General XMetaL Discussion

  • pvallone

    Application Error

    Participants 4
    Replies 5
    Last Activity 13 years ago

    Using xmetal 5.1 I always get a popup error message:

    The instruction aty “0x034fb5d8″ referenced memoey at 0x000000004”. The memory could not be “read”

    Click ok to terminate the program

    We have xmetal on a bunch of computers – we all get this error when we close xmetal.

    Reply

    dcramer

    Reply to: Application Error

    XMetaL 4.6 almost always crashes for us when we close it too (happens on all installations). Weird.

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Application Error

    This sounds like something triggered by a customization to me.

    (bear with me, this is going to be a long one…)

    It might be possible to tweak the customization (often a script in either CTM or MCR) to avoid such issues, but it is also possible the customization is doing something that should be legitimate but that triggers something unexpected on our side. This is the trouble with allowing pretty much any functionality in the product to be customizable, there is virtually no way for us to test every possible scenario a client will throw at the product. Some clients have simple customizations and some have huge ones.

    We've got a few customers with literally hundreds of thousands of lines of script (I believe PerlScript holds the record at the moment, but a partner is very close with most of theirs written in JScript). After the first several years of development (where there were lots of questions coming our way) we've rarely hear from these clients, and yes, the systems are being actively used. There is the odd complaint when we introduce minor bugs between versions of course, but this tells me that (for the most part) our products are fairly stable.

    We actively fix defects with each release, so if you can provide XMetaL Support with a reproducible test case they really want to know about it.

    Try to Reproduce the Problem with “Journalist”:

    The Journalist demo is often a good place to start. If you can reproduce the issue using similar steps with a “Journalist” document (such as the sample “CamerasInFocus.xml”) then that points to a real issue with the core product (because Journalist has been pounded on and tweaked for about 10 years now). If the customization is doing something that the Journalist demo does not do (almost a certainty for most customizations containing script) then it would be best to try to pinpoint the issue by eliminating files one by one.

    Figuring Out the Cause of the Problem:

    The following might apply for any unexpected behavior but is particularly useful for crashes because they could be caused by any number of things.

    1. Eliminate any direct connections with 3rd party software (CMS integrations, etc). These are often application-level customizations consisting primarily of an MCR file and perhaps other supporting bits and pieces. Do whatever normally crashes the product. Does the crash occur?

    2. Remove the CSS file and let XMetaL Author auto-generate one. Do whatever normally crashes the product. Does the crash occur? If not you can begin by comparing the auto-gen CSS with yours.

    3. Remove the CTM file and let XMetaL Author auto-generate one. Do whatever normally crashes the product. Does the crash occur? If not you can begin by comparing the auto-gen CTM with yours.

    4. Remove the MCR file. Do whatever normally crashes the product. Does the crash occur?

    5. If there's more stuff (XFT and anything else) keep going.

    Once you pinpoint which file seems to be the cause start ripping stuff out of it until the crash doesn't occur. Of course, the easier an issue is to cause the easier it is to see that it isn't happening anymore (so hopefully your's is one of those). If you have many users suffering from a particular problem try to figure out what they all do the same. If the issue doesn't happen for a particular user try to figure out if there's something installed on their machine that is different from the people who do have the issue (this might be a Windows update, 3rd party app, etc).

    If you suspect scripts are the cause my experience tells me to target any COM objects first. Comment or remove any code that calls them (you might need to provide dummy return values, etc, so the rest of your code runs).

    Report Bugs to XMetaL Support:

    Once you have a reproducible set of steps and files that cause a particular crash, and if the reason is not obvious (so that you can address it yourself) send the whole set to XMetaL Support along with as much detail as possible (product name and version, OS version and service packs, how to install your files, which document to open, which buttons to click or macros to run, etc) and they'll try to reproduce it so XMetaL Development can fix the issue in a future release (if the issue is with XMetaL Author, or XMAX, or whatever).

    Reply

    pvallone

    Reply to: Application Error

    Thanks.

    I sent your support team a link to some test files. As a note, I find it interesting that the error might be a customization error. We use marcos, but nothing that would cause this. From my knowledge (all though very limited) the error looks like it could only be caused by xmetal. The error indicates that it can not reference an address in memory. Referencing memory locations is something very low-level (registers etc…).

    If this bug is happening on a bunch of machines as well as others (as reported in this thread), then this is a xmetal bug.

    Thoughts?

    Phil

    Reply

    Derek Read

    Reply to: Application Error

    I agree that the issue might be a bug, however, a customization may still be required to trigger it (a setting or combination of settings or scripts or whatever that nobody else has done before).

    Hopefully support can figure this out once they have a look at your files. If there is a workaround (altering the customization to avoid the issue) they will let you know and then log the bug (if it is a bug).

    Reply

    pvallone

    Reply to: Application Error

    Thanks Derick,

    I appreciate the prompt response!

    Reply

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