* COM exception error

Writing and using plugins for Version 5 and above.
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David Potter
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COM exception error

Post by David Potter » 11 Apr 2017 13:13

Hi Forum

I'm starting to get this error message when running the Search and Replace Plug-In, and Check Plug-Ins against the Store.

Any Ideas?
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Jane
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Re: COM exception error

Post by Jane » 11 Apr 2017 13:20

Make sure your Firewall is allowing the FH and it's plugins to access the internet. It looks like they might be blocked.
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My Family History : My Photography "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad."

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David Potter
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Re: COM exception error

Post by David Potter » 11 Apr 2017 13:25

Hi Jane

That's strange because I have been using the Search and Replace plug-in all morning. Then it started to act up as in would take a long time to load. So I looked to see if there was an update. And got the same error?

Thanks - I'll restart and check further.

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 11 Apr 2017 13:27

It is indicative of an Internet communications problem, if not at your end, then at the Plugin Store servers that may temporarily be down. Does the problem still occur now, as those Plugins are working Ok for me?

Obviously Check Installed Plugins Against the Store needs comms with the Plugin Store, but most of my Plugins also check the Plugin Store for a later version and inform the user.
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David Potter
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Re: COM exception error

Post by David Potter » 11 Apr 2017 13:33

Strange - it's okay now. I got concerned as I was heavily updating my database base (after backups of course) and the whole program began to behave a little odd. Like 'Not Responding' when running the Search and Replace Plug-In.

False alarm - it would seem. But thank you both for responding so quickly.

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Gowermick » 30 Jul 2020 10:29

MikeTate,
Just ran Check Installed plugins which updated your Backup & Restore .. plugin on my PC to version 2.9, which then ran Fine.
Moved over to my laptop, ready to restore the new backup, tried to run the Check Installed plugins , but get the COM error. Went back to PC and plugin runs fine, back to Laptop and it fails

Laptop and PC are both on same Internet connection and both have access to other sites, so don't know why Laptop fails, when PC is fine.
Could it be that Laptop is Windows 7, and PC is Windows 10?

PS Does your plugin automatically update itself, because laptop version ran at version 2.9, but don't understand why PC version needed updating but laptop didn't, as I don't use the laptop very often and can't understand why that would be at a later version than PC

PPS Internet hints work fine on laptop, so don’t think it is a firewall problem
Mike Loney

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2020 10:49

Your description is a little confusing as the latest version is 2.9 for both Check Installed Plugins... and Backup and Restore....

It should be nothing to do with Windows 7 versus Windows 10.

My Backup and Restore... plugin does not auto-update but does warn you when there is a later version.
Does it produce COM exceptions when run on laptop?

Check that you have version 2.9 of Check Installed Plugins... as that was updated to use https: instead of http: a couple of years ago and that may be the cause of the COM exception.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Gowermick » 30 Jul 2020 11:54

The version I was referring too was your plugin.

Jane's plugin is also at 2.9 on both laptop and PC, but only has COM error on laptop.

Your plugin runs fine on Laptop, without a COM error! Were you expecting it to fail too?

(I only ran Jane's Installed plugin check on laptop, as It had been a while since I last used the laptop, and was making sure I had your latest plugin before I did a restore.
Mike Loney

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2020 12:57

I was expecting my Backup and Restore... plugin might also fail on the laptop as it checks the Plugin Store for its own version in much the same way as Jane's Check Installed Plugins... plugin checks all plugins.

Does Check Installed Plugins... fail immediately or only after some progress?

Is your list of plugins on PC and laptop identical?
Maybe there is an oddly named plugin on the laptop that is not on PC and its name is upsetting the dialogue with the Plugin Store server. Perhaps a plugin with Unicode foreign language or symbols in its name.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Gowermick » 30 Jul 2020 14:49

tatewise wrote:
30 Jul 2020 12:57
Does Check Installed Plugins... fail immediately or only after some progress?
Well, the progress dialogue screen briefly flashes, then the error dialogue opens.
Is your list of plugins on PC and laptop identical
Following your comment about oddly named plugins, I did spot a sub-folder in the plugins directory, which I had created, for developing plugins, so I moved it somewhere else. I ensued the files are the same on PC and laptop, after manually copying the plugins from PC to Laptop.

Only the Check Installed Plugins... fails, all the others at least start ok!
Mike Loney

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2020 16:11

That is odd. Try downloading Check Installed Plugins... from the Plugin Store directly to the laptop.

BTW: I renamed a Plugin using Unicode foreign language characters and Check Installed Plugins... failed to handle the name but with an Unable to open file in "r" mode error message, not a COM exception error. That was on Windows 10.
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Re: COM exception error

Post by Gowermick » 30 Jul 2020 17:40

Mike, I’ll give it a try when I’m next on my PC, but I suspect it won’t achieve much, as the Laptop plugin that won’t run, is a direct copy of the PC one that does run.
Notwithanding, I’ll give it a try and report back
Mike Loney

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2020 17:51

You are right. If it is a direct copy of the PC then a download won't change anything.

Another option is to reinstall FH from https://www.family-historian.co.uk/down ... ee-upgrade over the existing installation.

I don't suppose you can recall if it ran OK the last time you chose to use it.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: COM exception error

Post by BillH » 30 Jul 2020 18:07

Sorry to butt in, but I am getting the same error when I try to run the Check Installed Plugins Against the Store plugin. Worked fine last time I ran it a week or two ago. Backup and Restore Family Historian Plugins works fine.

Bill

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Gowermick » 30 Jul 2020 18:18

BillH,
Seems to be a bit of a random problem, as it works on my PC but not on my Laptop.

MikeTate,
it is not such a problem that I’ll need to reload FH. It is only the Check Installed plugins that has problems, which isn’t the end of the world (Sorry Jane :D ), so in future I’ll just check and update plugins manually. ( or use my PC to check, and copy any changes to the laptop)
Mike Loney

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 30 Jul 2020 19:23

Bill,
That confirms it is not to do with Windows 7 as I know you use Windows 10.

I am running out of suggestions and only contacting Calico Pie Support for assistance is left in my locker.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: COM exception error

Post by BillH » 30 Jul 2020 20:34

Thanks Mike. I'm not sure what is going on. It didn't work for about 20 different tries and then one time it worked and then it didn't work again. Kind of intermittent. Maybe their server is having issues or something.

Bill

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Mark1834 » 31 Jul 2020 14:27

I seem to be getting slightly different results when running FH on my laptop with the wi-fi disabled:

<Plugin Store...> from the plugins menu opens Internet Explorer, but I get a browser error saying that I am not connected to the internet. FH continues normally with the Plugins window still open and does not crash.

Jane's "check plugins" plug-in fails immediately, with the following error (which is different to the one in the original posting)
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Mike's "backup and restore" plug-in appears to run normally, without complaining that it can't find the internet.

Not being connected to the internet seems an obvious error to trap, but I'm not sufficiently familiar with Lua to know whether there is an ON ERROR / try: except: style error handling...
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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 31 Jul 2020 14:56

The Plugin Store... button, as you say, opens your browser (I hope you are not really still using Internet Explorer).
The browser cannot connect to the Internet, but that has no impact on FH itself (why would it).

The COM exception error details will differ depending on the problem.
Yours is the absolutely no Internet connection case.
The OP is the FH Plugin Store server not responding case, so different details.

Lua does not have ON ERROR traps, but does have the pcall(...) function that traps errors and is used by my plugins to produce The Internet appears to be inaccessible. error message.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: COM exception error

Post by BillH » 31 Jul 2020 16:09

Hadn't noticed the difference before. I guess I didn't look close enough. Mine is different than David's and Mark's.

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What is weird is that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Not sure if the problem is on my computer or on the server. I tried running the plugin while surfing the web and streaming video so I know my connection to the web is working .

Bill

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Mark1834 » 31 Jul 2020 16:10

Indeed - the laptop happened to still be set to IE, as I have to use that to interact with IP cameras in the stables via ActiveX controls - the manufacturers have been notoriously slow in migrating to alternative technology, and that's the only browser that still works!

Jane was speculating that the original error might have been due to internet access being blocked by a firewall. I haven't seen anything else in this thread that proves it has to be the plug-in store server that was timing out, rather than FH internet access being blocked, so can you explain how you definitely concluded that please? It's certainly not obvious to me in the rather cryptic error message.

Your plug-in does not flag The Internet appears to be inaccessible if the internet is definitely not accessible due to no network connection. I've not inspected the code, but presumably it only responds to some failure scenarios, not all.
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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 31 Jul 2020 18:17

I did not intend to definitely conclude anything, but just that disconnecting WiFi is going to have a different impact on the failure mode than lesser cases such as Plugin Store server problems, DNS problems, Firewall issues, etc. Unfortunately, the various COM exception status messages are not documented.

The script involved is identical in various Plugins and the URL is very similar in all cases so should all behave the same.

Code: Select all

local http = luacom.CreateObject("winhttp.winhttprequest.5.1")
local url = "https://www.family-historian.co.uk/lnk/ ...
http:Open("GET",url,false)
http:Send()
Check Installed Plugins Against The Store

Code: Select all

https://www.family-historian.co.uk/lnk/fetchlatestpluginversion.php? ...
and

Code: Select all

http://www.family-historian.co.uk/lnk/checkpluginversion.php? ...
My plugins such as Backup and Restore..., Search and Replace, Map Life Facts, Change Any Fact Tag

Code: Select all

http://www.family-historian.co.uk/lnk/checkpluginversion.php? ...
Once my plugins have detected this once, none of them report it again for a while.

It kind of suggests that fetchlatestpluginversion.php is the problem and checkpluginversion.php is OK, but that does not explain why it works on PC but not laptop for Gowermick, nor why both are not failing when WiFi is disconnected.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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Re: COM exception error

Post by Mark1834 » 31 Jul 2020 19:11

Is it being fooled by a copy of the page in local cache? It sees that so doesn’t realise the internet is not available. An alternative approach might be to ping an external IP address.
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Re: COM exception error

Post by BillH » 31 Jul 2020 19:23

Mike,

I just got this error running Map Life Facts.

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When I click on OK, Map Life Facts start up just fine, but it doesn't plot the initial place. I get this weird status.

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Then if I select a different place it plots fine and then going back and selecting the initial place plots fine and then it works find after that.

I'm starting to think the problem might be something on my computer or my network that briefly thinks it doesn't have a connection although I can do things like browse the web and stream TV without any problems.

Bill

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Re: COM exception error

Post by tatewise » 31 Jul 2020 19:50

Mark, I have no idea what is going on under the hood. The objective is to communicate with the Plugin Store servers, not diagnose why it fails. You are welcome to design a more robust solution.

Bill, the COM exception is associated with the Map Life Facts plugin interogating the Plugin Store for a later version of this plugin via http://www.family-historian.co.uk/lnk/c ... rsion.php?
Usually, that has no impact on my plugin functions, but in the case of Map Life Facts it must establish an Internet dialogue with the mapping service to present plots on a map or perform plot geocoding.
So I suspect the COM exception has upset the Internet state within the Lua communications library and that interferes with the initial mapping service dialogue, but again I am guessing what is going on under the hood.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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