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Does 4.0.4 Provide Backwards Compatibility for Plugins/Stats?

asked 2023-03-08 17:26:00 +0000

robinuser1 gravatar image

updated 2023-03-08 17:34:28 +0000

Developing a plugin that has previously worked on 3.6.x and 4.0.x.

I develop on the latest release-x.x branch, on windows and on linux (so that's 4 total plugins).

After 4.0.4 update, I noticed that the statics info I've included in my plugin now only works when it's installed to a Wireshark version v4.0.4, anything older like v4.0.3 will open and dissect, but opening stats for this protocol from the statistics menu crashes

I've noticed this is _only_ on windows and not on linux at all. Also that this is happening between 3.6.12 and 3.6.11 and prior (so stats works for 3.6.12, but not prior).

Sum up my question(s): 1. Is backwards compatibility guarenteed between micro versions? Any 3.6.x plugin should work on any 3.6.x wireshark? 4.0.x plugin will work on any 4.0.x wireshark? 2. Any reason why stats would be breaking only for versions prior to 4.0.4? (and 3.6.12)

Thanks in advance!

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answered 2023-03-09 23:07:50 +0000

Guy Harris gravatar image

updated 2023-03-09 23:08:47 +0000

Is backwards compatibility guarenteed between micro versions

It's supposed to be, as noted by @Jaap.

Unfortunately, it's not guaranteed to be, as non-compatible changes may unintentionally be made. As @Carl Robert noted, a non-binary-compatible change was made between 4.0.3 and 4.0.4 - a field was added to the middle of a public data structure, which means that any code that depends on the offsets of any fields that are after the inserted field will not work.

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That change/bugfix was made by me, overlooking the ABI compatibility. I have reverted the changes for 3.6 and 4.0 (and the change/bugfix will be available in 4.2) to restore ABI compatibilty as soon as the next 3.6 and 4.0 maintenance releases will come out.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

SYN-bit gravatar imageSYN-bit ( 2023-03-13 20:31:11 +0000 )edit

answered 2023-03-09 16:47:16 +0000

Carl Robert gravatar image

I also encountered the problem that a plugin developed for 4.0.3 causes a crash of Wireshark 4.0.4. The problem was caused by the new item "dependent_frames" of the struct "_frame_data" in file "epan\frame_data.h"

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answered 2023-03-08 22:22:13 +0000

Jaap gravatar image
  1. Compatibility between micro versions is part of our release policy
  2. It could be that your code is triggering a bug that has been fixed in 4.0.4 (and 3.6.12)
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Thanks Jaap! Very helpful, I'm investigating based off your lead now.

My guess is likely wmem related -> any idea why that might only occur on linux and not on windows? I could understand if there was such a bug on wireshark that my plugin triggered, but why would that cause crash on windows only, and not linux?

robinuser1 gravatar imagerobinuser1 ( 2023-03-09 03:35:49 +0000 )edit

Once you realise that Windows and Linux are totally different beasts 'under the hood', you may appreciate that certain bugs on one platform manifest themselves very different on the other. This even goes so far that we had to have certain code specifically written toward these platforms (ie., Win32 and !Win32). How that results in your scenario is very much depending on the bug. Without debugging the code (and your code) this is impossible to predict.

Jaap gravatar imageJaap ( 2023-03-09 06:13:20 +0000 )edit

No problem, thank you again for the great help

robinuser1 gravatar imagerobinuser1 ( 2023-03-09 14:46:36 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2023-03-08 17:26:00 +0000

Seen: 148 times

Last updated: Mar 09