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I’m frustrated

xmarks sync hangs firefox for 10 minutes

The problem started recently (I suppose about a week) in all instances of FireFox (different versions) on different PCs.
Automatic XMARKS sync was seamless before.
Now it hangs the firefox for 10 minutes. The browser is unusable for this time.
I was forced to disable automatic sync one by one on all PCs - in the office and at home.
Now it hangs the firefox only on shutdown as the option "Sync on shutdown" is still enabled.
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  • I have exactly the same problem with the latest version of Firefox using 3 different computers...

    Marc
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  • I’m frustrated
    Three days ago I was able to sync with no problem. Yesterday, I tried to and after a minute it just froze. Xmarks and Firefox just hung. I had to manually close the program.
    Xmarks syncs just fine on my other computer.
    I am using the latest versions of Firefox and the most current xmarks version.
    I have disabled it and re-enabled it. I have rebooted. I have tried every tip I was able to search online for. Nothing has solved it.

    This is a major inconvenience. I blog and rely on being able to sync bookmarks.
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  • I’m frustrated
    For me, Xmarks sync has been slow for a long time.

    But recently - since about end of May 2012 - it got an order of magnitude worse.
    Currently, I cannot sync at all; Xmarks (log file) reports "user is read-only", so I am locked out and awaiting assistance to solve this. It keeps happening.

    But when I was able to sync, just recently, sync in Firefox 13 with Xmarks 4.1 was taking typically 30 - 40 minutes to sync just a few changes.

    I have been trying to identify what might be causing this. With limited information (and my not being able to sync at all for most of the past two weeks) it is difficult to separate out what might be the problem. Some possible candidates:

    - I read somewhere that Xmarks recently made some internal changes to way the sync is processed or maybe the internal Xmarks database structure (I don't have the reference, sorry);

    - Firefox updated from release 12 to 13 about the time Xmarks sync became significantly slower;

    - the Xmarks extension updated to version 4.1 about the time Xmarks sync became significantly slower;

    - I notice that, in my Firefox profile, the places.sqlite database file jumped in size. It seems to be allocated in 10MB steps; for me it was 10MB for a while; then it jumped to 20MB; recently it jumped to 30MB. I have tried re-creating it and compacting it, but nothing helps;

    - My number of bookmarks exceeded 16,000 at about that time; people have asked whether there is a hard limit to number of bookmarks and the answer has been "no", and some people report having many more bookmarks than this, but I noticed that bad things happen when I exceed roughly 16,000 and I have deleted some to have fewer than that, but this did not fix it.

    The above changes are just some of the candidate causes, and there may be a combination of these that triggers the problem.

    If I could find another cross-browser sync, I would use it but, in cross-browser sync, Xmarks has a monopoly. I understand that the current owners inherited a very buggy product when they bought it. There have been long-standing bugs that have taken years to get fixed. I wouldn't be surprised if there are a lot more undiscovered problems.

    I use Xmarks very carefully. I have never been able to enable auto-sync and have it work. I make small changes, wait the 30-40 minutes to sync those to the server, and then download the full set of bookmarks into other browsers. I do have some clients who are able to run Xmarks on full-auto sync that it offers by default; generally these users have quite trivial numbers of bookmarks, in the hundreds only. They still get sync errors, and their browsers still lock up when sync occurs, but it is liveable. Larger numbers of bookmarks seem to trigger bugs that make life with Xmarks almost impossible.

    I just can't believe that Xmarks support is putting a full effort into this product.
    It needs some serious work.
    I pay to support it and have since the current owners took it over.
    But it doesn't seem to help.
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  • ETT, yes, it is very frustrating.
    I have less bookmarks though don't know exact count, they are organized in many folders and subfolders.
    Probably XMARKS slowed firefox down before but I personally didn't pay attention on it though the automatic sync was enable all the time.

    Only in the last 2 weeks started the problem for me.

    I have the following versions:
    2 PCs with Firefox 8.0.1 and Xmarks v. 4.1.0
    1 PC with Firefox 11.0 and Xmarks v. 4.1.0
    It seems that firefox version doesn't matter for this specific problem.
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  • I’m frustrated
    After a week of going back and forth with tech support for this ad-on, I am no closer to solving the issue. My main desktop syncs just fine. My netbook (an acer aspire one) just continues to hang.

    I've sent log files.
    I've deleted sqlite.
    I've disabled everything possible to leave just a bare bones sync of folders.
    I've uninstalled and re-installed.

    The latest advice was to do a manual download from the server, but that over-writes the bookmarks on the netbook and does not sync back to the server.

    Very. Very. Frustrated.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Lady Liberty 1885,
    I have this problem on and off for a long time.
    (I always sync manually, by the way - it's asking for trouble to leave auto-sync on unless you have a tiny number of bookmarks, maybe hundreds.)

    When sync is working, it's nice; when the problem you are observing starts, for no obvious reason, it just kills me. And tech support only reply at weekly intervals and we get nowhere.

    I'll tell you one thing I have reported to tech support that I see makes a huge difference: I experience what you do in the sense that Xmarks sync can be working in Firefox on a desktop but failing on a laptop, and I have come to the conclusion that there is an Xmarks bug affecting wireless network-connected PCs.

    You might like to try plugging your netbook/laptop into your network directly with a network cable - also DISABLE wireless networking - and try syncing wired instead of wireless. If you can successfully do this once then the problem may go away for a while.

    I suspect that there is either a timing issue, or something strange with network protocols, that causes this. Tech support have not shown any interest in this theory.

    By the way, Xmarks sync in Chrome browser also has more problems syncing on a PC that is wifi-connected than a wired machine. Xmarks for Chrome on a laptop can go into a state where it crashes Chrome on every single sync, while a wired machine's Xmarks/Chrome does not crash. I also have tried everything - deleting Chrome profile, deleting Firefox profile, complete uninstall and clean and reinstall - but these bugs seem to have a mind of their own and when they switch themselves on, there is nothing you can do to get a successful sync until the bug switches itself off.

    I wonder if there are strange things happening server-side or if, by now, someone at HQ throws the "we don't like you" switch just to make life miserable for a week.

    Also, I would encourage all users to pay for a subscription for this product to support it (not that I notice it gets me any priority, but still ...).
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  • I had the same problem in Firefox. After posting here angrily I tested other add-ons in Firefox. The 1st one seems to be the culprit: Autopager.
    After disabling this it works!
    • I personally don't have this add-on.
    • I don't have this add-on either. I have stripped both Firefox and Xmarks down to having only Xmarks as the sole add-on extension (or, rather, I have completely uninstalled both and deleted the profiles and re-installed with Xmarks as the only add-on/extension) and the effect is exactly the same. There is no doubt that the sync problems and the Chrome/Xmarks aborts are directly related to the Xmarks function.

      We need to be scrupulously careful to isolate out the effects correctly and correctly identify what is causing the problem.

      goetzibubu, I strongly suspect that it was a coincidence that you removed that add-on and had Xmarks work. Did you re-install that add-on and check whether it failed again ?
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  • Well nevertheless there may be another add-on. The best way will be to disable one after the other and test to find out which one can be...
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  • I’m frustrated
    I am experiencing the same "hang" of Xmarks on my iMac in Firefox. Xmarks actually never stops syncing and I have to force quit Firefox every time. I have been a paid customer of Xmarks for over a year and am disappointed with the lack of support for this issue. I love the service and would even pay more if I knew they would provide a product that functioned properly.
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  • Same thing here, sync always just goes on forever, i.e. hangs.

    I have the paid version and frankly this steaming POS has never worked since the day I've installed it, it works on my PC but not on my Mac. To make matters worse, even the troubleshooting always fails. As an example, I've tried numerous times to simply overwrite the local bookmarks with the "overwrite from server", which should fix sync issues. But even that basic command won't work. What a steaming POS. It would be an awesome program if it worked.

    Oh, and I've tried multiple versions of FF, and uninstalling and reinstalling. Makes no difference.
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  • I’m sad
    David,

    I have gone through years of this on non-Mac platforms. Xmarks tends to work for a while, although sync is deathly slow and so I only ever sync manually so I keep control - autosync is a killer - but then Xmarks breaks, maybe once a year, usually because of some update to whatever browser you are using.

    The pattern is that Xmarks stays broken for weeks while I work with Xmarks tech support to get a fix. Xmarks themselves seem unaware of these failures until they get a lot of people reporting it in considerable detail. It makes you think that Xmarks/Lastpass do not use Xmarks, or only use it trivially or only on one restricted platform, because they themselves never seem to notice the failures.

    It is possible to get it fixed, but you have to be prepared to get into log files and do some controlled testing, and hold a long dialogue with Xmarks tech support which can require many conversations back and forth until they find the problem and fix it.

    Essentially, for your platform, you need to
    (a) find out where the Xmarks log file(s) live on your computer
    (b) quit your browsers and delete any existing Xmarks log files
    (c) turn on logging in Xmarks
    (d) run Xmarks sync or download to create the error condition you experience
    (e) access the log file and attach it to your problem report to Xmarks.

    This process is worsened by the fact that, in my experience,
    (i) log files are often 25+ MB in size, and
    (ii) frustratingly, Xmarks/Lastpass (the company) have imposed an arbitrary limit of 5MB on the size of an attachment to a support request. This frustrates the hell out of me because it prevents a user from simply sending the log file that Xmarks generates. They are not the only company to do this sort of stupid thing regarding log files - many companies are either clueless, living with file size limits that were valid a decade ago, or perhaps really don't want to receive problem reports.

    In any case, you need to be prepared to edit the log files down to under 5MB and only cut out repetitive entries in order to send them through the Xmarks support request system.

    It is possible to work with Xmarks/Lastpass to get it fixed until it breaks again, but you have to be prepared to do all the above things. The employees are reasonably well-intentioned, once you have their attention, but be prepared to wait for them to test and get back to you. Xmarks the product does not seem to get a lot of resources nor priority.

    I have been an Xmarks(Foxmarks) user since it was launched, and a paid user since payment was possible, and I have been doing the above for years. These are simply the facts of the matter if you want this valuable extension to keep working. In this forum where you have posted, I don't think you will find Xmarks employees reading - only other users like me.

    Sorry I am not a Mac expert and cannot help directly. Macs have a whole different set of software compatibility issues to do with the Mac hardware platform, the version of the operating system, the version of Python installed (in some cases - I don't know if that is relevant to Xmarks specifically).

    One final point is that it is worth talking to tech support because sometimes - I have never fully understood this - your individual account can get disabled or crippled on the server, and Xmarks tech support may have to reset it or work some magic on your individual account. I understand there are also some hidden limits on each account which tech support can modify, but they need to hear from you directly. You may be having a problem that no-one else is having because there is something wrong with your account on the Xmarks server. This has happened to me.

    Sorry. That's all I can say.
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  • Hello ETT,
    fine to see ANY answer which can help ANYWAY.
    I got frustrated, too. I used Mozilla Firefox and changed to Opera which was not a real solution.
    After half a year I came back to Firefox a few weeks ago. And it seems to work fine and stable.
    I suggested Java scripts n the background are knocking out my system and let it stock. Primarily on great portals. So now I use NoScript as add-on and am satisfied.
    A bit annoying in the beginning to allow (some) scripts on each site but after a whlie it works fine.
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  • Hello ETT,
    fine to see ANY answer which can help ANYWAY.
    I got frustrated, too. I used Mozilla Firefox and changed to Opera which was not a real solution.
    After half a year I came back to Firefox a few weeks ago. And it seems to work fine and stable.
    I suggested Java scripts n the background are knocking out my system and let it stock. Primarily on great portals. So now I use NoScript as add-on and am satisfied.
    A bit annoying in the beginning to allow (some) scripts on each site but after a whlie it works fine.
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  • ETT, thank you for the post. However I just don't have the time/desire to deal with going back and forth with tech support. Isn't it possible to just delete all remnants of the program and then reinstall and overwrite from the server? I can't remember if I already tried that on the Mac or not.

    Of course that assumes something is not wrong on the server side, but I doubt it is, since sync works fine (known on wood) on my PC.
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