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  1.    #1  
    In continuing research on the WebOS Quick Install Guide and Preware Guide, I can now reproduce a number of the situations where users seem to randomly get "Stuck Patches" and "Stuck Themes".

    Some are not random. As noted below they are more common on the phone than the emulator but some can be reproduced on the emulator as well.

    Some of the problems may be really simple. If you are installing an update to a program, you would always turn off that program first. Many program updates will not run unless all programs are turned off.

    But we are not telling people to stop using apps when they are patching their phones or installing themes.

    So I have tried a number of things.

    What happens if you phone, text, or email while installing a patch or theme?
    Try this test if you dare. While installing a theme using WebOS Quick Install or Preware, call the phone from another line, answer it, and look up a contact. (In Preware, exit Preware to take the call in the middle of installing the theme.)

    WebOS Quick Install may never stop trying to install the theme and leave it partially installed. Preware sometimes still makes the install correctly but sometimes it doesn't. I can also cause stuck themes in certain cases by sending an email or text during installation or removal.

    You can also induce occasional failures with patches depending on the patch. If you want a stuck patch, try sending a text while removing messaging patches especially while using WOSQI.

    Once the theme or patch gets stuck sometimes the only fix is WebOS Repair Utility or a a partial erase. WebOS Doctor does not erase everything any more.

    So when you are installing changes to a program, maybe you want to not be be running that program.

    What happens if you leave apps running while installing a patch or a theme?
    Well, it seems to depend. To really see the effect, leave Pandora, email and messaging running and keep playing a game while installing a theme. The theme does not get stuck every time but sometimes.

    What happens if you don't know to do a Luna Restart after Installing a Patch?
    You may have installed or removed a patch but the results will not show up unless you know to do a Luna Reset.

    Why do themes and patches not seem to always play well with each other?
    Say you install a number of patches and all is well. Then you install a theme but the theme does not tell you that it is going to install it's own patch on top of your patches!

    A patch gets at least a minimal review before it is allowed to go into the feed. A patch in a theme may not have been reviewed and the user may not know it was included.

    What happens if you install a theme or patch with one installer and remove it with the other?
    Well, the result can be ugly.

    I have now had multiple tests where installing a patch or especially a theme with one installer and then uninstalling with the other resulted in an error message. I have documented cases where the other installer shows that it did uninstall but when you go back to the first installer it shows the patch or theme still there. But going back to the first installer it could be uninstalled.

    Best Advice for Now?
    You may have never had a problem with stuck themes or patches. You may put themes on top of patches on top of themes and have never had a problem. But to be safe it would seem that the same basic steps you take when you update Java on your computer may be the right steps to take when you update Java on your phone with a patch or theme.

    Before installing or removing a patch or theme:
    1. Close all cards (apps) that are running on screen.
    2. Turn on Airplane Mode when using WebOS Quick Install.
    3. Do not use the phone at all until the installation or removal is complete.
    4. Use the same installer to remove a patch (especially themes) as you used to install it.

    I cannot think of a downside to taking these preventative steps. But I can now document possible problems if you do not.

    I have also tested installing and removing Homebrew apps and the problems are very rare. As a rule the same steps above can't hurt but in particular turn off a Homebrew app before you uninstall it.

    For now, I am updating the WebOS Quick Install Guide and Preware Guide to reflect these suggestions but look forward to hearing from all of you.

    - Craig

    Add: "Stuck Patch" or "Stuck Theme" means that they can't be removed and can't be installed. They may show on one Installer as installed but not on the other.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/24/2010 at 04:38 PM.
  2. #2  
    Last edited by dbdoinit; 01/22/2010 at 05:05 PM.
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by dbd View Post
    Craig, good work, but you forgot the word "we" for the third word in the title.
    Thanks.

    Fixed.

    - Craig
  4. #4  
    Awesome post, experimentation, and explanation. It might be nice for Preware to add a nag screen mentioning it's best to stop other apps and turn the phone to airplane mode before proceeding. The modal dialog box could have an on/off for "Don't tell me this anymore" as well as a "Proceed" and "Cancel" buttons. (Hopefully rwhitby will see this. I'll try and see if he's started his day and on the IRC. If so, I'll mention this thread to him.)

    EDIT: I just sent a message there (pointing to this thread) but Rod is not on right now. Hopefully he or someone will notice it in the chat log.
    Last edited by sudoer; 01/22/2010 at 05:28 PM.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  5. #5  
    Lots of stuff here.

    You need to define what you mean by a "stuck" patch. There is a disconnect between the patch actually modifying files in the root filesystem and the user area ipkg data that is held consistent with the interoperable packaging standards.

    Any advanced installer should follow open packaging standards and thus install/remove should work seamlessly between the two. If you cannot remove correctly from an install with different installers, then that indicates an issue in at least one of the installers used.

    During your testing with Preware installations and phone usage, did you ever backswipe while the patch seemingly was installing? Or did you always wait for an OK or ERROR message from Preware?

    The only way a patch should be partly installed with respect to the files it modifies is if you pull the battery out of the phone at the instance the patch is applying. Stuck patches in the sense that Preware thinks it's installed when it is not or doesn't know it's installed when it is are due to the disconnect between root filesystem patching and ipkg data.

    AUPT will allow for smarter ipkg installation/removal.

    -Eric G

    WebOS Internals Developer.
    Follow me on Twitter for updates to my projects: | Virtual Keyboard | wIRC | SuperTux | AUPT | KeyBoss | freeTether |

    Donate
  6. #6  
    emoney_33,

    Thanks for your comments. My understanding is that external events running in parallel with execution of the patches may have overwritten, changed, or deleted some files near the same time that the patch was writing/modifying files.

    I guess since the patch scripts run as root, maybe there is some way of "nice"ing up the patch scripts or something similar. Is there any method that Palm uses for App Catalog applications to make sure similar things do not happen?
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Thanks for your comments. My understanding is that external events running in parallel with execution of the patches may have overwritten, changed, or deleted some files near the same time that the patch was writing/modifying files.
    Which external events are these, and how do they overwrite files on a read-only filesystem?

    Let's keep to the facts of what people are actually experiencing, and gather a wide variety of input from actual experiments and observations, rather than making assumptions about what might be happening without showing the evidence to support those theories.

    -- Rod
    WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
    You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
    All donations go back into development.
    www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by rwhitby View Post
    Which external events are these, and how do they overwrite files on a read-only filesystem?
    Sorry, that's what I thought after reading milominderbindermilominderbinder's initial post. Apparently I was reading too much into it. Sorry that I inadvertently added confusing/wrong information.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  9.    #9  
    "Stuck Patch" or "Stuck Theme" means that they can't be removed and can't be installed. They may show on one Installer as installed but not on the other.

    I can now induce these errors almost at will on the phone now that I know what is causing this for users. They are hard to induce on the emulator.

    I read a zillion posts a day here. This is happening to countless users. But I know of no similar "Stuck App" stories from the Palm Catalog or our own Homebrew apps.

    The biggest isssue by far is the security breach we left by allowing undisclosed and undocumented patches to be hidden in themes.

    We optimized Themes as a malware delivery vehicle. He does not have to figure out how to hide his malware. We have done all of the hard work for him. And we tell the author that we will not even check what he has done. We even post for him instantly.

    Until we can plug the Theme security hole please do not execute patches hidden in Themes. They are causing an endless list of stuck patch and stuck theme problems anyway.

    Please.
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/23/2010 at 09:03 AM.
  10. kd0axs's Avatar
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    #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    It might be nice for Preware to add a nag screen mentioning it's best to stop other apps and turn the phone to airplane mode before proceeding.
    Preware needs a data connection, so it won't work in airplane mode. The best you could probably do is turn off the phone and EVDO connections and connect over Wifi. Of course this isn't an option if you don't have Wifi access or if you have a Pixi.

    EDIT: I was thinking about this and an idea just popped in my head. What if Preware would download and save apps, patches, themes, etc and then allow you to switch to airplane mode before installing?
    Last edited by kd0axs; 01/23/2010 at 09:45 AM.
  11.    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Awesome post, experimentation, and explanation. It might be nice for Preware to add a nag screen mentioning it's best to stop other apps and turn the phone to airplane mode before proceeding.
    Could Preware download what it needs, then turn on Airplane mode while a theme or patch is installed and turn it right back off again when it is done?

    - Craig
  12. kd0axs's Avatar
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    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    Could Preware download what it needs, then turn on Airplane mode while a theme or patch is installed and turn it right back off again when it is done?

    - Craig
    That's exactly what I was just talking about. I think it would be a great function for Preware to have. Of course, it still wouldn't solve the security issues you were talking about with themes.
  13.    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by emoney_33 View Post
    During your testing with Preware installations and phone usage, did you ever backswipe while the patch seemingly was installing? Or did you always wait for an OK or ERROR message from Preware?
    Do it like a user would and get frustrated after waiting 3 seconds and back swipe before the OK screen.

    Or install the theme with WOSQI and remove it with Preware.

    Or Install patches with Preware then install a theme with a hidden patch using Preware. When it messes up your previous patches try to uninstall them. They are stuck now. Or it may let you uninstall the patch but now the theme is stuck.

    So in addition to being the ultimate malware delivery device, themes also break patches.

    A theme could just recommend the user install a patch and give him the right to decide if he wants to make that change.

    Why is it good to take away the user's right to choose?

    Can someone help me understand the benefit of hiding patches in themes?

    Does this benefit outweight designing themes to be the ultimate malware delivery vehicle?

    - Craig
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/23/2010 at 10:57 AM.
  14.    #14  
    If you want five stuck patches try this.

    You are a soccer mom or dad and have no idea who Luna is.

    1. So you install Preware.

    2. Use Preware to install the 4x4 v1 patch. That's stupid. It didn't do a thing. You don't have 4x4 icons in your launcher.

    (Preware would have prompted you if you needed to do a Luna something just like when you installed your theme, right? You are not running the Luna Manager, don't have it installed, and have no idea what it is.)

    3. So you try to install the 4x4 v2 patch. Still nothing happens.

    4. Then Install the 4x4 v3 patch. Still your launcher is not changed.

    5. Then try 5x4 v1 and 5x4 v2.

    6. Next you need to post here that: "Patches are stupid. They don't work."

    7. Preware is showing that you have the patches as Installed Packages but your icons are still the same. You uninstall the first patch, 4x4 v1. It either errors out saying that the files are bad or worse it does uninstall.

    8. You try to uninstall 4x4 v2, etc. and guess what happens.

    9. Return your broken Pre to Sprint and get a good phone.

    Try this for yourself but know that you will need to do a partial erase when you are done.

    Why doesn't Preware just ask you if you want to do a Luna Restart when you install a patch like it does when you install a theme?

    Better yet, why not just prompt as they are leaving the patches scene?

    Why isn't there at least a Luna Restart button in Preware like there is in WOSQI?

    I will add this to the OP as not offering a Luna Restart is another huge component of our problem.

    - Craig
    Last edited by milominderbinder; 01/23/2010 at 11:17 AM.
  15. kd0axs's Avatar
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    #15  
    Here's an idea....

    Right now when you install a patch you just get the box that pops up and says "Patch Installed" and you press OK.

    Maybe this should be changed so it says "Patch installed, you must restart your device for changes to take effect". Then it could provide you with 2 options..."Restart device now" and "I will restart later".
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    Do it like a user would and get frustrated after waiting 3 seconds and back swipe before the OK screen.
    That cannot be solved. If you manually interrupt the install process, that is user error and expected behavior. Sorry. AUPT will allow you remove a not-really-installed patch because you interrupted the process, and AUPT release is nearing.

    Or install the theme with WOSQI and remove it with Preware.
    I don't have much knowledge about themes currently, they will be integrated into AUPT in the near future.

    Or Install patches with Preware then install a theme with a hidden patch using Preware. When it messes up your previous patches try to uninstall them. They are stuck now. Or it may let you uninstall the patch but now the theme is stuck.
    I was under the assumption that themes were correctly using AutoPatch Technology for the patches inside themes. Possibly some older themes are still overwriting or recovering incorrectly, but it is definitely a major reason that we are all discussing the path to integrate themes into AUPT.

    My understanding is themes need patches because a large part of the user interface on WebOS is driven by CSS. I'm not a big fan of theming personally, but I understand the need for patching inside themes. Rest assured an important goal is getting themes under AUPT, which is something I've said since I discovered some themes needed to modify text files as well.


    As for "stuck" patches, as I mentioned earlier, it is due to the disconnect between ipkg data (what the installer sees as packages installed) and the effect of actually applying the patch to the root filesystem.

    Background installations in the future may help, but I don't see backswiping after 3 seconds while it's still spinning and saying installing as a bug.

    -Eric G

    WebOS Internals Developer.
    Follow me on Twitter for updates to my projects: | Virtual Keyboard | wIRC | SuperTux | AUPT | KeyBoss | freeTether |

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  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    If you want five stuck patches try this.

    You are a soccer mom or dad and have no idea who Luna is.

    1. So you install Preware.

    2. Use Preware to install the 4x4 v1 patch. That's stupid. It didn't do a thing. You don't have 4x4 icons in your launcher.

    (Preware would have prompted you if you needed to do a Luna something just like when you installed your theme, right? You are not running the Luna Manager, don't have it installed, and have no idea what it is.)

    3. So you try to install the 4x4 v2 patch. Still nothing happens.

    4. Then Install the 4x4 v3 patch. Still your launcher is not changed.

    5. Then try 5x4 v1 and 5x4 v2.
    You get an error. You cannot install any of the launcher icon patches on top of another, they modify the same areas. It will error and not do anything harmful trying to install the others after installing one.

    6. Next you need to post here that: "Patches are stupid. They don't work."
    I do not see this at all, very rarely do people have issues that are because they don't know to restart. AUPT will bring up the restart dialog now that Preware allows you to select "later".

    7. Preware is showing that you have the patches as Installed Packages but your icons are still the same. You uninstall the first patch, 4x4 v1. It either errors out saying that the files are bad or worse it does uninstall.
    This does not happen unless 4x4 v1 wasn't actually installed (i.e. you backswiped before it could run the postinst to modify the files... don't do this)

    8. You try to uninstall 4x4 v2, etc. and guess what happens.

    9. Return your broken Pre to Sprint and get a good phone.
    I think this is not very accurate. I do not see anybody returning phones to Sprint because of "broke patches". The Doctor is available and anyone who owns a Pre needs to know about the doctor. The first thing Sprint will do anyway is doctor it. I think this is wildly inaccurate exaggeration of the issues.

    Better yet, why not just prompt as they are leaving the patches scene?

    Why isn't there at least a Luna Restart button in Preware like there is in WOSQI?
    We have gone over this before. Preware is an advanced homebrew package installer that follows open interoperable packaging standards. It does not contain intimate knowledge about what a specific subset of homebrew packages require or do. Patches WILL be changed to popup the luna restart as required with the release of AUPT.

    I will add this to the OP as not offering a Luna Restart is another huge component of our problem.
    Not luna restarting is not causing problems. The patch is applied to the files, luna restart simply re-reads the files and brings the modifications into memory. You can do as much file modifications as you want and be secure in the install/remove without luna restarting. Luna Restart ONLY shows you the effects of the patches, it doesn't nothing to prevent from installing/removing.

    -Eric G

    WebOS Internals Developer.
    Follow me on Twitter for updates to my projects: | Virtual Keyboard | wIRC | SuperTux | AUPT | KeyBoss | freeTether |

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  18. #18  
    Don't worry, AUPT is coming :P

    -Eric G

    WebOS Internals Developer.
    Follow me on Twitter for updates to my projects: | Virtual Keyboard | wIRC | SuperTux | AUPT | KeyBoss | freeTether |

    Donate
  19. #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by milominderbinder View Post
    Why is it good to take away the user's right to choose?

    Can someone help me understand the benefit of hiding patches in themes?

    Does this benefit outweight designing themes to be the ultimate malware delivery vehicle?
    Why do you make such inflammatory statements?

    Do you really think the developers are happy with the way things are with themes right now?

    Do you really think that we all don't already know that the handling of themes right now sucks?

    Do you really think we aren't working our butts off to try and improve that situation in a way that is not just a band-aid work-around but instead is a comprehensive patching architecture that brings themes under the same protection as patches?

    Do you really think it's a problem that can be solved in the space of two of your posts?

    -- Rod
    WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
    You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
    All donations go back into development.
    www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals
  20. #20  
    I'd like to step in here and ask people to think about others (and how they might feel). Let me first add that I'm as guilty as anyone else about not being careful how I say things, but I have learned (due to years of work experience) that there are more fruitful and less fruitful ways of reporting "bugs".

    It might seem to you that developers sometimes believe that "bugs are impossible". I can assure you that most don't and they take your reports seriously. Usually they are just frustrated because the reports don't give them enough information to reproduce the problem (and this causes frustration). It's best to keep side comments out of the bug report because they are usually taken the wrong way. I've found the template below to work very well.

    #1: TITLE OF PROBLEM
    #2: ONE PARAGRAPH (3-5 SENTENCES IS BEST) SUMMARY OF WHAT'S NOT WORKING

    #3: SIMPLIFIED TESTCASE
    #3A: ANY STEPS NECESSARY TO SET UP BEFORE THE PROBLEM
    #3B: TEST STEP ... EXPECTED RESPONSE ... OK|ACTUAL_RESPONSE
    (Repeat as many test steps as are needed, but don't include more than
    are necessary.)
    #3B: CLEANUP STEPS (You can probably omit these in our reports.)

    #4: ENVIRONMENT: Here's where you say WebOS and SUT (Software Under Test) version numbers. Which device you are using, Carrier, Wether WiFi or EvDo, or whatever else is pertinent to reproducing the problem.

    #5: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Here's where you put any additional information that you think will help the developer to debug the problem. If you want to describe additional permuations, this is a good place to mention those.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
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