Recently, I’ve noticed a cluster of failures that are plaguing some RapidWeaver users. It seems we’ve fallen into a perfect storm of a number of troubles — weird version incompatibilities, safari 4 betas along with an upswell of the old classic problems: APE and monstrously huge files.
I’ve posted this to the RapidWeaver forum a couple times, but it deserves it’s own post on the blog so it doesn’t get lost. Enjoy:
I find that the vast majority of crashes can be traced back to just a few things.
Since RapidWeaver 4.2 it has become quite common for people to get “stuck” in that version that did not update itself or any plugins. (See this blog post for more info: http://www.realmacsoftware.com/blog/index_files/rapidweaver-421.php )
So I usually ask that people double or triple check their application and plugin versions are the latest. Really go and check, this has caught even some very experienced users. On several occasions simply “starting over” by removing RapidWeaver and the whole plugins folder and starting anew by downloading everything again seemed to solve the problem. On a few occasions I’ve found that multiple versions were installed around in the disk somewhere — and the wrong version was occasionally launching — using search can be a good way of hunting down and removing old junk.
Since this is brain-dead simple to do and plugins download in about 2 seconds (literally), this is a good first step.
Often I find that sites that experience crashes come from site-files that have grown to ridiculous proportions. If your site file is over 100MB, then it’s time to act. If it’s over 200MB then stop everything else you’re doing and work on this first. If it’s any larger, well, then I’m kind of shocked it works at all. ;-)
There are lots of good posts on this forum about dealing with really really big files. They kind of sort out into two groups: too many pages, or a few pages that are too big. If you have a huge file and a lot of pages, then a good method for dealing with it is to divide the site into a few groups. (there are some good threads on this forum about how to go about doing that) If you have just a few pages, but are still looking at > 100MB, then it’s probably a few images or movies that are giving you pain. Try importing smaller ones instead. Resize before importing into RW. Or use the image normalization feature (RTFM, FAQ, etc.).
Maybe it’s just luck, but I’ve run across quite a number of folks running the Unsanity Application Enhancer recently. More in the past two months than in all of 2008. The A.P.E. is not compatible with RapidWeaver. It modifies how plugin architectures work in Mac OS X and there’s just no hope that they can coexist. Check in your system preferences for this one. If you have it, grab the uninstaller and run it. Most people who have this find immediate improvement after uninstalling.
4. Safari 4 + Growl + ? (new)
This one is brand new. Since the Safari 4 beta has just come out, things that run with it, or use WebKit or hook into the system in a special way seem to be having some problems. I use Safari 4 and do not notice any instability — however I’ve noticed that if I install other things with Safari then things get unstable very quickly. I personally had to stop using Growl (although perhaps there’s a new version now). I noticed that whenever Growl wanted to post a notification (such as when RW finished exporting) it would crash whatever posted the notification (Safari, Twitter client, Mail, RW, etc.). I’ve heard that other things (like password managers, and Safari feature enhancers) have also had some trouble. I suspect most of them have new versions to cope with Safari 4 already.
If you’ve recently installed Safari 4 and are having instability problems with RapidWeaver, there’s a good chance this could be the issue. RapidWeaver’s Preview mode and Stacks’ Edit mode both rely on the Safari rendering engine, called WebKit.
Obviously moving back to Safari 3 is a good workaround for this. It’s a drastic step, but it will tell you for certain if this is the problem. If it is, you can go about analyzing if there is a plugin or utility (like Growl) that is further complicating the issue. And perhaps even attempt to move back once the issue is identified.
And, if you’ve walked through these steps. If your versions are certainly up to date, you’re working with a small file, have no APE installed, and are using Safari 3 — and you still experience frequent crashes, then it’s time to seek some more personal help.
Help me help you:
If it’s none of those things above, it’s probably something quite unique to your system, your configuration, or your file. It’s probably best that we try to work one-on-one to solve the problem. To help you, I’ll need a few things:
1. The file
Then, Zip your file (ctrl-click on the file in the finder and choose Compress) and send it to me. If you can generate the error even with a smaller file than you normally use, then even better — send the smaller one instead.
2. The details
When you have a crash, stop. Take your hands off the mouse and keyboard and recall exactly what you were just doing. Let me know exactly what button you pushed, what your last click was right before things hung up or crashed.
If you have any crash logs, performance meter info, etc. please send that too. If you don’t know how to find these things, or don’t have them, then don’t worry, just send what you have. ;-)