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Weird "draft saving" with 2.53.5b1pre builds

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RDaneel
 
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Post Posted September 24th, 2020, 6:35 pm

On my usual Windows 10 Pro "20H2" x64 system, I am seen some occasional unanticipated entries in my Drafts folder... this may have started a month ago, but there was only a single instance of this - so, easy to overlook or not notice.

I always backup my entire profile before installing a new build of SM, and I monitor the size of the resulting .7z file. A week ago, they jumped up, but I wasn't paying particular attention, and then we didn't have any of these builds for a few days... but now the frequency of these weird "auto saves" seems to be going up.

Specifically, I am seeing - on only *some* emails - that there are multiple copies of the emails that I am composing being left in my Drafts folder, timestamped at 5-minute intervals - clearly snapshots tracking the progress of these emails while I am composing them. The most recent of these "time series" saved drafts are from earlier today.

I wasn't aware of any feature like this in the SM mailer, although it seems suspiciously like an "automatic" feature, given the 5-minute intervals. Maybe this is usually "hidden" functionality, in that these saves happen, but then they are deleted when you hit send, and thus not seen?

Not wanting to do anything drastic, I only deleted the .msf file for the Drafts folder - so it would get rebuilt - and restarted. Yup, they are all definitely still there - I suppose I can "safely" delete these now, but will not do that for awhile, in case there are any questions.

While this could be happening only to me, I wanted to mention this, since this behavior could be easy to not see - like I said, I only really noticed it because of a dramatic jump in the size of my compressed profile backup (there were a number of higher-res pics in one of the saved draft emails).

*Is* anyone else observing anything like this with their own Drafts folder?

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 25th, 2020, 6:15 am

I don't believe what you are describing is new in that build. In the release version 2.53.4, using menu path Edit->Preferences->Mail & Newsgroups->Composition you will find , an option to "Automatically save the message every NN minutes. That refers to saving drafts as you compose a message, just as you have observed.

As for drafts of messages remaining in the Drafts folder after the message has been sent, that suggests some file corruption. Right click on the name of the Drafts folder in the Folder Pane (left hand pane of the Mail & Newsgroups window of SeaMonkey and select "Properties" from the context menu, then click on the "Repair folder" button. Close and restart SeaMonkey and then see if any further anomalies appear.

RDaneel
 
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Joined: January 19th, 2004, 2:43 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Post Posted September 25th, 2020, 11:10 am

Thanks, Dan, the "corruption" thing does sound semi-believable. ;)

As I said, in an attempt to "heal" anything like this, I had already removed the [Drafts] .msf file - so that it got rebuilt the next time I started SM *and* did anything that accessed "Drafts" (this is what happens with a repair).

While I realize that - with file corruption - practically *anything* can happen, the weird sporadic nature of this (not keeping these snapshot series around for every email I compose) prompted me to mention my observations.

I will report back if I see any more of this, but as your "repair" suggestion is likely to have resolved this for now, we are likely good. :)

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 25th, 2020, 11:30 am

Well, as the .msf file is simply a summary file used to improve performance and store some status information about messages, it’s the actual message file (Drafts, with no filename extension) for which the corruption concern arises. If you have no current valid messages in the Drafts folder (messages not yet sent) you can delete the file Drafts (with no filename extension) and SeaMonkey will create a new copy the next time it is needed.

RDaneel
 
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Post Posted September 25th, 2020, 12:38 pm

Thanks, Dan, for the complete information and "picture" - since it sounds like there is no further need for any forensic investigation, I will be doing a bit of surgery on the flat "MBox"-formatted file, since I have some old drafts from [literally] decades ago I was keeping... and then I will delete the .msf one more time and let it get rebuilt [again]. ;)

RDaneel
 
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Joined: January 19th, 2004, 2:43 pm
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Post Posted September 26th, 2020, 3:27 pm

Nope, there is absolutely something wrong along these lines... even after deleting almost all of the Drafts contents, and forcing yet another rebuild of the .msf (by deleting it while SM was not running), I just composed a lengthy email that took me 25+ minutes, and the Drafts folder now has an additional 6 entries, spaced 5 minutes apart, tracking the "evolution" of this email.
So... is nobody else seeing this? Really? For instance, given the observed behavior, it could easily appear to work fine, if all you did was compose emails and send them in less than 5 minutes (so no auto-saves were generated etc).
This obviously isn't a devastating bug - if we define "devastating" as data *loss* - we are clearly getting extra data out of the deal! ;)
But still, troublesome, as depending on the underlying issue, posteriors could end up getting bitten somewhere down the road.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted September 26th, 2020, 4:01 pm

Please confiirm how that account is set up in SeaMonkey, as POP or IMAP.

RDaneel
 
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Post Posted September 26th, 2020, 4:28 pm

Sigh, obviously that could be of interest, and it didn't even occur to me to add that info.

POP3 and SMTP is how I roll. ;)

Setup from SM "Mail & Newsgroups Account Settings":

POP Mail Server: outlook.office365.com, port 995, SSL/TLS, "Normal password" (which will eventually be an issue, as they *will* be demanding OAuth, just not yet)

SMTP Server: smtp.office365.com, port 587, STARTTLS, also "Normal password"

EDIT: I have another thought, about a very specific sequence of operations.

Looking at exactly what just happened, I last night downloaded the newest build from Bill's site, and before actually starting this new version, took that as a good time to delete *all* the .msf files.

So, when I went to compose this email this afternoon, we were in that "odd" state where the Drafts.msf hadn't yet been created... I know that *something* triggers the creation of these things, usually they happen - like with the Inbox - because something needs it, like for the display of your available email.

In this case, *after* I had sent this email, I was looking at my mail client, and saw that there were *no* unread Drafts showing (don't ask, but the number should have been "4"). A soon as I clicked on the Drafts folder, *then* the client needed to populate the .msf to create the view, and *then* I saw it suddenly say "10" unread ( the expected 4 + the new 6 snapshots that should have never been visible at all).

So maybe this is an issue triggered by there being NO .msf when the client is doing these every-5-minute snapshots, and rather than causing the creation of the .msf on the fly, just proceeds to "do the wrong thing".

I find this believable, personally. ;)

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