Author Topic: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail  (Read 1650 times)

Dariusz Piatkowski

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FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« on: January 10, 2017, 01:36:25 pm »
I recently moved (full-time) from FF17.x to FF38.x, so far it actually seems to have made my OS/2 machine more stable...I suspect that is partly due to the fact that I had moved to YUM/RPM and little by little have managed to move to the recent versions of DLLs (consistently, across many apps).

Anyways, I am using an older version of PMMail (2.00.1500) and whereas opening up any email in FF 17.x was never a problem, with FF 38.x I now consistently get an error message:

"...Firefox can't find the file at /G://APPS//TCPIP//PMMAIL//PMMAIL//TEMP//TEMP.HTM..."

My PMMail parameters are set as:
1) call FF 38.x => G:\apps\tcpip\firefox\firefox.exe
2) pass it the URL as a parameter => %s

In comparison, if there is a URL listed in the email body itself, highlighting it and openning FF still works fine...

Therefore, this begs the question: has the opening of a file changed with FF 38.x, because the TEMP.HTM file is certainly present in the location passed to FF?



Pete

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2017, 03:15:08 pm »
Hi Dariusz

Not being a firefox user I don't have these problems...

The firefox message url looks wrong. I would expect the url to look like

   file:///G:/APPS//TCPIP/PMMAIL/PMMAIL/TEMP/TEMP.HTM

That could explain why firefox cannot find the file.


Regards

Pete
 

Dariusz Piatkowski

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2017, 03:44:16 pm »
Hi Pete,

...The firefox message url looks wrong. I would expect the url to look like

   file:///G:/APPS//TCPIP/PMMAIL/PMMAIL/TEMP/TEMP.HTM

That could explain why firefox cannot find the file...

Hmm...great point, while the copy of the copy of the error message itself is what I had actually shown in my post, the actual URL that's being issued by PMMail (or at least what FF attempts to load since that is what it shows in the URL bar) is:

file:///G://APPS//TCPIP//PMMAIL//PMMAIL//TEMP//TEMP.HTM

where as what you show (and it does work successfully here when invoked directly in FF):

file:///G:/APPS//TCPIP/PMMAIL/PMMAIL/TEMP/TEMP.HTM

So working through this I find that the only difference is the '//' vs '/' right after the 'G:' drive letter. The remaining directory separators can be either a single or double forward-slash (at least here in my testing either one works fine).

I will log a BUG for the FF team as FF17.x was working fine here (no need, see below info...).

EDIT => there currently exist two open Bugs (but one is a duplicate of the other):

1) Firefox 38.8.0 Beta 7 command line parsing error #176 (https://github.com/bitwiseworks/mozilla-os2/issues/176)
2) Problems with import messages from PM Mail3 #182 (https://github.com/bitwiseworks/mozilla-os2/issues/182)

« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 04:22:28 pm by Dariusz Piatkowski »

Doug Bissett

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2017, 07:37:32 pm »
Quote
"...Firefox can't find the file at /G://APPS//TCPIP//PMMAIL//PMMAIL//TEMP//TEMP.HTM..."

Actually, that is a bug in PMMail, that never showed up until FF 38.8.0 arrived (apparently, the command line parsing has changed in Firefox). PMMail 3.22 (and later) has a fix for it. If you still use older PMMail versions, you probably need to make an intermediate program to change the double slashes to single slashes (of the appropriate type), before passing the command to Firefox.

Alex Taylor

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 01:47:48 pm »
Quote
"...Firefox can't find the file at /G://APPS//TCPIP//PMMAIL//PMMAIL//TEMP//TEMP.HTM..."

Actually, that is a bug in PMMail, that never showed up until FF 38.8.0 arrived (apparently, the command line parsing has changed in Firefox). PMMail 3.22 (and later) has a fix for it. If you still use older PMMail versions, you probably need to make an intermediate program to change the double slashes to single slashes (of the appropriate type), before passing the command to Firefox.

It doesn't only affect PMMail.  It affects URL objects pointing to local files as well.  The first ticket quoted above suggests it's a command-line parsing problem in this particular Firefox beta.

Neil Waldhauer

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2017, 03:32:22 pm »
Quote
"...Firefox can't find the file at /G://APPS//TCPIP//PMMAIL//PMMAIL//TEMP//TEMP.HTM..."

Actually, that is a bug in PMMail, that never showed up until FF 38.8.0 arrived (apparently, the command line parsing has changed in Firefox). PMMail 3.22 (and later) has a fix for it. If you still use older PMMail versions, you probably need to make an intermediate program to change the double slashes to single slashes (of the appropriate type), before passing the command to Firefox.

This is true, and helpful. However, the original poster was using PMMail/2 version 2.00.1500. While I recommend the latest version of PMMail, it's really hard for me to criticize people for keeping old software when I'm running OS/2.
Expert consulting for ArcaOS, OS/2 and eComStation
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Doug Bissett

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2017, 08:23:09 pm »
PMMail was (always) creating a wrong command line (double forward slashes, when they should be single forward slashes). Firefox finally fixed their command line parsing, which showed the problem in PMMail. It may also cause problems for other programs, if they do the same thing.

Dave Yeo

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2017, 10:31:39 pm »
The problem is the way that libc handles the command line, trying to be more unixy. Problems with PMMail started IIRC with Firefox 10ESR when we moved to libc065. Programs such as Firefox, built against libc, aren't really supported if they try to parse the command line on their own, eg at the time (and perhaps still), Firefox used DosGetInfoBlocks and pid_pchcmd to get the command line and things started breaking. (I worked around it at the time by changing the libc signature so libc thought that FF was built with libc063)
Not sure what if any fixes Bitwise has done in this respect but it is kinda crappy that using the OS/2 API rather then the libc API breaks things

ivan

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 07:42:57 pm »
Quote
trying to be more unixy.
and
Quote
it is kinda crappy that using the OS/2 API rather then the libc API breaks things

This is something that I don't understand - we are using OS/2 NOT unix so why try and make it like unix?

At the moment I don't see any real advantage doing that.  We are ending up in DLL hell where older ports no longer work because one, or more, DLLs have been changed.

André Heldoorn

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2017, 03:44:58 pm »
"...Firefox can't find the file at /G://APPS//TCPIP//PMMAIL//PMMAIL//TEMP//TEMP.HTM..."

My hardly ever used copy of an old PMMail/2 is installed just because it's registered, and the registration isn't valid anymore for any newer version. Fair enough. But I'm not actually using PMMail/2.

I'm not sure about the first character (/G:), but you may be able to copy PMMAIL.EXE to a test file  PMMAILFF.EXE, and patch PMMAILFF.EXE's pair of slashes to ^\ (or ^/). The number of possibly relevant //s in my copy of PMMAIL.EXE is limited, and IIRC there's only one /// there. So you may be able to construct some working command. I have only verified such a concept with CMD.EXE interpreting the ^\ (DIR C:^\OS2), without PMMail/2 and FF, and I'm assuming that PMMail/2 is inserting the //.

Doug Bissett

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2017, 07:18:01 pm »
Quote
I'm assuming that PMMail/2 is inserting the //

All versions of PMMAil, before version 3.22 (the current GA), are inserting extra forward slashes (including the first one). Firefox always accepted that before, but no longer removes the extra ones, which would seem to be correct operation (it should NOT be changing the URL. I don't know why they were added, and I don't know why Firefox accepted it). Users of older versions of PMMail have three options: 1) continue to use an older Firefox that will accept the extra slashes. 2) use a small script to correct the URL before passing it on to Firefox. 3) upgrade to the current PMMail version (which has a whole lot of other fixes).

For those who haven't noticed, the requirements for a PMMail license is a little different than it was before VOICE moved across the water.  See: http://pmmail.os2voice.org/index.php?title=PMMail_for_OS/2 for the details. In both cases, the "payment" method was chosen, to keep costs down, because of banking requirements. VOICE is a non profit organization, and they use the proceeds to support many OS/2 projects (including Firefox).

Andreas Schnellbacher

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2017, 12:37:01 am »
I don't know why they were added
Maybe I'm completely wrong, but:

Doubled slashes make sense as long as they are backward slashes. In C (and some other languages) the backward slash is the escape char. Two backslashes were resolved to one backslash in the string. It looks to me as if the doubled forward slashes were created by a lib that is able to convert backward to forward slashes and doesn't recognize the escape char before.

André Heldoorn

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2017, 03:02:38 pm »
Firefox always accepted that before, but no longer removes the extra ones, which would seem to be correct operation (it should NOT be changing the URL.

Somehow I'm pretty sure that Firefox will change the URL www.xn--andr-epa.eu, and I'm pretty sure that Firefox actually should change the URL www.andré.eu...

2) use a small script to correct the URL before passing it on to Firefox.

A patch to use ^\ instead of // is not tested by me, for one because I don't have a PMMail/2 profile which would eventually call the CMD file or EXE. But also because of the described alternatives. Any of Doug's suggestions is reasonable, and far easier than dirty hacks to repair outdated software.

the requirements for a PMMail license is a little different than it was before VOICE moved across the water.

This very thread clearly shows that too many irrelevant initial changes (like a new owner, and a new requirement, and not enough respect for existing paying "customers") is an excellent way to recude the number of active users significantly. I'm not the only one. Banking (or funding) explains an irrelevant problem, but it doesn't justify anything.

Next time one change at a time is a better idea, unless a change is relevant for a paying customer.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 03:05:04 pm by André Heldoorn »

Doug Bissett

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 08:18:44 pm »
Quote
Somehow I'm pretty sure that Firefox will change the URL www.xn--andr-epa.eu, and I'm pretty sure that Firefox actually should change the URL www.andré.eu...

That doesn't make sense. If you tell it to go to  www.xn--andr-epa.eu that is where it should try to go. If that page redirects to www.andré.eu it should follow (if allowed). Firefox isn't changing anything.

Quote
A patch to use ^\ instead of // is not tested by me, for one because I don't have a PMMail/2 profile which would eventually call the CMD file or EXE. But also because of the described alternatives. Any of Doug's suggestions is reasonable, and far easier than dirty hacks to repair outdated software.

You cannot use \ in place of //. You must use / because this is a URL, which uses forward slashes.

Quote
This very thread clearly shows that too many irrelevant initial changes (like a new owner, and a new requirement, and not enough respect for existing paying "customers") is an excellent way to recude the number of active users significantly. I'm not the only one. Banking (or funding) explains an irrelevant problem, but it doesn't justify anything.

Next time one change at a time is a better idea, unless a change is relevant for a paying customer.

You don't seem to know the history. PMMail was purchased from the original authors by BluePrint Software Works (BSW), at one of the v 2.x versions. They did some work on it, to produce the 2.20.2382 version, which was released to previous users (part of the purchase contract). There was also a windows version, at that level. At that time, BSW decided that they would no longer develop the OS/2 version, because the code was a terrible mess. After that, I think they released another windows version, and decided to drop that too. At about that time, VOICE was looking for a bonus for their members, and negotiated a deal with BSW to purchase the OS/2 version (and ONLY the OS/2 version, with a contract that said that BSW retained all ownership to any other version). Then, they could not find the 2.20.2382 version source, and supplied the 2.10 version source (it's a long story). Anyway, James Moe took on the project to get it updated. After many versions where it was mostly code cleanup, PMMail is now much more capable than it ever was before. Some of the problems that were fixed made us wonder how older versions ever worked, at all (and a few things never did work, until he fixed them). Anyway, PMMail v3.x was made available to existing members of VOICE, with an option for new members to pay a nominal fee for it, and all proceeds go toward supporting various OS/2 projects. That is still the case, but the purchase method has changed a little (to reduce the bank charges, which increased the money available to support other OS/2 projects). VOICE, by contract, is not allowed to release the source (although you can get it, if you agree to keep it private, and do some development work). Unfortunately, the only programmer who has really done any work on it, is James Moe, and he has not been able to do much with it in the last couple of years (he does need to make a living, and all development is strictly voluntary), so the project is mostly stalled (but not dead).

So, PMMail 3.x is really a new program, with an old name (there was some debate about calling it VOICEMAIL, but they paid for the name, so they used it). Expecting VOICE to give it away is unreasonable. If you want PMMail 2.x updates, you need to talk to the owner, BluePrint Software Works, which actually doesn't exist any more, and they couldn't release a new OS/2 version anyway (by contract).

André Heldoorn

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Re: FF 38.x - problems invoking from within PMMail
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2017, 05:15:51 am »
...
Whatever...

So, PMMail 3.x is really a new program, with an old name (there was some debate about calling it VOICEMAIL, but they paid for the name, so they used it). Expecting VOICE to give it away is unreasonable.

So far nobody expected that, isn't it?

Back to reality, of marketingchanges: what they should have done is to release a PMMail/2 v3, with hardly more than one change: an (irrelevant) new owner. A fully free upgrade for people whom have just bought a v2 license. Not free for new users. DFSee uses such a strategy, FWIW. After a while they should have introduced PMMail/2 v4, as an upgrade which is as expensive as some VOICE funding constructing. Finally PMMail/2 v5 could have officially merged both systems. Now there were too... many... irrelevant... changes..., and you are still associating former paying customers with being unreasonable (and with wanting v2 upgrades).

If you want PMMail 2.x updates, you need to talk to the owner, BluePrint Software Works, which actually doesn't exist any more, and they couldn't release a new OS/2 version anyway (by contract).

If...

There really is no need to make up what other people want, nor to make up what they are expecting. VOICE has lost a lot of paying customers, by doing in their way, but of course you can ignore that again and conclude that there are no lessons to be learned. Good for you. Back to reality again, apparently many users didn't want PMMail/2 anymore since it was, according to you, bought by VOICE. Too... many... irrelevant ... chances...

And your statements w.r.t. former paying customers aren't making it more attractive. If you've bought DFSee v14.9, then Van Wijk may decide to give you a free v15.0 license. If one has bought "PMMail v14.9", then VOICE's first  PMMail v15.0" has always ignored such a situation. Fair enough, as stated earlier. Or, according to you, unreasonable to expect a free upgrade. Different strategies, different results. I, for one, am still using DFSee and I'm still not using PMMail. That's a difference.