#805 ✓fixreleased
Wes Carroll

Routine and frequent beachball

Reported by Wes Carroll | June 6th, 2014 @ 07:15 AM

(MailMate 4214; Mac OS X 10.9.3; Gmail)

When attempting completely routine tasks (e.g. on an attempt to select a message; on an attempt to type into a draft) beachball appears and MailMate stops accepting input. At these times MailMate is also resistant to Force Quit.


This behavior can appear continuously for many minutes (e.g. allowing me to interact directly with MailMate perhaps for ten seconds out of every minute), until I successfully Force Quit the application during one of those short windows of usability. However, MailMate can also function for some time with no such symptoms. I.e. this behavior is not perfectly reproducible, but it is troublesome enough when exhibited to make MailMate unusable.

Affects of some obvious responses

  • Rebuilding the MailMate database seems correlated with a temporary cessation of the behavior.

  • Putting the machine to sleep and waking it again seems correlated with an increase in the behavior.

  • Restarting the machine does not seem correlated to any change in the behavior.

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny June 6th, 2014 @ 08:07 AM

    A few questions:

    • How many messages do you have in total (just an estimate)?
    • Do you have any antivirus software installed?

    When this happens then you can make a process sample for me by using the following command in the Terminal:

    sample MailMate 5 -file ~/Desktop/sample_mailmate.txt
  • benny

    benny June 9th, 2014 @ 12:10 PM

    The samples explain the random nature of this problem. When MailMate connects to a server (and this happens at “random” times to check for new messages) then the server provides MailMate with one or more certificates. These are checked using an Apple API, more precisely, the SecTrustEvaluate command. This check happens on the main thread of and for some reason MailMate hangs inside this function. This is not a known issue.

    Random thoughts:

    • In theory the same should happen in Apple Mail although it might not be as obvious if it's not done on the main thread.
    • This is a Gmail account. If the problem was the certificate then all Gmail users would experience this problem.
    • If this is cause by MailMate using the Apple API wrongly then all users would experience this problem.

    This leads me to thinking that maybe something is wrong with your system. Looking at the sample I can see that the hang is probably related to network access, i.e., part of the verification of the certificate involves a network connection -- and this hangs.

    Does this ring a bell somehow? Related problems in other applications?

  • benny

    benny June 9th, 2014 @ 09:26 PM

    1. No, I don't think that could be related in any way. Server certificates should not be affected by this.

    2. That might be related, but it could also be numerous other types of issues.

    3. Good idea.

    4. It's only the verification of certificates which happen on the main thread. Mainly because it might trigger a GUI to be opened (and maybe for reasons I forgot). If the Apple security functions are thread safe then I could do more of the work in the threads and only go to the main thread when opening the GUI. For your problem it would move the hangs to the threads — not really solving anything, but maybe less annoying if those hangs are not infinite.

  • benny

    benny June 10th, 2014 @ 07:15 AM

    Do you have a secondary machine on which you can test whether or not the problem can be reproduced? (You don't need to fetch all messages to do this.) Maybe even just a secondary account on the same machine? I would be surprised if this problem was reproducible on a different machine (and maybe network), but it would be nice to know if it is.

    With respect to item number 4, I'll take a look at the code to see how much effort it would require.

  • benny

    benny June 10th, 2014 @ 01:57 PM

    Again, item number 4: This may be very unstable (untested), but try this revision of MailMate: http://updates.mailmate-app.com/archives/MailMate_r4312.tbz

  • benny

    benny June 11th, 2014 @ 02:04 PM

    Hold down ⌥ when clicking “Check Now” to fetch the latest test release (r4317). I've done further improvements to the handling of certificates.

  • benny

    benny June 18th, 2014 @ 06:43 PM

    • State changed from “new” to “fixcommitted”

    Thanks, nice with some good news since it appears I've broken something (a lot) in the latest test release: #816

  • benny

    benny October 15th, 2014 @ 03:32 PM

    • State changed from “fixcommitted” to “fixreleased”

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