Multiple crashes, importing Web file or viewing PDF

I purchased a copy of Scrivener and I had been enjoying it greatly until a recent series of crashes that have started showing up on a now regular basis.

Most of the crashes I experienced where when I viewed imported PDF files. I could read the file for a while, but if I switched quickly between PDF files, Scrivener would crash and often refuse to reopen my document, until 5 or 6 tries, after which, for an obscure reason, Scrivener would finally bring me back to my document.

I was writing down a few notes in Scrivener today when I decided to import a Web page (which I’ve done often without any problem). Scrivener told me it couldn’t import the page. I gave it another try and Scrivener crashed. I relaunched Scrivener and tried to open my document. It hung on “Synchronizing search strings” for a long time and then it told me that Scrivener crashed again. I tried it about 3 more times, with the same result. It got to the point where Scrivener wouldn’t even launch at all and crashed before I accessed any document.

I restarted my computer, launched Scrivener again, tried to open my document and it… crashed again. I did this one more time and this time, my document opened! But for how long?

It’s gotten to the point where I’m scared to use Scrivener, because I never know when I’m going to lose access to my notes and research. I do a lot of manual saves now and I back up my work at least once a day. I’ve had to go back to archived versions recently because Scrivener would just refuse to reopen my document after a crash.

I’m on an iMac (with 1 gb of ram), running 10.4.11. I have version 1.11 of Scrivener. I’ve attached the crash log (or at least the most recent one).

Hope you can help! I’ve really become dependent on your software! Thanks in advance.

Hi Martine,

As soon as I saw your post, I thought, “10.4.11 user…”. Sadly, 10.4.11 introduced some horrible bugs in Apple’s WebKit (which both Safari and Scrivener use to render web pages), which has been causing crashes in Scrivener. I have it on my list to look at for the next update, but I’m not sure if there is anything I can do as yet, as it seems to be an Apple bug from what I’ve read elsewhere. I hope it’s my bug, of course, because that would mean I could fix it - but I do know that this web page crashing bug didn’t happen in 10.4.10 and it doesn’t happen on Leopard. The PDF bug also is a Tiger-only problem (at least, I haven’t received any reports about this from Leopard users), but is less serious (less frequent). Scrivener relies on Apple’s PDFKit for displaying PDF pages.

If you can update to Leopard, that would be the best outcome. However, I am planning to investigate the web page problem before the next release just in case there is anything I can do.

If Scrivener does crash and won’t re-open your project straight away, ctrl-click on the project in Finder, select “Show Package Contents” and then trash ui.xml from the project package. That should get it opening the project again (ui.xml just holds interface information - no crucial project data).

The other thing you can do is set web pages to be converted to text upon import, via the General pane of the Preferences. That will avoid Scrivener needing to use the WebKit and thus avoid the crashes. (If you do this and it still crashes, then let me know, as this will indicate that the bug is present in the import code.)

Thanks and all the best,
Keith

Hi Keith,

Thanks for the very quick reply! After I read your instructions, I went back to my document and set the preference to “set web pages to be converted to text” in the “import” section. Then I relaunched Scrivener and tried to import the page. Scrivener crashed…

I tried to reopen my project. It got hung on “synchronizing search string” for a long time and then I got the “Scrivener has quit unexpectedly” notice.

So I went in the finder and ctrl-clicked on the project and selected “show package contents”. I trashed the ui.xml file and emptied the trash can (just in case). But now the document is refusing to open after 4 tries. Scrivener hangs on “synchronizing” then quits.

Not my lucky day. :frowning:

Zip up the project and send it to me at support @ literatureandlatte dot com. And every time you get the “Quit unexpectedly” message, if it’s to do with web pages, make sure you send the bug report to Apple.

Also, could you tell me the URL of the page you are trying to import that causes the crash?

Thanks,
Keith