[APP 2.0.6 linux 64bit] Random crashes abound on Kubuntu Lucid  

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bradtem
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[APP 2.0.6 linux 64bit] Random crashes abound on Kubuntu Lucid

by bradtem » Wed May 12, 2010 1:16 am

At first I was pleased that I could finally use the control point editor again on the latest Kubuntu Lucid release. Alas, APP has become much more unstable for unknown reasons. Could be any number of things, new libraries, new X server etc.

I'm getting random, hard to predict or duplicate crashes in all sorts of areas. It's rare for the program to work for more than an hour, often for more than a few minutes. Thought it was only big panos but I now see it on even smaller ones.

Until the cause of this can be tracked down, the program really, really, really needs a checkpointing facility to avoid the loss of work. That's to say a way to ask it to regularly save out the pano you are working on to a temporary file or file with modified name, saving every so often or after any change to the operation list. It would also be nice if things like changes to settings (current directory to build panos in, for example, and list of recently opened panos) could be written out when changed, as otherwise you must change the setting, quit the program and restart to get it saved. If you don't do this, and the program ends by crashing (which is almost always the case) the settings are not saved.

Now, as to what is causing the crashes? The one most reliable thing (it causes a hang rather than a crash) is certain types of attempts in the CP editor to find CPs where the program is not able to find them. Ie. I take two images (of sky) which the program was not able to match, and I hand draw boxes around the same cloud in each image, and often times, not not always, the program then hangs when I asked to find the CPs.

That's the most repeatable crash but one thing is clear -- the crash rate is up hugely in the new release.

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AlexandreJ
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by AlexandreJ » Wed May 12, 2010 12:42 pm

The version 2.0.7 is on track and will be soon released. But I don't know if it will address the kind of issue you are having. Seems to be really a really uncommon behavior that you are facing.

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by bradtem » Thu May 13, 2010 7:44 am

Well, while we don't know what's causing my crashes, based on my reading of the forums here, crashes of various types are sadly something that happens more frequently than they should, which is call for some sort of automatic checkpointing.

A simple way to do this would be to have code to regularly save any pano being worked on to a modified version of its filename, every N seconds or after each major change. When the program terminates normally, erase the checkpoint files (there should also be one for the workspace if possible.) If the program loads and finds a checkpoint file still there, it means there was a crash, and recovery should be an option. This is common to a number of programs out there, even some of the most established and stable programs out there do this, so no insult to the code is implied by suggesting it as a useful feature.

I will see if I can get some nice duplicatable workflows for you, though I hope they don't involve having to send multi-gigabyte collections of images to you for duplication!

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by bradtem » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:22 pm

Ok, here is some good news. I recently upgraded my Nvidia Linux drivers to to version 260, from 195 which is the highest level in the Ubuntu repositories. (260 is available in a PPA.)

Since doing so, I have yet to encounter the random crash in the UI thread which most commonly would happen in the CP editor, but also happened in other UI operations.

I hope I never see this one again since it resulted in lots of lost work. Few other programs had any problems with the 195 release which is why it is Ubutnu's stable one. I don't know if you will want to find out what the cause of it was if the new release doesn't have the trouble. I still think some sort of checkpointing against crashes remains a top-priority feature, because the program is (and may be for some time) still subject to crashes, particularly in the beta versions. Crashes happen, but they should never cause significant work to be lost.


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