Add-on Updater: badly formatted add-on summary text causes settings panel to fail


 

Hi all,

 

In the course of debugging a bug raised by several users of Add-on Updater (proof of concept), it was found that there are add-ons out there shipping with badly formatted manifest data. Specifically, a badly formatted add-on  summary data can cause Add-on Updater settings panel to fail.

 

Steps to reproduce:

 

  1. Install Vocalizer Expressive Compact voices.
  2. Install Add-on Updater.
  3. Restart NVDA.
  4. Open NVDA settings, and try going to Add-on Updater panel.

 

Expected: no errors, and add-ons excluded from update checks will be shown.

Actual: error in check list box.

Cause: add-on summary text for add-ons like Vocalizer Expressive Compact contains one or more commas, which causes manifest parser to treat it as a list instead of text.

Solutions: several, including short-term and long-term, good and bad. These include converting between strings and lists, checking for names of add-ons that causes this bug and what not.

 

In the meantime, I’ll prevent Vocalizer family of add-ons from appearing in “do not update” list in Add-on Updater settings panel. But this masks the fundamental problem: manifest data format problem, which should be fixed by add-on authors.

 

There is an interesting discussion regarding this bug and related ideas happening on add-ons list at:

https://nvda-addons.groups.io/g/nvda-addons/topic/important_note_about_add_on/24168400?p=,,,20,0,0,0::recentpostdate%2Fsticky,,,20,2,0,24168400

 

Cheers,

Joseph

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