Xenforo and Chat Challenges

BGObsession

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Jul 12, 2017
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I have contacted Siropu as well as my server host several times including days ago about an issue. So far, the source of the issue remains a frustrating mystery.

We have a smallish NFL game day chat on my Xenforo 2.1 site using the latest Siropu Chat 2.1 version. Chatters can post fine. But many of them have an issue where their screen will not refresh. It just stops loading replies. Only when they enter a new reply do they see the posts of other chatters.

Half of our chat sessions are comprised of folks bitching about having to constantly post on order to see replies.

The chat software is Ajax-based and is set to refresh in the chat settings every 3 seconds.

I myself as an Admin have never had an issue. My server host doesn’t think it’s server related. Siropu has not been able to ID the issue so far. Only one I haven’t approached is our Sucuri firewall support (but don’t think that could be the issue). It is happening across different devices and different browsers.

Im at a bit of a loss. I love the product but will have to find another chat solution if I can’t troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Just thought it was worth posting here in case there are any Siropu experts here or someone else has had the issue (and yes- I have posted on the Siropu page on Xenforo’s site without any luck). Siropu has been great btw, just casting a bigger net in the hopes someone has an idea?
 
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TLChris

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My first thoughts are, how many folks are trying to get on at once?
 

BGObsession

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Jul 12, 2017
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Relatively small #’s, only 10-20 chatting more or less continuously over a 3 hour game.
 

Kevin

Oooh, something shiny!
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Jul 13, 2004
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Half of our chat sessions are comprised of folks bitching about having to constantly post on order to see replies.

The chat software is Ajax-based and is set to refresh in the chat settings every 3 seconds.
Any of the folks having the issue browser savvy? If so, you could ask them to check their browser console output to see if either any kind of error is being thrown when the ajax refresh call is being made and/or if there are any resources failing to load when the page is served. Might not reveal anything, honestly, but since you're not experiencing it then maybe it'll reveal something for those who are. Other questions to ask them (besides which browser on what device they're using) would be if they're using any ad blocker add-ons or similar that may be interfering.
 

BGObsession

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Jul 12, 2017
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Thanks - I am going to prep a couple members who’ve been having problems on how to check for browser errors - great idea.

I wouldn’t *think* it could be ad blocker software only because I think they’d be seeing all replies blocked instead of only some of them, but that’s worth checking on - appreciate the thoughts!
 

BGObsession

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Jul 12, 2017
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So, in my never ending pursuit of a functioning chat software, I took a look at the browser console today. Even though I am not experiencing the issue others are having, I took a screen cap of the error message.

browserconsole1.png

No idea what if anything that means. I also went to the network tab. I could readily see the javascript commands being sent every 3 seconds (as set in the chat settings) to refresh the chat page. mysiteguy I happened to notice that there is a jquery being sent (again as expected) to change the random image in our rotating image banner. I know we just implemented your new and improved php file. Can you tell me if the previous version we had also sent this kind of jquery? My question is, could it be the combination of a fairly frequent rotating image banner command and the chat javascript just be more than the server/site software can handle?

I sort of hope that this is what is causing the chatroom to stop refreshing for some members, only because I could easily simply pause our rotating image banner during our popular nfl game chats. Thoughts?
 

mysiteguy

Migration Expert
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Feb 20, 2007
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The first version (the original I ported from your vBulletin) rotated every 5 seconds, so yes, it sent background queries. There's really no way to load-in a never-ending image stream without doing that.

Reloads do hit servers with a lot of connections. Chat can be particularly bad. Considering a person may load a new page every minute or two, versus a chat doing it 15-20 times per minute, and the banner refresh might have put it over the top. If you'd like I can change it to 7 seconds, 10 seconds or something else to see if that helps. Or you can try increasing the chat refresh time.

Usually, this issue happens with Apache based servers. Apache can handle high traffic, but has a limited number of simultaneous connections compared to Nginx or Litespeed. Javascript refreshes can hold open a connection a very long time.
 

BGObsession

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Jul 12, 2017
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I'm thinking this might be why the vendor seems not to have heard of this issue before? Not many sites have a rotating image banner. I love the previous and current image banner. I'm thinking i'll just disable the Ad it's assigned to (vs. any setting changes) during game chats and see if that doesn't fix the issue? I'm not sure what kind of server we have (although thinking it IS apache)?
 
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BGObsession

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Jul 12, 2017
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So, our firewall vendor recommending trying to 'uncache' the directory the chat commands were coming from, so we did that. We also paused our rotating image banner during the chat. For the first time ever, with the largest crowd we've ever had chatting, we had not a single issue. Not sure which of those actions resolved the issue, but am happy we can now have large group chats with a software we like a lot without glitches. Thanks for the input here.
 
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