PermaLink A bizarre Notes client crash with pasted Word text06/06/2008 01:24 PM
Over the years I've tended to pride myself on the fact that I don't call IBM/Lotus support very often, and when I do, it's for truly bizarre situations.  This... is one of them.

This morning, no sooner had I hit the office when someone waved me down and insisted I have a look at a problem they were having with their Notes client. The woman was doing something people around here have done every working day for nine or ten years, which is to copy some text out of Microsoft Word and paste it into the Body field of a Notes database that dates back to 1996 or 1997, and actually has the DNA of the old R3 Discussion Database template. It's solid, it works, we've updated it a little over the years, but it's a workhorse and it never fails.

However, in this case, the woman pasted the text into the Body field... and her client immediately crashed. No NSD, no red box, just an hourglass for a few seconds, and then bink! the client disappeared. She restarted it, and it did the same thing.

"Here, email me that Word document and tell me what Notes document you're putting it in. I have a newer client, I'll see if I can reproduce it."

Sure enough, she sent the Word file. Opened it, did a Select All, switched over to the 8.00 Notes client -- the new Eclipse client, mind you, not that old 7.02 stuff she had been using -- pasted the text in, and Eclipse exploded. As usual, it spit out a gigantic screen of fail, I killed the eclipse.exe process and tried it again, and it failed again.

What the hell could be going on here?

My first suspicion was corruption of the Word document, so I created a blank document in Word, copied the text to it, and saved it as a new file. Copied the text and blew the client up yet again.

Time to get grainy... I copied and pasted about four paragraphs at a time, and saved the Notes document in between. Four pages' worth of text came over, until the last page, which was a 2x10 table with some text in it. Copied the table, pasted it, and it blew up the Notes client again.

The table! Aha.

But we paste tables all the time!

- It doesn't blow up on the 6.5.4 client.
- We didn't test it on 8.5b1 (yet)
- We couldn't find anything like this on NotesNet or the technotes online. Plenty of people with problems pasting from Notes to Word, but not the other way.

After much poking around by me and my contractors, we identified the particular weird combination of factors that led to this:

- The table was the last element in the document.
- It was followed by a hard page break.
- Normally, Word puts a carriage return after a table.
- Someone had removed that, so the page break was sitting immediately after the table.
- It can be reproduced every time.

We found that...

Adding the carriage return back in fixed the problem.
So did carefully selecting the table but not selecting the page break.

Near as we can figure, that weird combination of situations leads to this failure, and it's a big one. Because it doesn't blow out 6.5.4, it appears that the R7 code stream introduced a regression as far as handling text from Word pasted in through the clipboard, a regression apparently not fixed in 8.x. I am thus betting that when I light up the 8.5b1 client in a minute, it'll blow my client up, too. However, I am going to post this entry before I try that, so as to avoid having my Notes client cr

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1. ddddd10/25/2015 11:35:58 PM
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2. Turtle06/06/2008 01:42:20 PM

Update: yes, the 8.5b1 Notes client blew up, too.

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