DarkLightHitomi
 member, 938 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 09:28
Unread Threads Marker Problem
Every once in a while (with no discernable pattern that I've found), a forum or game will have all threads inside it marked as unread. When I click on New, it will take me to an older message anywhere from the second most recent time I checked, to anywhere earlier even to the thread OP.

This happens only rarely, but usually happens in groups, I.E. one day I'll have three forums do it, then later that day, two more, then weeks will pass without issue, then it starts up again.

Not sure what causes it, though I can say that it isn't from me switching what device I'm checking in from (unless someone else has my account hacked anyway).

Note, I primarily check the forums from my phone, running jellybean android using firefox.

This message was last edited by the user at 09:29, Sat 15 Aug 2015.

cruinne
 moderator, 6630 posts
 I'm not as dumb
 as your parents.
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 14:48
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
This usually is is caused by staying logged in, in an open window, on one device, then checking things on another device, then returning to the same running window on the old device.

So, when you say you're sure, is that because you always close the windows to RPoL on one device before opening windows to RPoL any on another?
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 939 posts
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 15:53
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
I'm sure when it happens without ever checking it on another device at all. I can go weeks or even sometimes months without accessing from any device other than my phone.
Evil Empryss
 member, 1350 posts
 Because knowing
 is half the battle!
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 16:21
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
I think it happens sometimes on mobile devices when your OS (or browser) decides to refresh your browser in the background, creating the same effect as having logged in on a different device. It happens on rare occasions on my iPhone using Safari.
cruinne
 moderator, 6632 posts
 I'm not as dumb
 as your parents.
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 16:36
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Hrm, yeah.  I almost never use my phone, but I'll poke at it a bit and see if I can reproduce.
Evil Empryss
 member, 1351 posts
 Because knowing
 is half the battle!
Sat 15 Aug 2015
at 16:44
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
I'm on my phone almost all day, so I hit that issue more than most people might. It's pretty random and might take a while to replicate it.
LonePaladin
 member, 479 posts
 Creator of HeroForge
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 09:43
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
It's not just mobile devices, and it's not from checking a game while logged in elsewhere.

I'm only viewing RPOL from my home computer, using Chrome. At seemingly random times, one of my games will flag as having unread items, and when I go in there, everything is showing the unread flag. Once I open up something, and go back to the game's main page, all the read/unread flags fix themselves.

On rare occasions, I have this happen with every list I'm subscribed to. My entire home page is nothing but read and purple links. I have to go into each page, view something, then back out for it to realign.
Evil Empryss
 member, 1352 posts
 Because knowing
 is half the battle!
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 10:05
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
In reply to LonePaladin (msg # 7):

A faster way to fix that when it happens is to relog.  It clears everything at once but leaves actually unread posts alone.

This message was last edited by the user at 10:06, Sun 16 Aug 2015.

DarkLightHitomi
 member, 940 posts
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 12:35
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Interestingly, this for me only fixes the threads older than the thread I look in and marks them as read even if there is a thread that should remain unread, of course, that is only when it actually fixes.
Skald
 moderator, 646 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 13:59
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
I think that marking of older threads should happen for everyone - an assumption made is that you've read any thread older than the latest one you've actually read.  I imagine that saves an awful lot of flag recording and database checking.

Question for those having problems with the unread messages on computer/device - a) do you routinely block cookies and if so, b) do you have rpol.net listed as an exception ?

If yes to a) and no to b), you could try setting up rpol.net as an exception, and I suggest you do that on all devices you use to access rpol as one without might be resetting the flags.

Just a thought and worth a try - I'm not sure exactly how it all hangs together - jase may well be the only one who truly understands such marvels.  :>
Evil Empryss
 member, 1353 posts
 Because knowing
 is half the battle!
Sun 16 Aug 2015
at 14:04
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Skald:
I think that marking of older threads should happen for everyone - an assumption made is that you've read any thread older than the latest one you've actually read.  I imagine that saves an awful lot of flag recording and database checking.

No, no, no, that would be a bad thing for a normal situation.  I don't always read threads in order of oldest to newest, and I don't want it to have it mark those I haven't read yet.

It works on those threads that get marked unread when I actually have read them, and that's fine, but that's all it should work for.

And it's not cookies.  It's a weird things that crops up every now and then.  If it was a cookies thing, it'd be happening all the time.
Skald
 moderator, 647 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 12:43
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
I just experimented ... 8 threads with unread messages, I read the 6th.  Back to Main Menu, back to Forum and RPoL quite happy to continue reporting that only the 6th thread had been read, ie threads 1-5, 7 & 8 all retained their unread thread indicator.   Logged out and in again, without closing browser, and RPoL reported only threads 1-5 unread - ie older threads 7 & 8 now flagged as read along with the actually read thread 6.  Don't think that's changed, though - that's what I was expecting to happen.  But obviously you were talking about current session where it will maintain actual read markings.  All good.

Heh.  You and I have a very different opinion of cookies - I'm more inclined to blame any/all weird/intermittent stuff on them !  <grins>
Evil Empryss
 member, 1354 posts
 Because knowing
 is half the battle!
Mon 17 Aug 2015
at 17:08
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Ha!  It just happened to me right now!

I switched from my laptop to my iPhone without closing out of RPOL on my laptop. Yes, I know this is the cause, but I figured I use it to play around with and see what fixed things.

I refreshed the page on my phone that was already open and while the main page did NOT show new posts in the game, every thread and PM in the game was lit up.

I tapped a thread at random, them tapped "game menu" to go back. Every thread below the one I open went back to being marked as read. All the ones above it were still showing as unread.

Anyone want me to try anything before I just relog and fix it?

Edit:  the older threads in the forum here, which I have read, did not go back to being marked read when I made this post. Hmm......

This message was last edited by the user at 17:09, Mon 17 Aug 2015.

jase
 admin, 3459 posts
 Cogito, ergo procuro.
 Carpe stultus!
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 15:04
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
What Skald described is expected behaviour.  The server only permanently tracks the most recent public and private message you've read for each game you visit.  Actually, it also tracks the most recent private and public message that you can see, which is used for the indicators on the main menu as well as the starting point for when you're in a game when you don't have any cookies for that game.

That's enough for the server to track, that's 4,163,940 things being tracked right there.  Plus the user and game id, so in a way 6,245,910.

As alluded to above, everything else relies on cookies.  Visiting a game after a relog (or new OS, new browser, clearing cookies etc) the system will use the "most recent message I've read" database entry as the basis for what is read (anything equal to or lower than that) and unread (anything greater).

Once you start reading individual threads it uses cookies to track any "holes" in the read list.  If you read the next newest thread then there's no gap, the read threads are consecutive, but if you read the newest and leave a few others below it unread, then there's a hole and cookies are used to track those unread.

Possibly confusing, but think of it this way; any flame icon below the topmost shield icon is tracked via a cookie.  Notices, for this purpose, are calculated based on where they should appear (chronological), not where they are (stuck to the top).

Rinse and repeat this for every game, and then double it -- once for the main game threads, and one for private threads.

This is all stored in two cookies that looks a mess to the untrained eye (perhaps because it is a mess).  It's basically a long list of games you visit and what's unread (that would otherwise be considered read).

Cookies also shouldn't get too large as the browser has to send them to the server for every page you visit on the site, plus there's actually a hard limit of 4096 bytes (characters).  Sending lots of cookies can slow down the browsing experience.  Older browsers have issues with about 1024, so that's the limit we keep within.

1024 means we can store, approximately, 100 unread messages before it starts to get too long.  In that instance we trim the list down until it's under 1024 characters in length, removing the oldest unread first.

Long winded and complicated to explain, imagine what it was like to code!

So, if you have a lot of unread messages in a lot of games then you can see things get messy.  If around 100 threads being tracked (remember these are only unique unread ones) then it has to start chopping things off to avoid browser issues.

If you don't relog when changing computers then the old tracking cookies will be left behind, and threads will be noted as unread when you read then on the other machine.

Weird read/unread problems will remain unless you relog when changing computers.  This is by design and will never be fixed.  It is not feasible for the server to track 3,524,443,271,568 permutations (what would be required to track 1,050,397 threads for 93,204 users).  For those who are curious, that's 3.2 terabytes.

As for those seeing the issue when only using one computer, a relog will general get things back in order (more or less).  Everything becoming unread (or unread messages becoming read) normally indicates that the cookie that tracks these things has been lost (or corrupted, but you'd hope such things wouldn't happen in modern browsers).  Not really any other constructive feedback I can provide on that at this stage.
Utsukushi
 member, 1348 posts
 I should really stay out
 of this, I know...but...
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 16:04
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Skald:
Heh.  You and I have a very different opinion of cookies - I'm more inclined to blame any/all weird/intermittent stuff on them !  <grins>

Can't blame me on cookies!

jase:
This is by design and will never be fixed.  It is not feasible for the server to track 3,524,443,271,568 permutations (what would be required to track 1,050,397 threads for 93,204 users).  For those who are curious, that's 3.2 terabytes.

That seems fair... though, I mean, who knows?  Someday, 3.2 terabytes might be what 64k is today.  I'd like to think RPoL will still be around. grin
DarkLightHitomi
 member, 941 posts
Tue 18 Aug 2015
at 22:06
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Sounds like my trouble then is likely something happening to my cookies (darn mice, I don't have enough milk for my cookies to get handed out):D
Skald
 moderator, 648 posts
 Whatever it is,
 I'm against it
Wed 19 Aug 2015
at 14:42
Re: Unread Threads Marker Problem
Quite right Utsukushi - I stand corrected.  Amended statement should read: I'm more inclined to blame any/all weird/intermittent stuff on Utsukushi !

Thanks for that jase - I'm gonna keep a copy of that explanation for next time.  :>