Large table causes system meltdown

Amaya 8.8.4 refresh, Windows 98 SE

WARNING!: Executing the following scenario with Amaya can damage other
running tasks on the system or the OS itself.  Reboot after running this
scenario and before starting other tasks.  Be prepared to restore the test

  Open Amaya
    Open document

  When the page opens, click on the "Current" link near the top of the page.
This takes you to, which is
a directory listing (um, with an HTML 3.2 DOCTYPE...).  Note the status line
"Reading 1K bytes".  Wait for this page to load completely.  Note the
appearance of the page: 4 different icons in the left column, text is serif
font, latin alphabet, only the column headers are boldfaced.

This page consists almost entirely of a single table with 529 rows.

Reload the same page.  Everything still look OK?  Reload the page again.
Repeat as necessary.

If that doesn't get exciting enough, select the first test case, 'CSS 2.1
Test Suite: Comments', then, after that page has displayed, use the 'back'
arrow to return to the test list page.  Repeat.  For greater variety, select
other test cases, then use the 'back' button.

Symptoms I have seen:
 - Icons on displayed page no longer appear.
 - All text becomes boldfaced (sometimes only after screen is scrolled).
 - Spacing between words becomes negative, so the last letter of one word
overlaps the first letter of the next word.
 - The arrows in the window scroll bars change to numbers.
 - All text on displayed page becomes Greek letters.
 - General Protection Fault.
 - Amaya icon for active task on Windows toolbar disappears or changes to
dark black.  Text becomes boldfaced.
 - Status line shows "Reading 108K bytes" (not on Refresh; only on
out-and-back scenario).
 - Text in another running task on the same system (Outlook 2000) becomes
invisible [I noticed this while trying to write this email while reproducing
the problem].  When Outlook was closed and reopened, it reported problems
with its 'folder shortcuts file'.  This indicates damage to some in-RAM
component of Outlook that was written back to disk.
 - System hang (occurred after Amaya had been closed and while opening an
unrelated application).

 - No symptom is apparent when the large table is first loaded.
 - Symptoms gradually become more dramatic and widespread as the page is
 - Loading of a large table causes data to be written outside the expected
scope, damaging other Amaya data.  When Amaya uses the damaged data, its own
functions begin to deteriorate.  In addition:
   - Either Amaya passes bad data to system functions, which subsequently
damage other running tasks or
   - Bad data is written outside of the Amaya task space, damaging other
running tasks.

  In order for this to happen, three things appear to be wrong:
    1. Amaya has a fixed limit on the number of allowable table rows.  Since
table size represents data passed by the user, and there is no limit defined
in the HTML spec, Amaya should have no fixed limit.
    2. When the limit is reached, Amaya fails to detect it and stores data
beyond the allocated space.
    3. The OS fails to either (or both):
       3a. Prevent Amaya from storing data outside its task space.
       3b. Validity check parameters being passed on system calls.

Chris Beall

Received on Thursday, 16 February 2006 21:40:20 UTC