White Screen of Death - Is there any insight as to what causes it?

Hello everyone.

Is there any real insight as to what might ACTUALLY cause the white screen/crash on pages with lists? It is a problem that has plagued my app building experience from the beginning, and I’ve solved it by doing what is said on the forum here - I delete & rebuild, delete & rebuild. It’s cost me dozens, and dozens of hours. Maybe even a hundred+ hours. It’s been rough.

I’m at my wit’s end, because there’s one screen in my app I’ve revisited & rebuilt 4 times now. It’s a relatively complicated screen, and I’ve had it working before only to have testing users report it’s broken again randomly. Every time, I need to go in, delete components until it works, and then rebuild from scratch the deleted components. I’ve spent the whole weekend rebuilding it another time - This time I deleted components until there was literally nothing left but an empty list, and the page still crashes. I started with a new screen altogether, and refigured my approach to the screen to break it down into a few different screens so that no one screen would be so complicated.

Well, Got it just about done, the “main” page had been working all day. I was running some tests and all of a sudden the “main” Page is crashing now (white screen of death). Another 8+ Hours wasted. WHAT CAN BE DONE??? What do you guys do when you get the white screen of death? What is ACTUALLY HAPPENING HERE? Could it be caused by my collections? I’ve had particular difficulty with this functionality all along - it’s basically just showing records of employee time cards & reimbursement requests. Could there be something with a field in one of the collections involved that’s triggering the error?

If it helps, here’s some screenshots of the Developer’s Panel - I can’t make heads or tails of it, but maybe someone can spot the problem???

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: FYI - As I’m sure you all are aware, If I’m in the previewer (or a web browser on the phone), and I simply refresh the frame, the page works perfectly. And, it will continue working perfectly until the “app” is closed/opened and/or fully refreshed again. then, when navigating back to the screen for the “first time”, it will crash. The screen will NOT work at all on PWA on the phone, since there’s no way to “refresh the frame”. This makes it SUPER frustrating too - I can see all this beautiful functionality working perfectly, so I know everything is built right and set up right, but it’s just destroyed by this STUPID WHITE SCREEN BUG! Please, PLEASE help.

Bumping this. I’d submitted an extremely thorough and detailed ticket to Adalo and the response was… frustrating:

"I’m sorry that the screen is not loading correctly.

Here are some tips to try that we have gathered from other Makers in the Adalo | Maker Community Forum that you may want to consider trying to see if they may improve the performance of your app:

  • Using lists to load large volumes of text instead of adding it directly as “hard coded” text within the editor.
  • Avoid loading too many lists on a single screen (lists within lists)
  • Avoid having multiple actions being triggered sequentially, especially if conditional.
  • Avoid many-to-many relationships if possible
  • Avoid using refresh list if possible

This is NOT a performance issue! The screen works great and is fully functional and speedy once it’s refreshed and this “bug” is cleared. Obviously I have been through the forums and have tried every manner of fixing, adjusting, minimizing functionality, etc. I’ve deleted and rebuilt and deleted and rebuilt. The crashing problem is still a problem.

Does anyone know what the error screens mean? Does anyone know exactly WHY this happens?

Hi @tbtilton,

Unfortunately, I also faced the same issue Yesterday and I tried to delete components and add them again but the issue was there and then I delete that screen and added a new screen and added the components and then finally it worked! Not sure what caused it! And I didn’t see that happening again today!

Try that and see if that helps!

Thank you

@dilon_perera I’ve done this several times with this screen. I have had it working, only to have it start the crash behavior again later.

I have also completely reconfigured the setup of the data I wanted to show in this payroll reporting system so that the lists would be simpler and more sure to work. The issue still plagues me.

I am extremely familiar with the issue - I’ve had it from the beginning, and it has happened on many screens/lists as I’ve been building my app. And Yes, I’ve resolved it most of the time by rebuilding screens from scratch. I could certainly do that again with this screen, but that would be another several hours of work and I have already wasted dozens of hours rebuilding only to have the error pop up again randomly.

I NEED answers as to what is causing this, and/or why it happens. There are error logs! Can no-one make sense of them? I am not a coder (obviously - I’m using Adalo), so I don’t know what that all means, but it’s right there! I Simply CAN NOT keep throwing away valuable time deleting and rebuilding screens on a gamble as to whether or not the bug will happen again, negating my effort. Adalo owes us an explanation. I’m tired.

Update. For anyone else having this error:

-There’s no satisfying resolution. Despite error logs, screenshots & screen recordings, Nobody (on forum or from Adalo) seems to be able to recognize there is a problem here, or explain what all the red error code might point to as a source of the bug.

-However, the good news is that the error has stopped happening for me now on the screen in question. I did not delete or specifically rebuild anything this time - I had given up on troubleshooting the bug after dozens of hours of effort. Instead, I had decided to just “live with” the bug, and was just doing some routine minor tinkering. Then, it just stopped happening at some point yesterday. While I’m glad it’s stopped, who knows if it will start again. I am afraid to keep editing the affected screens…

-Adalo support emailed me again today saying they went on my app and “couldn’t recreate the issue” Hilarious (Suspicious?, Coincidental?) that they went on my app to try and replicate the error only AFTER it had “magically” stopped being an issue… I had put in the Ticket back on the 17th after months of frustration and repeated issues with the white screen error… Now, on the 21st/22nd, after the error magically stopped, they go on my app to tell me basically “I don’t see a problem here”. I mean, I appreciate the fact that at least someone was looking into this, but it is not satisfying or giving me any sense of resolution/reasoning.

The White Screen Of Death is apparently a mystery bug. My advice to anyone who encounters it is to NOT take the generally accepted advice of the forum and just demolish and rebuild screens on your app - My experience shows that that is DEFINITELY not guaranteed to fix it, and you run a huge risk of investing tons of your valuable time (and sanity) into what is at best a gamble of a fix. Nobody knows what causes this issue apparently, so no need to destroy your productivity by endlessly troubleshooting it with voodoo theories of resolution.

Instead, if you can get by just allowing the screen to crash while you’re building (use “refresh frame” in the previewer and browser-based PWA to clear the error for testing & development purposes), do that. Also, IMMEDIATELY submit a ticket to Adalo. Make them look into it. While they do that, you can stay productive and sane, and eventually it will either “fix itself” or you will inadvertently “fix” it, the way I have done this time. Or, if it doesn’t resolve, at least Adalo will be able to replicate the error and maybe they’ll actually have to figure it out.

Anyway, I hope this is helpful. The White Screen Of Death has been a constant nightmare for me as I’ve been developing my app, and I wish I’d have known to 1) ignore it and 2) PUT IN A TICKET instead of spending days and days troubleshooting, destroying, rebuilding, and feeling generally gaslighted & frustrated.

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