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Errors of Session Time Outs

 
Posts: 1113
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I often get error messages like this:

"An Error Has Occurred! Session verification failed. Please try logging out and back in again, and then try again."

or similar messages because I take my time to read, then do some other work, chores, come back and read some more and then perhaps reply. By then the session cookies(?) are timed out. Is there any way to lengthen this at least to a few days? That would be most helpful.
 
gardener
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What browser are you using Pub? 

Could be the settings you've got on your browser, because I can leave a permies window open all day and still get back to it when I can without issue.

Supply a bit more info and we'll see what we can do.
 
Walter Jeffries
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Safari 4.1.3 which is the latest one for my Macintosh. It is only Permies that times out like this. On other discussion boards I haven't run into the problem.
 
Jami McBride
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Hum.... I don't run Safari or Mac, but I'll look into it.

In the mean time maybe someone else will chime in with some info.
 
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Hi Pub,

You might try changing the "minutes to stay logged in" field the next time you log in.

Use the https://permies.com/bb/index.php?action=login page specifically, and where it says "240" change it to 99999, or click the box below that says "always stay logged in".  That would be my first guess, since I think it's happened to me in the past as well.
 
Jami McBride
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Kane - your right, but I thought Paul had changed that parameter..... maybe not.

Do check it out Pub, could be the very problem.
 
Walter Jeffries
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I'll give that a shot but the problem isn't one of getting logged out. Rather the forums are saying that the thread I wish to reply to has timed out. That is:
1) I start reading a thread.
2) Time passes as I must go do chores or something.
3) I come back and finish reading the thread.
4) I press Reply.
5) I get the error.

Or:

1) I start reading a thread.
2) I press Reply and start a reply.
3) Time passes as I must go do chores or something.
4) I finish my reply and press Post
5) I get the error.
 
Jami McBride
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One thing about Step 5 in your second example is - you can go back (click your browsers back button) and your reply/text will still be in the message box.  This is very good news, I've been on another private (member only) type forum where you lost all you typed after a session time out due to the member-software.

Changing the minutes to stay logged in will help your situation, I'm hoping it cures it completely, however since Paul has moved the forum(s) to new software I sometimes get session errors now on rare occasions.  No problem though since my text is never gone when the page refreshes.  I just click the post button again.

Good luck.
 
Kane Jamison
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Jami, has the forum already been moved to new software, or is that still in the process?  I remember seeing a thread here or there about it but didn't know when it was happening.
 
Jami McBride
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Part of what was chatted about has been completed, and there were very few glitches right after.  Tweaks have been done and we are now mostly stable, except for session errors now and then, but only rarely now. 

So I hope he does as you suggested and posts back here after he has had some time to really give it a fare testing.

I will say that Safari is more prone to these types of problems than most browsers, but Safari isn't the only factor at work in these situations - there seems to be a server side factor too. 
 
                    
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There is a setting in the forum features and options setting that permits the "Seconds before an unused session timeout" to be set. We have this set to 3600. This is the number of seconds for sessions to last after they haven't been accessed. If a session is not accessed for too long, it is said to have "timed out". That is not user controlled or adjustable; only admins.

As Jami pointed out the back button can be used to return to the message writing screen. I will usually then copy the message "just in case", before attempting to re-upload the message.

 
Jami McBride
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Well, thanks Don. 

So it has been changed, since I first signed up here - good to know.

Don do you have any other ideas that Pub can try to help his situation?

Thanks for jumping in, your the best.
 
                    
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As far as I know the only thing that works is "doing something"; something the software recognizes as activity, such as a mouse click. 

I don't leave my sessions open as a rule when I leave the computer. When I know I'm going to be composing a long message or know I'll be interrupted my way around the issue is to compose it in my word processor, then copy and paste it to the forum message when I log back in.

Sorry for not having a simpler/better idea.
 
Kane Jamison
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mtnDon Miller wrote:
As far as I know the only thing that works is "doing something"; something the software recognizes as activity, such as a mouse click. 

I don't leave my sessions open as a rule when I leave the computer. When I know I'm going to be composing a long message or know I'll be interrupted my way around the issue is to compose it in my word processor, then copy and paste it to the forum message when I log back in.

Sorry for not having a simpler/better idea.



Get in the habit of hitting select all + copy (Ctrl+A, then Ctrl+C) before you hit submit on anything.  It's not much better but at least you can compose in the window.  This is assuming the timeouts are happening after pub hits submit.
 
Walter Jeffries
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I'm out doing chores for hours so I can't be clicking mice. This problem doesn't happen elsewhere, just wit the Permies.com forums. It's not my software. It's not my computer. It is a cookie most likely that is being maintained by the forum system which is set to too low a timeout. The result is I have no control over it. I was hoping that by mentioning it someone who works on the forum software could make the necessary adjustment on the back-end.
 
                    
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If we don't have a time limit on the session we would gradually fill our database with sessions until we run out of disk space. Every user who visited even only once would leave a session file and it'll be a unique file per user session.

By limiting the inactivity length server performance is increased for the active users.
 
Walter Jeffries
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I see the problem. Some systems use the user's disk space to store this via the cookes. That resolves the storage problem.

Might I suggest a longer time out on the sessions. Perhaps 72 hours? That would still clear the databases yet allow users to go out and do chores while they think before responding to a thread.
 
                    
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This forum software, SMF, uses cookies and a session file for each user. Cookies are on the member computer and session files are on the server. The cookie communicates with the session file. Making the session inactivity timeout 72 hours instead of one hour increases that file size by a more or less equivalent amount. That can slow the system and is not advisable from a point of view of usability to all as this setting affects all users the same. In effect a user that was online for only 5 minutes on the first day would still have an open sessions file until 72 hours had passed.

I am passing this on to Paul for his thoughts.

 
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Don - do you have any idea how many times I've nearly stuck my finger through the screen of my laptop trying to squish that bug!!!
 
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I've been talking to andrew a lot lately about the move to the new software.  One of the big hurdles has been crossed.  The move could happen this weekend.
 
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