Rare zombie compose window with no attachments - neither the Send nor the Save buttons do anything. Other compose UI works

RESOLVED INCOMPLETE

Status

Thunderbird
Message Compose Window
RESOLVED INCOMPLETE
5 years ago
a year ago

People

(Reporter: WBT, Unassigned)

Tracking

15 Branch
x86
Windows 7

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Whiteboard: [safe mode untested])

(Reporter)

Description

5 years ago
When writing messages (either new or reply), I sometimes get into a situation where neither the Send nor the Save buttons do anything.  They have the appearance of responding to a click (turning dark and lighter) and the mouseover effects work fine, but the message is never saved or sent and the window remains open.  The spell check button next to Send works, and the Attach and Security buttons work too, but no message serialization occurs.   I do believe this is a different kind of zombie than the one in Bug 569246.  

This bug doesn't have anything to do with the content of the message: the workaround is to copy the body, subject, recipients (still each one individually, unfortunately, and the From field (using virtual identity 0.9.5) into a new blank Compose window; that one will save or send just fine, and if you use cut instead of copy (leaving the original message with a blank body and/or subject and/or recipient) it remains in this zombie state.  Trying to close a window like that brings up a "do you want to save" option, but if you click Save, it simply returns to the Compose window, never saving or closing the message.  You have to click "Don't Save" in the zombie window, after having used the workaround to send a good copy of the message.

Because the bug is occasional (even happening in only a small fraction of messages composed around the same time), and it's unrelated to message content, I haven't been able to pin down an exact test case or surefire steps to reproduce.  I'm filing this here so that (a) a few people might find the workaround helpful, and (b) to see if anybody else has an idea of what might trigger this reliably.

I don't see anything particular in the error log; the only message there is several copies of the following, which appear frequently and without relation to attempted Save actions:

Warning: XUL box for _moz_generated_content_before element contained an inline #text child, forcing all its children to be wrapped in a block.
Source File: chrome://messenger/content/messengercompose/messengercompose.xul
Line: 0

and those are coming up when the main window is open but not showing any messages in the message list or preview pane (navigated to empty folder). 

Because it happens so rarely / is hard to reproduce, and because I consider certain add-ons to be core functionality, I have not tried to reproduce this in Safe Mode, and can't really afford to run in Safe Mode only for long enough to reliably reproduce it.  

Please do not close this quickly WORKSFORME or INCOMPLETE simply because the bug is hard to reproduce.  I have observed it many times over a long period, and have spent several hours trying to nail down the particular causes. If you know what might be causing this, or have some ideas of things to test next time it happens, please note them in the comments.  Thank you.
We'll close it incomplete if we can't reproduce it :( We don't do that for fun.

Thanks for looking into the Error console. Error message there is ok.

Questions : do you run with extensions ?
(Reporter)

Comment 2

5 years ago
Well, some do it for fun...it is fun to close bugs, and some think that if they personally don't have the right conditions to reliably produce it, that means nobody is observing the bug and it should be closed.  Even I can't reliably reproduce it, but that doesn't mean I don't observe it fairly often (probably one or two [together] every few days).

I do run with extensions, currently:
keyconfig 20110522 [to set CTRL+K for hyperlink]
Lightning 1.7
Send Filter 1.0.5 [functionality really should be integrated into the core!]
Send Later 4.1.2
Signature Switch 1.6.9
Test Pilot for Thunderbird 1.3.9
Thunderbird Message Filter Import/Export Enhanced 1.0.2 [functionality really should be integrated into the core!]
Virtual Identity 0.9.5

Currently I have the following plugins installed, version numbers subject to change:

2007 Microsoft Office system 12.0.4518.1014
Adobe Acrobat 10.1.4.38 and 10.1.3.23 (not sure why there are two...auto update, I suppose)
AlternaTIFF 2.0.1.1
Google Earth Plugin 6.1.0.5001
Google Talk Plugin 3.9.1.9832
Google Talk Plugin Video Accelerator 0.1.44.23
Google Update 1.3.21.123
IBM 821 Conference Plugin 8.2.10.911
iTunes Application Detector 1.0.1.1.
Java Deployment Toolkit 7.0.70.11 10.7.2.11
Java(TM) Platform SE 7 U7 10.7.2.11
Microsoft Office 2010 14.0.4761.1000
Microsoft Office 2010 14.0.4730.1010
Nitro PDF Plug-In 2.0.0.29
PDF-XChange Viewer 2.5.200.0
Photo Gallery 16.4.3503.728
QuickTime Plug-in 7.7.1 7.7.1.0
Shockwave Flash 11.4.402.265
Shockwave for Director 11.5.7.609
Silverlight Plug-In 5.1.10411.0
Winamp Application Detector 5.5.8.2975
Yahoo Application State Plugin 1.0.0.7
> Bug summary: zombie compose windows

Same problem as bug 413240 and its dups?
Same problem as bug 347693 and its dups?
Same problem as bugs listed in Blocks: field of bug 347693?

(In reply to WBT from comment #0)
> but the message is never saved or sent and the window remains open.

Problem of Bug 532395?
(Reporter)

Comment 4

5 years ago
(In reply to WADA from comment #3)
> Same problem as bug 413240 and its dups?
I've observed bugs like this, but this one isn't about failing in the "save to sent" after sending.  In that bug, the sending works. 

> Same problem as bug 347693 and its dups?
There (see comment 9), opening a new window and closing that will close the zombie window too.  I don't see that here. 

> Same problem as bugs listed in Blocks: field of bug 347693?
There, it also seems like sending completes.  Here, sending does not; saving also does not - it is an issue where the message is never serialized, not about what the window does after a successful send. 

> Problem of Bug 532395?
That bug gives an error message, this one does not.
(Reporter)

Comment 5

5 years ago
REPLACEMENT:

(In reply to WADA from comment #3)
> Same problem as bug 413240 and its dups?
I've observed bugs like that, but this one isn't about failing in the "save to sent" after sending.  In that bug, the sending works. 

> Same problem as bug 347693 and its dups?
There (see comment 9), opening a new window and closing that will close the zombie window too.  I don't see that here. 

> Same problem as bugs listed in Blocks: field of bug 347693?
There, it also seems like sending completes.  Here, sending does not; saving also does not - this is an issue where the message is never serialized, not about what the window does after a successful send. 

> Problem of Bug 532395?
That bug gives an error message, this one does not.
(Reporter)

Comment 6

5 years ago
If this problem is caused by an add-on, the one I most suspect is Virtual Identity.
I consider the functionality of this add-on to be core functionality in my use of Thunderbird and therefore can't easily disable it to test for an intermittent/occasional bug, but if there are other users of that extension (or others who want to start using it and see if that triggers the bug), please comment on any relevant observations.
(Reporter)

Comment 7

5 years ago
Today I did the following:
1. Composed a message, which included three image attachments totaling 8.4 MB.  The message had a single recipient and used Virtual Identity for the From address.
2. Attempted to send the message.  It worked and started sending, but took a minute or so to transmit with the attachments.
3. I cancelled the sending while in progress, edited the message, and repeated this a few times.
4. I tried to send it again, and the Send button wouldn't do anything.  I noticed "Saving to drafts" in the status bar, which cleared after a couple minutes, but during this time pressing the Send button had no effect other than the animation of the button press.
5. After the "saving to Drafts" cleared, neither Save nor Send had any effect, and I appeared to be observing this bug.

The hypothesis that saving to drafts is a necessary step in triggering this bug seems roughly consistent with past behavior, but more testing is needed.  From a purely anecdotal recollection, the presence of attachments seems to make the bug more likely.  I can't say for sure yet what factors repeatably trigger this, but I am getting it a lot more than I used to, and will continue trying to narrow the field.

Comment 8

4 years ago
Is this pop or imap?
Still see this when using version 24?

(In reply to WBT from comment #7)
> Today I did the following:
> 1. Composed a message, which included three image attachments totaling 8.4
> MB.  The message had a single recipient and used Virtual Identity for the
> From address.
> 2. Attempted to send the message.  It worked and started sending, but took a
> minute or so to transmit with the attachments.
> 3. I cancelled the sending while in progress, edited the message, and
> repeated this a few times.

These last two steps seem in conflict. In #2 you say it too a minute or so to transmit, which implies it finished sending. But #3 says you cancelled. 

regarding #3, why are you repeating?  Are you attempting to cause failure?

> 4. I tried to send it again, and the Send button wouldn't do anything.  I
> noticed "Saving to drafts" in the status bar, which cleared after a couple
> minutes, but during this time pressing the Send button had no effect other
> than the animation of the button press.
> 5. After the "saving to Drafts" cleared, neither Save nor Send had any
> effect, and I appeared to be observing this bug.
> 
> The hypothesis that saving to drafts is a necessary step in triggering this
> bug seems roughly consistent with past behavior, but more testing is needed.
> From a purely anecdotal recollection, the presence of attachments seems to
> make the bug more likely.  I can't say for sure yet what factors repeatably
> trigger this, but I am getting it a lot more than I used to, and will
> continue trying to narrow the field.

Has it ever happened with no attachments?
Does it only happen when you have cancelled sending?
Flags: needinfo?(firstpeterfourten)
(Reporter)

Comment 9

4 years ago
(In reply to Wayne Mery (:wsmwk) from comment #8)
> Is this pop or imap?
IMAP.

> Still see this when using version 24?
I'm not on 24, over disagreement with some new "feature" or something that disabled what I consider core functionality (incl. some add-ons).  If I were a core member of this dev community, then of course I'd be always running the latest, but I'm not. 

> These last two steps seem in conflict. In #2 you say it too a minute or so
> to transmit, which implies it finished sending. But #3 says you cancelled. 

It did not finish sending; I cancelled before that.  

> regarding #3, why are you repeating?  Are you attempting to cause failure?

I'm spotting places in the text which could be further corrected or clarified.  

However, I may have done this whole use case multiple times attempting to cause verifiable, repeatable failure because that makes for nicer bug reports that others can reproduce, though I'm learning that reproduction attempts are much more rare than I would have guessed.  I don't remember if I did that (in early March) or not; this is an intermittent bug.

> Has it ever happened with no attachments?
Yes.

> Does it only happen when you have cancelled sending?
No.  Sometimes it happens without having cancelled sending.
Flags: needinfo?(firstpeterfourten)

Comment 10

4 years ago
when you do update to version 24, it will be most helpful to have your comment
Flags: needinfo?(firstpeterfourten)
Summary: Occasional zombie compose windows → Rare zombie compose window with no attachments - neither the Send nor the Save buttons do anything. Other compose UI works
Whiteboard: [closeme 2014-01-01][safe mode untested]
(Reporter)

Comment 11

4 years ago
(In reply to Wayne Mery (:wsmwk) from comment #10)
> when you do update to version 24, it will be most helpful to have your
> comment

OK.  I don't anticipate that being anytime in the very near future, though I do still experience this bug every day or few.
Flags: needinfo?(firstpeterfourten)

Comment 12

4 years ago
Resolved per whiteboard
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 4 years ago
Resolution: --- → INCOMPLETE
Whiteboard: [closeme 2014-01-01][safe mode untested] → [safe mode untested]
(Reporter)

Comment 13

4 years ago
For what it's worth, I just experienced this bug when trying to save a draft of a message with no recipient, which rules out a number of hypotheses about how it might happen with certain recipients and an interaction with Virtual Identity.  I experienced this bug with nearly every email today, though I am not yet on 24.
WBT, to avoid mixing problems due to following,
  send request while auto-save is in progress, auto-save while mail send is in progress,
  draft saving takes long if IMAP, sent mail copy to Send takes long if IMAP
can you do "Send Later" + "Send Unsent Message at Outbox of Local Folders" in daily use? Do you still see your problem frequently?

Some bugs around "cached compose window" may be relevant. WBT, do you see your problem with mail.compose.max_recycled_windows=0? Or you already use mail.compose.max_recycled_windows=0?
(Reporter)

Comment 15

4 years ago
I was using the default of mail.compose.max_recycled_windows=1 and have changed to mail.compose.max_recycled_windows=0. 
I am using IMAP. 

The observation in Comment 13 was made on attempting to SAVE to draft, not send.  Previous observations were made when attempting to send, but noticing that save didn't do anything either (I just happen to send far more often than I save drafts.)
However, the SAVE request does appear to trigger the SEND code because if interrupted it says "Thunderbird is currently in the process of sending a message. Would you like to wait until the message has been sent before quitting or quit now?" That's a separate bug (related to Bug 793270) but might help diagnose what's happening.

Comment 16

a year ago
I'm seeing this issue or something very similar on XP (no problem on Windows 7). From the Compose window, the Send, Spelling, Attach buttons give the visual appearance of being clicked but don't do anything. Clicking on the Security button brings up the expected Message Security window. Save button does seem to save a draft. File, Edit, View, ... etc menus appear as normal but certain action, e.g File --> Send Now do not work. I had to revert all the way back to Thunderbird 38.8.0 to get a fully functioning Compose Window.
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