Timestamp is positioned improperly

Brian Adkins's Avatar

Brian Adkins

11 Nov, 2009 03:18 PM

I've noticed that when I post a message after a pause, the timestamp is posted after my message instead of before (see attached image). Depending on the amount of time that has elapsed, this can be very confusing since it appears the message was posted hours before it actually was.

  1. 1 Posted by Brian Adkins on 11 Nov, 2009 03:22 PM

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    Just to clarify a bit. I replied with the second "Good morning." at about 10:07 or so. The 37 Signals web interface to Campfire correclty shows the 10:05 am timestamp before my reply.

    In this case it's just a nit, but when the elapsed time is very long it's a more significant error.

  2. 2 Posted by Brian Adkins on 11 Nov, 2009 03:25 PM

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    Sorry for the piecemeal info. The Propane version is "Version 1.0.2 ("

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by trevor on 11 Nov, 2009 07:43 PM

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    Hi Brian,

    I appreciate you filling in the details for me.

    When you're using Propane, you're actually using the 37signals web interface to Campfire so whatever behaviour you're seeing here should be reproducible in general-purpose browser like Safari.

    Timestamps are a bit of a convoluted topic and the nature of Campfire (web-based, polling chat) is going to mean a certain amount of drift in the timestamp accuracy.

    The explanation for why there's drift would put you to sleep. The short version is:

    Messages spoken by you are inserted into your browser transcript by Campfire's client-side javascript (independent of the messages being stored in the server's database). Messages spoken by your colleagues are inserted into your transcript in the order that they appear in the server's database.

    I'm not trying to minimize the problem you're reporting, but this means that any drift in the accurate timestamp-relative position for a message is only going to be seen by you. Your colleagues will see your message in the order that it was recorded by the server.

    That said, the maximum amount of drift should be 5 minutes and drift should be rare (i.e. you'd need to speak a message just at the right time).

    If you're seeing larger inaccuracies (hours!!!) then I need to bring this to the attention of 37signals because it will be affecting everyone, not just Propane users.

    I'm going to try to reproduce this. In the case where it was out by hours, do you have any recollection of the sequence of events? Such as "colleague spoke, I spoke one minute later, nobody said anything for 2 hours, I spoke again, timestamp was then seriously wrong". Basically, if there's anything else you can think of to help me narrow down the conditions, I'd be grateful.

    Regards, Trev

  4. 4 Posted by Brian Adkins on 11 Nov, 2009 08:27 PM

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    Thanks for the quick response. By the way, I'm really liking Propane.
    I'm actually quite surprised about how feature poor Campfire is, but
    Propane fills in some holes, so it's usable.

    I believe the scenario where my message was placed above the new
    timestamp which made it appear to be hours earlier was when I posted a
    message after a long delay and there were no other messages posted, so
    something like:

    George: hi

    <much time passes and I post a message resulting in the following display>

    George: hi
    Brian: hello

    So it looks like I posted my message between 4:30 and 4:35, but I
    actually posted it after 6:45. It *appears* that Propane is simply
    entering the message first, and then the timestamp.

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks for the explanation also. I don't think the problem is very
    serious now. For example, I just verified that by closing/reopening a
    room, the timestamps are then displayed correctly, so for
    history/searching purposes, it's a non-issue.


  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by trevor on 11 Nov, 2009 08:58 PM

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    Hi Brian,

    just to let you know, I've confirmed this (incorrect) behaviour in Safari so it's definitely a problem I need to let 37signals know about.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

    Regards, Trev

  6. 6 Posted by Miëtek Bak on 19 Feb, 2010 01:55 PM

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    The incorrect behavior is still there. Perhaps Propane could patch around it?

  7. Support Staff 7 Posted by trevor on 20 Feb, 2010 01:04 AM

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    sigh - yeah, it looks like I'm going to have to fix that up myself.


  8. 8 Posted by Miëtek Bak on 24 Jun, 2010 11:12 AM

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    Do you have an approximate timeframe for that fix?


  9. 9 Posted by Miëtek Bak on 29 Oct, 2010 01:14 PM

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    This improvement would still be appreciated.

  10. 10 Posted by Jeff Herron on 30 Oct, 2012 12:39 PM

    Jeff Herron's Avatar

    I'm way late to the party on this one, but I am still seeing this issue in 1.2.5. Just an annoyance more than anything, but we'd love a fix for this. Propane is a key piece of our distributed team getting stuff done!

  11. trevor closed this discussion on 28 Aug, 2013 08:09 PM.

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