Sync in Firefox for Android concatenates contents of nameless folders, rearranges Bookmarks Toolbar

NEW
Unassigned

Status

Cloud Services
General
--
major
6 years ago
3 years ago

People

(Reporter: ctpearson, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

6 years ago
I configured Sync in Firefox for Android in the normal way to sync with my computers.

After the sync to Firefox for Android, and presumably its sync back, the following problems appeared on my desktop version of Firefox:
- most (not all) of the nameless folders in my Bookmarks Toolbar were moved to the end of the Bookmarks Toolbar list.
- the bookmarks in the moved nameless folders were all relocated into one nameless folder. The remaining nameless folders were empty.
- the built-in Bookmarks Toolbar folders for all tags and for recent tags, which I had also removed the names from, were also moved to the end of the list. However, their contents remained intact.


Expected Behavior: The Bookmarks Toolbar on my desktop computers should not have be been rearranged due to syncing with Firefox for Android.


Note that this bug has been around for a while. I had the same problem last year with a much older version of Firefox for Android.
> Note that this bug has been around for a while. I had the same problem last
> year with a much older version of Firefox for Android.

Do you happen to remember if this was a native or XUL Firefox for Android?  We're trying to understand when this started happening.
(Reporter)

Comment 2

6 years ago
The first time I tried Firefox was a year ago, so I assume that would be the XUL version of Firefox. I wasn't using any beta builds - it was the standard version download from the Android Market.
rnewman: this suggests that the re-ordering issue we've seen doesn't depend on Android Sync.  Do you agree?
I think there is likely to be a collection of different causes for bookmark reordering.

Certainly desktop/XUL Fennec is likely to be flawed somehow; we fixed a huge pile of issues 12-18 months ago, but there are fundamental issues in trying to exchange structured data in irregular chunks.

For all we know, there's some pernicious database update problem in the bookmark UI or Places, such that positions don't get written when they ought, and Sync forces the UI to confront its inner turmoil at a later date.

Android Sync is certainly more aggressive at shouting its truth from the rooftops, but I'm yet to see any convincing evidence that it's reordering incorrectly *given the data it receives from the server*.
Component: Bookmarks & History → General
Product: Firefox → Mozilla Services
Version: 16 Branch → unspecified
Status: UNCONFIRMED → NEW
Ever confirmed: true
(Reporter)

Comment 5

6 years ago
For what it's worth: I sync my Firefox between three or four different PCs and reordering has never been an issue for me. ( Although I wish it would auto-load the favicon on each machine... :) )

The only time I've seen this reordering problem is immediately after trying Firefox Sync on Android. From my point of view, it seems that Android Firefox reorders them and pushes that ordering back to the server. This seems to fit rnewman's comment: "...yet to see any convincing evidence that it's reordering incorrectly *given the data it receives from the server*."

On a side note: I'm a computer science graduate student, and I'm interested in contributing to some open source project. If you guys could use a hand tracking this down, I'd be happy to help out.
(Reporter)

Comment 6

6 years ago
(In reply to ctpearson from comment #5)
> From my point of view, it seems that Android
> Firefox reorders them and pushes that ordering back to the server. This
> seems to fit rnewman's comment: "...yet to see any convincing evidence that
> it's reordering incorrectly *given the data it receives from the server*."

... assuming rnewman is talking about Firefox in general, and not Android Firefox, when he makes that comment.
(In reply to ctpearson from comment #5)
> For what it's worth: I sync my Firefox between three or four different PCs
> and reordering has never been an issue for me. ( Although I wish it would
> auto-load the favicon on each machine... :) )

Part-done: Bug 428378. :)

I also have regularly synced between lots of devices. I've seen reordering precisely once, but it was prior to fixing a bug, so…

Interestingly, the resulting toolbar order was alphabetic (IIRC) and type-sorted (folders first).

> The only time I've seen this reordering problem is immediately after trying
> Firefox Sync on Android. From my point of view, it seems that Android
> Firefox reorders them and pushes that ordering back to the server. This
> seems to fit rnewman's comment: "...yet to see any convincing evidence that
> it's reordering incorrectly *given the data it receives from the server*."

Adding a new Android device will cause a bunch of activity: it'll fetch, reconcile, merge, and upload a whole pile of stuff when it needs to (e.g., because it's had to reorder or move a bunch of stuff).

My intuition (after fixing bookmark sync for nearly two years) is that what's happening here is a subtle interaction of assumptions and stale data in desktop, possibly involving interrupted or partial syncs.

If desktop is -- for some reason -- not uploading a folder record when its children have been repositioned, or the folder record is processed in a different sync to the children, then Android (and possibly desktop) will certainly upload a modified folder record, which will propagate back to desktop.

Of course, Android phones will see interrupted network collections quite regularly, and the consequences could well appear to be harmful. See below.

> On a side note: I'm a computer science graduate student, and I'm interested
> in contributing to some open source project. If you guys could use a hand
> tracking this down, I'd be happy to help out.

The current tracking bug is Bug 769476, if you want to get more of an insight into my warped mind.

Some historical bugs are Bug 718154, Bug 731024.

The hypotheses in Bug 769476 Comment 3 would be interesting to investigate, if you are so inclined.
You need to log in before you can comment on or make changes to this bug.