NullPointerException when opening a different project in the Designer and closing a project

I’ve recently upgraded from 7.9 to 8.1.17. I’m checking over some Vision projects and every time I open a new project, I’m getting a NullPointerException. I also get an NPE when closing the Designer and it doesn’t actually close. I have to actually use the Task Manager to kill the Java process.

I don’t see anything in the release notes for 8.1.18 or .19 that seems relevant, so I’m not sure if upgrading will help.

This is the error when trying to open a new project:

java.lang.NullPointerException
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.client.model.AbstractClientContext.shutdown(AbstractClientContext.java:102)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.DesignerContextImpl.shutdown(DesignerContextImpl.java:450)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner.cleanup(IgnitionDesigner.java:933)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner.loadProject(IgnitionDesigner.java:944)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner.loadProject(IgnitionDesigner.java:911)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner$Handler$1.openProject(IgnitionDesigner.java:2200)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.ProjectDialog.lambda$openProject$4(ProjectDialog.java:156)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.event.InvocationEvent.dispatch(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue.dispatchEventImpl(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue$4.run(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue$4.run(Unknown Source)
	at java.base/java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
	at java.base/java.security.ProtectionDomain$JavaSecurityAccessImpl.doIntersectionPrivilege(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue.dispatchEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpOneEventForFilters(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEventsForFilter(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEventsForHierarchy(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEvents(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEvents(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.run(Unknown Source)

Ignition v8.1.17 (b2022051210)
Java: Azul Systems, Inc. 11.0.15

And here is the error from the console when I try to close the Designer:

Exception in thread "AWT-EventQueue-0" java.lang.NullPointerException
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.client.model.AbstractClientContext.shutdown(AbstractClientContext.java:102)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.DesignerContextImpl.shutdown(DesignerContextImpl.java:450)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner.cleanup(IgnitionDesigner.java:933)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner.shutdown(IgnitionDesigner.java:509)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner$Handler.handleExit(IgnitionDesigner.java:3068)
	at com.inductiveautomation.ignition.designer.IgnitionDesigner$Handler$12.actionPerformed(IgnitionDesigner.java:2425)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.AbstractButton.fireActionPerformed(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.AbstractButton$Handler.actionPerformed(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.DefaultButtonModel.fireActionPerformed(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.DefaultButtonModel.setPressed(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.AbstractButton.doClick(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.plaf.basic.BasicMenuItemUI.doClick(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.plaf.basic.BasicMenuItemUI$Handler.mouseReleased(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.AWTEventMulticaster.mouseReleased(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Component.processMouseEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/javax.swing.JComponent.processMouseEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Component.processEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Container.processEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Component.dispatchEventImpl(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Container.dispatchEventImpl(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Component.dispatchEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.LightweightDispatcher.retargetMouseEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.LightweightDispatcher.processMouseEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.LightweightDispatcher.dispatchEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Container.dispatchEventImpl(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Window.dispatchEventImpl(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.Component.dispatchEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue.dispatchEventImpl(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue$4.run(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue$4.run(Unknown Source)
	at java.base/java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
	at java.base/java.security.ProtectionDomain$JavaSecurityAccessImpl.doIntersectionPrivilege(Unknown Source)
	at java.base/java.security.ProtectionDomain$JavaSecurityAccessImpl.doIntersectionPrivilege(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue$5.run(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue$5.run(Unknown Source)
	at java.base/java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
	at java.base/java.security.ProtectionDomain$JavaSecurityAccessImpl.doIntersectionPrivilege(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventQueue.dispatchEvent(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpOneEventForFilters(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEventsForFilter(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEventsForHierarchy(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEvents(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.pumpEvents(Unknown Source)
	at java.desktop/java.awt.EventDispatchThread.run(Unknown Source)

I’m guessing what’s going wrong is that the local client/designer doesn’t have access to a directory under the local user that we’re trying to use to store thread dumps when the client or designer detects the ‘event dispatch thread’ is hung. That’s the only way I could see the thing that’s null ending up null. You should contact support, they can walk you through the process of troubleshooting those file connection errors.