarus.sqlite.

Karl

keithy397

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Post Posted May 19th, 2008, 9:46 pm

Diolch yn fawr Iawn (Thanks very much) for looking into it Karl but it seems the odds are stacked against me a tad I feel! I wouldn't want to create more work for you when the extension is essentially working fine and dandy for me otherwise.

I just wanted to explore the possibility of data sharing across profiles (as I do with all good extensions) and I'm quite happy to use it as is.

Thanks again Karl.
Cheers,
Keith

sethop

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Post Posted June 2nd, 2008, 11:26 am

We have quickly been through 9 beta versions of Lazarus, and the new version, 1.0, is the first to be nominated for public release.

We would really appreciate if more people tried the latest version and put reviews on addons.mozilla.org so that we can get it out of the "sandbox" area. At the moment you have to be a registered addons.mozilla.org user to install Lazarus - registering at a.m.o is free and easy and gives you access to 1000s of new and experimental addons, but most people don't bother which is why we need to get it out of the sandbox.

Get Lazarus from here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6984

We have also made significant improvements to the website including the FAQ and Screenshots

Cheers,
Seth and Karl

sethop

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Post Posted December 2nd, 2008, 10:12 pm

Good news! Lazarus has finally made it through the backlog in the AMO approval queue, and is now available to the public. It's also just been reviewed on Lifehacker http://lifehacker.com/5097334/lazarus-form-recovery-saves-web-page-form-data and WebWorkerDaily http://webworkerdaily.com/2008/11/25/lazarus-bring-lost-forms-back-to-life/

mcdavis

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Post Posted December 3rd, 2008, 3:24 am

Looks great, works great, and could not be any easier to use. Thanks Seth!
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sethop

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Post Posted December 3rd, 2008, 4:55 pm

Thanks, glad you like it! And congrats on the amazing success you've had with the Night Launch theme! 5.9m downloads and counting. Wow!

makondo
 
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Post Posted June 4th, 2009, 5:09 pm

Ran into a problem here. I use bottom panel (custom button) for error console, my config, etc. When Lazarus is enabled and i want to resize that panel, making it smaller - that is dragging the top border down, it leaves a black bg behind, DOMi says it's lazarus notification. I also use All-Glass by Ambroos and wonder if Lazarus conflicts with it. I can't make any changes 'cause not sure what this 'notification' is about. Any ideas? TIA!

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