Propane stops showing new posts in conversation

Manveru's Avatar


21 May, 2010 12:47 AM

Periodically, although not often, Propane will simply stop pulling in new messages from a room. There's no indication that anything is wrong, it just looks like nobody is saying anything. You can see when somebody leaves the room, and you can see your own messages, but if anybody else says anything, the will appear silent on your screen. You have to close the window and reenter the room to see that you've been talking to yourself for as long as it took you to figure out something might be wrong.

Like I said, this doesn't happen very often, maybe every week or two, but when it does, it is the source of a lot of frustration as important parts of conversations are missed or people think that they are being ignored, etc. It seems to happen to everybody at the same time, too.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by trevor on 21 May, 2010 12:57 AM

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    Hi Michael,

    thanks for taking the time to alert me of this.

    You mention that you can see when people leave the room - do you mean that they disappear from the "who's here" list, or do you mean that you can see the "has left the room" message?

    Regards, Trev

  2. 2 Posted by Manveru on 21 May, 2010 01:15 AM

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    When people leave I can see the "has left the room" message.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by trevor on 21 May, 2010 01:36 AM

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    thanks for that - it's a really important distinction because it means that you're actually still connected and receiving incoming messages.

    I have a feeling this might be related to some new code 37signals deployed to reduce the amount of leave/join noise in the rooms - I'll give them a shout and see what I can learn.

    After re-reading your initial description I realize there's something else I should have asked - the messages you type while everything is 'dead' - do they appear in the transcript when you rejoin? If a message-send fails you should get a notification (and a retry link) so it's important for me to know if the messages hit the server properly.

    Thanks for your help tracking this down.

    Regards, Trev

  4. 4 Posted by Manveru on 21 May, 2010 01:49 AM

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    Everything that's typed appears in the transcripts, and everybody else in the room gets the message as well. You just don't get any responses to it. Just yesterday we were all in the middle of something important when this happened, and it looked like everybody was busy and just not saying anything for the moment, so I said "brb" and stepped out for a few minutes. Later, when Propane had been restarted, I read what I had missed, and a very frustrated coworker had been trying to ask me a question for a while with no response only to have me ignore him and leave (at least, that's what it looked like to him).

    Yeah, it's only new messages coming in that you don't get.

  5. 5 Posted by Manveru on 09 Jul, 2010 05:18 PM

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    Is there any update on this one?

  6. Support Staff 6 Posted by trevor on 10 Jul, 2010 04:26 AM

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    I managed to get some time talking to one of the 37signals engineers today and the only server-side change related to message visibility was to some CSS.

    So, I need to check: have you changed Propane's local css files in any way? (wondering if there's a bizarre interaction between the new 37s CSS and any local changes)

    Also, I've assumed all-along that the unread-message counters on the dock and the room tabs are not incrementing while messages are being swallowed. Please let me know if that assumption is incorrect.

    Finally - the way forward: the 37s engineer has very kindly offered to take a peek at the server logs the next time this happens (I need to give him a specific, recent case).

    I'll need to know the host name, room id and the affected user's name (or just "everybody was affected").

    I'll also need to know the UTC time that it happened and a rough indication of the UTC time of the last successful message in the transcript before you reloaded.

    Regards, Trev

  7. 7 Posted by Manveru on 10 Jul, 2010 06:02 AM

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    Last time it seems to have happened is sometime around 10am PST this
    morning. I think that's 17:00 UTC, Friday, July 9th. Of course, that's
    when people realized what happened and started complaining about it,
    so it must have been sometime before that. That was shortly before I
    logged in, but Ryan and Mark both complained about it. I'm not sure
    what the last message they got in was. I can post again next time it
    specifically happens to me.

    As far as I know, nobody is running any custom css. I know for sure
    that I am not, and the problem happens to me too, so it's not that.
    You are correct in assuming that room tabs are not incrementing; There
    is no indication that any messages are being missed, other than people
    are unusually quiet. The problem is fixed when you close and reopen
    Propane (you do not have to quit the app, only leave and re-enter the
    room). When it happens, it happens to all Propane users at the same
    time. I don't know if it would be related to any changes in message
    visibility, since there is no other indication that a message came in,
    like a growl alert or dock update. The one person on our team who uses
    the web app never has any problems.

    If you know a good network sniffer for the mac I'd be happy to see
    what's going in and out next time it happens and report back, or
    anything else I can do to help diagnose. Just let me know.

  8. 8 Posted by Phil on 25 Aug, 2010 09:44 AM

    Phil's Avatar

    I also ran into this problem. (254517)
    between 12:15am to 12:20am PST

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

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