Stylish / UserStyles.org Ownership Change & Massive Problems
- Stylish / UserStyles.org Ownership Change & Massive Problems Thereafter
- Edited from "http://www.ghacks.net/2016/10/09/stylish-and-userstyles-org-have-a-new-owner/"
- "Users of Stylish who have set their styles to auto-update may have noticed that they become corrupt in the process since October 6, 2016. This is caused by an infrastructure move after ownership of the project was transferred to another party. Ownership of the Stylish web browser extension and userstyles.org website have been transferred from Jason Barnabe to Justin Hindman in the past two weeks..."
- "...The site [UserStyles.org] was moved to Amazon Web Services, the domain name was transferred and the new owner hidden behind a shell (domainsbyproxy.com), and the [styles] repositories were transferred to a commercial Github account with no public-facing members. Some information is verifiable right away. The userstyles.org domain is indeed protected by "Domains By Proxy", a company that blocks private information from being revealed in the registrar data..."
- "USERSTYLE CORRUPTION ISSUES"
- "Probably the biggest issue right now is that users are reporting that userstyles are not delivered in working condition during updates. It seems to be a transport issue and not one of storage..."
- "It is highly suggested to turn off automatic updates for userstyles until the issue is resolved. This can be done in the following way:
- * Load about:add-ons in the Firefox address bar.
- * Switch to the User Styles section on the page that opens.
- * Click on the "more" link underneath EACH style that you have installed.
- * Switch the automatic updates setting to off.
- It is unclear if and when the issue will be resolved."
- Edited from "https://forum.userstyles.org/discussion/51927/bug-alert#latest"
- User "anagrammar" posted (Oct 10, 2016): "...A significant portion of styles were mangled in the migration. The only people who know how many for sure are you [Justin Hindman, new owner of UserStyles.org] and maybe Jason [Jason Barnabe, previous owner of UserStyles.org and author of the Stylish add-on], if he hasn't washed his hands of this already. The size limit for styles is 100kB. When you switched servers, every style was cut off ~16kB. The majority of styles will be under 16kB, but a lot were cut off and corrupted. Typically, the longer the code, the more work went into it, so these longer styles tend to be some of the nicer ones. Counting on authors to fix them is naive. Some are actively involved and will update, but most aren't and won't. If you DO have a backup and can fix it, the longer you wait the worse it'll be. You'll end up overwriting new updates and making the whole process more of pain in the ass than it already is. If you don't have a viable backup, or decide for whatever ill-advised reason not to bother, you'll need to VALIDATE STYLES and do a mass deletion. You can't continue serving up corrupted code to unsuspecting users."
- New owner Justin Hindman replied to "anagrammer" (Oct 10, 2016):
- "I agree that we shouldn't be counting on authors to fix this. I'm on it and hope to be able to update you guys tomorrow. If you bump into any additional pointers that can help figure this out, do share. Jason [Barnabe, previous owner of UserStyles.org and author of the Stylish add-on] is still here supporting me."
- In my posted comment in the UserStyles Forum, I put together the reason some userstyle authors had been complaining about their install count stats not incrementing: "The 16kB CSS file truncation breaks all UserStyles larger than this size, leading to corrupt files which won't install, and that in turn leads to users' stats no longer incementing with new install counts. So user stats not incrementing was a tertiary symptom, deriving from install failures, which derived from 16kB CSS file size truncation during Hindman's takeover." - Apparently, many userstyle authors WERE aware of their install counts not increasing, BUT THEY DIDN'T KNOW THEIR USERSTYLES WERE FAILING TO INSTALL FOR NEW USERS, BECAUSE THE USERSTYLE'S CSS WAS BEING CORRUPTED (truncated at about 16kB). This only affected userstyles whose CSS file was larger than 16kB, so smaller userstyles would still install and run properly.
- The author of the gHacks article, Martin Brinkmann, wrote in an answer to one reader (in the "Comments" section below the article, October 9, 2016):
- "We don't have any information on the deal. Did the new owner pay money, or was he simply appointed? We don't know why the repositories were moved. why the website is hidden behind a proxy, or what went wrong during the transfer or afterwards that causes scripts to become corrupt. Could be completely harmless, could be that it is not."
- [The userstyle repositories were moved to 'Github'; also in the changeover from Jason Barnabe to Justin Hindman, Userstyles.org's website was moved to 'Amazon Web Services' servers - see the beginning of the gHacks article.]
- "About Martin Brinkmann [postfix of his article]: Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+."]
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