evolution crashes on startup after upgrade to 13.04 if preview pane enabled

Bug #1166447 reported by Brian Ealdwine on 2013-04-08
This bug affects 9 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
evolution (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Evolution crashes right after startup.

Disabling the preview pane prevents this from occurring, but it crashes immediately upon re-enabling the preview pane.

This occurs no matter which email is selected.

It crashes with the message:
** (evolution:31611): CRITICAL **: gchar* webkit_dom_character_data_get_data(WebKitDOMCharacterData*): assertion `WEBKIT_DOM_IS_CHARACTER_DATA(self)' failed

..apport does not come up automatically after a crash of evolution, so I ran ubuntu-bug. ..I'll be happy to assist in whatever way is necessary.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.04
Package: evolution 3.6.2-0ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.8.0-16.26-generic 3.8.5
Uname: Linux 3.8.0-16-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.9.2-0ubuntu5
Architecture: amd64
Date: Mon Apr 8 13:49:23 2013
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-04-05 (3 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10 "Quantal Quetzal" - Release amd64(20121023)
MarkForUpload: True
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: evolution
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to raring on 2013-04-07 (0 days ago)

Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in evolution (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
godspeed (igodspeed) wrote :

Someone please fix this bug. I am sure to put you in my will.

tags: added: evolution
Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :

I did get evolution to the point where it wasn't crashing every time I started it, but instead crashes every time I search if message body or full message is selected. ..in a very ugly turn of events, deleting all my locally-held mail 'fixed' the problem.

Anyways, I tried these two things to get it to start without crashing immediately:
* remove your account from online accounts (or deselect mail)
* start in offline mode, and remove any active searches from the search bar
  evolution --offline

Also, though it is by far more drastic, you can try removing (in order of least to most drastic):

From your home directory:
rm -Rf .cache/evolution

***!!!This will delete mail and other evolution data!!!***
rm -Rf .local/share/evolution

Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :

The second part, with the 'rm' commands fixed the problem where evolution was crashing every time I tried to search the message body. ..of course, I lost all that history, though. :-(

Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :

Don't bother deleting your data,
Evolution's back to crashing all the time.

Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :

Ok.. ..so, the state of affairs is:

There are apparently two bugs I'm running into:
1) Evolution crashes on startup, consistently, if preview pane is enabled.
2) Evolution crashes when searching through messages and 'message contains' or 'body contains' is the search option. This also can cause crash on startup if search term is remembered from last session.

To work around bug #1:
..this is the less-drastic of the two, but significantly hinders workflow:
evolution --disable-preview

To work around bug #2:
..this is pretty painful, and you will probably want to make backups of the data.
You will lose your email history and other evolution data.
Be sure you have this bug before you try this workaround. Again, it happens when you search your messages, and the search option (when you click on the magnifying glass) is "message contains" or "body contains".
Even though it deletes your history locally, if you mail server still has it available, it will still be available through that.
..close evolution first.
# to keep a backup:
 mv ~/.local/share/evolution ~/.local/share/evolution.old
# or, to just remove the data altogether:
 rm -Rf ~/.local/share/evolution

Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :

I'm using this bug to track the preview issue. If anyone wants to track the search issue, please open a new bug, and reference it here, since both have somewhat similar behaviours.

description: updated
summary: - evolution crashes on startup after upgrade to 13.04
+ evolution crashes on startup after upgrade to 13.04 if preview pane
+ enabled
description: updated
Brian Ealdwine (eode) wrote :

Since this is a preview pane issue, and some emails can cause the preview pane to crash, it's worthwhile noting that this is not specific to the preview of a particular email or group of emails -- it happens no matter which email is selected.

Wim Cools (wim-cools) wrote :

I don't have the preview pane enabled but when I open a mail evolution crashes.
There seems something wrong with viewing the content of a mail message, either in preview or when opening a mail.
This is since the upgrade to 13.04.

Raghnall (zbyhoo76) wrote :

I was really frustrated by this bug as this was effecting my work. I decided to experiment a bit this morning and I believe I found a solution.

I am not skilled in this so will not provide you with technical details or reasons of the bug.

Here is what I did:

1. Back-up of my emails: "File -> Back-up Evolution Data"
2. Remove Evolution: In terminal: sudo apt-get remove evolution -y
3. Clean up: sudo apt-get autoclean
4. Reboot: sudo reboot
5. Update system: sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
6. Reboot again: sudo reboot
7. Install clean Evolution: sudo apt-get install evolution
8. Reboot (requested by system)

This solved all my problems with Evolution. It's not crushing any more, can use preview pane, can resize windows, can open any email in seperate window.

Hope this helps you too.

Raghnall (zbyhoo76) wrote :

sorry, made a mistake in point 3. It should be: sudo apt-get autoremove

TheARC77 (thearc77) wrote :

Raghnall your steps right, your approack works because your uninstall the app that cause the bug.

The bug is related to evolution-indicator pack, perhaps more related to notifications parsing.

Uninstalling indicator resolve all without make a big "mess" :D

I'm glad I read this last post by thearc77. Saved me a lot of grief.

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