A profile manager

Request For Enhancement, User feedback candidates for wiki

A profile manager

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:32 pm

Very often we ask user to reset their profile because of a flaw introduced either by an upgrade or by a random glitch.

To avoid users tweaking their hidden files and folders, a profile manager could be added like Firefox: Use the Profile Manager to create and remove Firefox profiles.

Current profile would be renamed to user.back so that customization could still be retrieved.

Such a profile manager could be called by soffice.exe -p for example (if not already used). The most difficult part for the user being to launch the terminal (Execute command in Windows Start menu). Not sure a GUI would help (in the Start center for example).
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RGB » Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:38 pm

That's an interesting proposal, specially for mac users: on last OSX versions you need to use the command line to turn on the view of hidden folders.

Maybe add some kind of integrity check of key files? But I have no idea if such check is feasible.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby thomasjk » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:46 pm

+1
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Re: A profile manager

Postby acknak » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:46 pm

Just a couple of thoughts ...

Needing a profile manager is a big red flag: there must be bugs; the profile should never get corrupted. Any profile manager should include some steps to help the developers pinpoint the underlying problem(s).

A profile manager should (at least) warn the user when the profile includes macros or templates, as nuking those could lose the user's work. Maybe they could be migrated or backed up somehow.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby Hagar Delest » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:10 pm

That's what I mean with renaming to user.back: no deletion allowed!
Ideally, it should also offer the possibility to reactivate a profile.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby lgusaas » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:36 pm

RGB wrote:That's an interesting proposal, specially for mac users: on last OSX versions you need to use the command line to turn on the view of hidden folders.

The User/Library on OS X version 10.7 Lion is accessible in Finder. Hold down the Option key and click on Go in the Menubar. No need to use Terminal (command line) unless you want to permanently unhide it.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RGB » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:39 pm

There was a comment on the dev mailing list that maybe the culprit of these user profile problems is the file registrymodifications.xcu. Maybe it is worth to try asking users to first rename that file and if that does not work then restart the whole profile. Maybe add a line to the user profile guide?
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Re: A profile manager

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:04 pm

Already done. I've changed it some weeks ago and introduced a surgical and a nuclear methods.
But it still wrecks a lot of custom settings.

NB: I've made a topic on the ML about frequent crashes; I've investigated and I confirm that renaming the registrymodification.xcu fixes the problem (not sure how long however) but since I lose too much customization, it's not a good solution for me.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RoryOF » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:20 pm

Hagar Delest wrote: I've investigated and I confirm that renaming the registrymodification.xcu fixes the problem (not sure how long however) but since I lose too much customization, it's not a good solution for me.


It might be worth saving a good and a bad copy of that file, and running a file compare utility against it, to try to isolate the culprit.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:30 pm

I've had not enough time to investigate it deeply but I found that the file is not the culprit:
- Opened a file that triggers the behavior within very few seconds on current profile: crash (expected)
- Renamed the profile: no crash
- Reactivated the former profile: crash (expected)
- Renamed registrymodification.xcu: no crash

I wanted to remove parts of the registrymodification.xcu file to see if I could spot something in a specific part of it (like recent documents history for example) but no time and I had to give back the Vista machine...
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RoryOF » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:37 pm

Somewhere (http://www.systeminternals.com?) I once found a file compare utility, which ran on Windows and displayed unmatched lines, resynchronising after a mismatch. I'll see if I can find the name, but it will be late tomorrow or maybe Sunday.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby hanya » Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:52 am

Renaming registrymodifications.xcu file lost content of basic/Standard/Module1.xba, script.xlb and dialog.xlb files to initialize user's profile. I want to suggest to backup Standard library of Basic before to do it.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RGB » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:13 pm

hanya wrote:Renaming registrymodifications.xcu file lost content of basic/Standard/Module1.xba, script.xlb and dialog.xlb files to initialize user's profile. I want to suggest to backup Standard library of Basic before to do it.

Do you mean that by renaming registrymodifications.xcu, on next start those files are lost? That's quite serious.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:40 pm

The files are not lost I think but the references to the macros are lost.
There are other side effects like custom dictionaries perhaps. It needs some investigation indeed.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby acknak » Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Just a note: a manager might (should?) also deal with autosaved documents in the profile. Another good reason not to delete the profile.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby hanya » Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:31 pm

RGB wrote:
hanya wrote:Renaming registrymodifications.xcu file lost content of basic/Standard/Module1.xba, script.xlb and dialog.xlb files to initialize user's profile. I want to suggest to backup Standard library of Basic before to do it.

Do you mean that by renaming registrymodifications.xcu, on next start those files are lost? That's quite serious.
My description is not clear. When user's profile is not there, contents from basis3.4/presets directory are copied into user's profile directory. When the files conflicts each other, they are simply overwritten in desktop::create_user_install funtion of main/desktop/source/app/userinstall.cxx.
Current presets directory contains autotext/, config/, basic/, database/ and gallery/ data.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby Hagar Delest » Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:38 pm

Even when it's there, the files are overwritten! I just made a test and just renaming the rm.xcu (registrymodification.xcu) leads to the loss of the Module1.xba. If another module was there, it is kept but its content is not seen by the new rm.xcu.
The problem is that even if you reactivate the former rm.xcu, you have lost at least Module1 content! NB: it seems that I also lost my Module2 (initial rm.xcu doesn't see it anymore) but I had made so many operations for tests that it may come from something different.

So I'll change again the tutorial. The best way if you need to come back to the previous situation is to keep a copy of the whole folder.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RoryOF » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:24 pm

I think the file compare utility I mentioned the other day was windiff.exe. A quick Google will throw up several sources for it.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RGB » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:40 pm

If the original profile was heavily customized, the file compare utility will give too many results, I think. The problem is that a non customized profile will not fail: if not changed, why it should get corrupted? A sort of "syntax check" on the corrupted file is needed... The profile manager will need some sort of integrity check on the various files and folders, it seems.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby RoryOF » Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:26 pm

I was thinking of matching with an image of the customised profile, taken before it failed, with that after failure.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby bradkemp » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:06 pm

OK. I had to reset my User Profile after a week of strange problems with my chosen language shifting to Esperanto and my Spell Check function rejecting every word. Finally on Saturday I had time to spend hours on this forum and find the solution, reset User Profile. BUT I've been working on computers for more than 40 years and I'm reasonably skilled. People like my wife would scream, cry, pound her mouse on the table, and give up on OA entirely if that happened to her or other non-tech users. It doesn't even help to re-install, you have to learn about secret "hidden" files and know where to find them.

So I'm asking that developers put a utility in the Tools menu that allows users to access the (secret) hidden User Profile and reset it when something goes wrong. I've been using AO for 10 years and this is the first time I've had that trouble, so its not needed every day or every year, but it needs to be there. Any known technical problem that can't even be fixed by reloading and reinstalling the whole program needs to have 1. information in "HELP" and 2. A user accessible and "user friendly" function.

Its a known problem. I found out about it reading this forum about problems with spell checking. I don't know what other problems a bad User Profile may cause but it needs a user friendly solution.
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Re: A profile manager

Postby Villeroy » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:23 pm

LibreOffice 5 has something like Firefox. It is already in LO4.4 but not searchable therefore not usable.
In LO4: Tools>Options>Advanced... [Expert Settings]
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