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EQ2 Browser Crash Issue - Info requestFollow

#27 Feb 28 2012 at 10:15 PM Rating: Excellent
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Dethdlr wrote:
Tried those test links with the default UI. I always play full screen btw, don't think I mentioned that before. Nothing running in the background, ACT, other browsers, etc. for any of the tests I've done.

I went to and back from test links 1 and 3 over 10 times and couldn't get it to freeze. Link 2, I got it to freeze after about 4 or 5 tries the first time. Restarted and tried it again and it probably took me 8 or 9 tries to get it to lock up. Not really much in the way of conclusive evidence there unfortunately.

For me, it seems to still freeze a lot more frequently at the quest write ups than anything else that I've tried. I'm done testing for the night but not for good. Will do some more tests tomorrow or the next day.

Thanks for sticking in there with me and trying to track this down. :)

Yeah, not very conclusive unfortunately. Since Calthine got it to freeze up over on Massively's site that makes it even more interesting. Have you tried other sites to see if certain types of pages on them cause it to occur as well?



Completely off topic... your sig urls have ) included in the links.. :)
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#28 Feb 29 2012 at 1:16 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm starting to think it's not ZAM but a graphics overload on that poor 20 year old browser. Please try it on sites besides ZAM.
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#29 Feb 29 2012 at 7:47 AM Rating: Excellent
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Calthine wrote:
I'm starting to think it's not ZAM but a graphics overload on that poor 20 year old browser. Please try it on sites besides ZAM.

Yeah, Etch-A-Sketch always did have an issue with graphics. Smiley: frown
#30 Feb 29 2012 at 11:01 AM Rating: Decent
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Cyliena wrote:
Yeah, not very conclusive unfortunately. Since Calthine got it to freeze up over on Massively's site that makes it even more interesting. Have you tried other sites to see if certain types of pages on them cause it to occur as well?


I've tried it and never been able to get it to freeze the game with EQ2I, LootDB, EQ2LL, or Xanadu, all sites which lend themselves well to looking up information from within the game with the in-game browser. And granted, all a LOT less complex than Zam.

I don't doubt that Massively or other sites can cause the same issue. I wouldn't be surprised if loading YouTube, Netflix or Hulu with the in-game browser would cause this issue as well. But none of those are sites with valuable information about in-game items or quest write ups that lend themselves well to looking things up with the in-game browser like Zam does. Zam has some really nice information that is great to have available with the in-game browser.

Calthine was able to repro this issue with Drums and the default UI, something that was stated at the beginning of this thread that nobody at Zam had been able to do before. Are we working towards finding out what specifically is causing this and then tweaking the pages at Zam to solve it? Or are we working towards determining that the in-game browser is incapable of loading pages like quest writeups at Zam? Hopefully it's the first one. :) If so, I'll keep plugging along. I've got some ideas to track it down but it may take me a while. The in-game browser can load a page off the hard drive as well. I can grab one of the pages that lock me up, save it locally, and then start pulling parts of it out until it doesn't happen anymore. Then I can add things back in until it starts happening again. This should let me narrow it down to a pretty small html file that regularly causes the problem. I should then also be able to put together a very similar html file that never causes the problem. But as I said, it will take a while and a lot of work.

Cyliena wrote:
Completely off topic... your sig urls have ) included in the links.. :)


Thanks for the heads up about my signature. I tried my sig from EQ2Interface that uses bbcode and it didn't work. :( Then I tried straight html and it didn't work either. :( Finally I just typed the addresses and put them in parenthesis and apparently that didn't work either. Doh! There's no information on the page to tell me what I can and can't use in the signatures so I'm kinda flying blind. :( I finally just put the links by themselves and that seems to work.

Thanks!
#31 Feb 29 2012 at 4:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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To answer your question, we are working to find out what the issue is. That has not been determined yet. The new information is: it is not ZAM, because it has happened on other sites.

If we can determine the issue, we can see if there's something we can tweak on our side to give some relief to the lockups. But all we have right now is "some sites make the game lock up" and that's nothing we can work with.

So instead of focusing on "it's ZAM's fault and ZAM needs to fix it" let's focus on finding the core issue. Right now we still have no idea what's causing the issue.

PS: The person that should really be looking into this is Zoltaroth, not us. He's EQ2 Lead Programmer.
PPS: You know, if we found the core issue, we could really probably get SOE to fix it.

Edited, Feb 29th 2012 8:11pm by Calthine
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#32 Feb 29 2012 at 7:27 PM Rating: Decent
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Ever since there has been more than one web browser, web developers have had to choose which browsers they are going to support, and which ones they're not. What works in one browser may not work in another. In fact, what works in one browser may completely crash another. This is a simple fact of web development. Once you have chosen the browsers you are going to support, you have to tweak your site so that it works properly in those browsers. As a web developer, you don't have any control over how those web browsers work and what bugs they have, and believe me, most of them have bugs. You have to tweak your site to work around the bugs in the browsers you've chosen to support. When a new version of Internet Explorer comes out for example, your site may no longer work properly in the new version. When that happens, you have to either tweak your site to work with it or simply say that you don't support that version of Internet Explorer. Most people tweak their site. Saying that it doesn't work with the new version of Internet Explorer so blame Microsoft and call Steve Ballmer doesn't help.

The same thing applies to the in-game browser. It has bugs. It has limitations. In order for it to function properly with a given site, that site may need to be tweaked to support the in-game browser. What needs tweaked isn't something that is documented. It is derived by web developers doing trial and error until they figure out what they need to do to support a given browser. Same thing with the in-game browser. The in-game browser is what it is. It's a limited browser that can handle a limited amount of capabilities.

As a web developer, you have two choices when dealing with a limited browser such as the in-game browser:

1. Support the in-game browser. This means you have to do the work to tweak the site so that it functions properly with the in-game browser. This is usually a pain.

2. Don't support the browser. This means you do what you can to get it to work but if things go wrong, you don't officially support it anyway.

There are many, many sites out there that don't support the in-game browser. Pointing at them and saying your site is fine because those other sites don't work either doesn't help anything. Those other sites don't support the in-game browser.

If Zam's position is that because of the limitations of the in-game browser, you don't officially support it's use, that's a perfectly acceptable position. Nobody can fault you for it if that's your decision. Getting an advanced site like Zam to function properly in something as limited as the in-game browser is a sizable challenge. If the benefit isn't worth the work involved in officially supporting it, then that makes sense, don't officially support it.

If that's the case, just let me know. But that's not what has been stated so far. What has been stated so far has been that this has been happening for two years and nobody can give repro steps. So I gave you repro steps with a custom UI. You then said you need repro steps with the default UI. So I gave you repro steps with the default UI. You then said that since it happens with other sites as well, it's not Zam's fault. I think we can all agree that it's not Zam's fault. The in-game browser has major limitations. We all get that. It's the fault of the in-game browser. But none of *us* can't fix the in game browser. The only thing we have control over is our own code. Some of the other EQ2 sites have decided to code their pages in such a way that they work with the limitations of the in-game browser. So far, Zam hasn't. That's a perfectly understandable position.

So is that correct? Zam doesn't officially support the in-game browser due to it's sizable limitations and bugs?

Thanks

#33 Feb 29 2012 at 7:49 PM Rating: Excellent
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Dethdlr wrote:


So is that correct? Zam doesn't officially support the in-game browser due to it's sizable limitations and bugs?

Thanks



Wow, you really like to read in. Don't be silly. We're obviously willing to give it (another) shot because we're here in this thread with you trying to figure out what's going on.

We still do not know what is causing the lockup. We know that it happens, and that it's not specific to the ZAM site. But we do not know what causes it. We cannot make a change to support this if we do not know what the problem is. Only after the problem is pinned down can we determine if it's something we can do or not.

The more sites we can make the error occur on, the more samples we have to explore for commonality. It's simple as that.

Edited, Feb 29th 2012 8:50pm by Calthine
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#34 Feb 29 2012 at 7:53 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's potentially Flash.
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#35 Feb 29 2012 at 11:23 PM Rating: Decent
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acprog wrote:
It's potentially Flash.

I think you're right.

I went into the mozilla folder within my Everquest II folder and created a file called user.js.

Within that file, I put the following line and saved the file:

pref("plugin.scan.plid.all", false);

This prevents mozilla from scanning for PLIDs which basically means that it won't load the plugins for RealPlayer or Flash.

Once I had that file in that folder, no matter what I tried and no matter how many times I tried it, I couldn't get the game to freeze. And this was without being logged in and ads displayed on the page. Occasionally I would see an ad that had the icon to click here to load the plugin and I don't remember seeing that before.

If that's the case, testing for the in-game browser and making sure not to send it anything with Flash should solve the issue without having to place that file in every users mozilla folder.

This would also explain why it happens for some and not others. If you don't have flash installed on your machine, then the in-game browser won't be able to try to load flash and won't have an issue.

I have no idea if ALL flash causes the problem or if it's just something to do with the Flash stuff coming from Zam or I'd suggest having the game team push that file out to the mozilla folder for everybody's machine. Also, there are several other things you can turn off within that file and there may be players who have turned off even more with that file than I needed to to get Zam to not crash for me. I wouldn't want to overwrite their configuration. So it's probably better to not try to get the game team to fix it.

Does that sound like something that's possible? Filtering out Flash for the in-game browser?

Thanks!

#36 Mar 01 2012 at 10:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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We discovered that from me getting the problem on dictionary.reference.com and getting an actual error log. More samples would be better: while it appeared to be the same issue, it was the first time on any trial I got a windows error message and therefore might not be it.

Although it's looking good :)



Edited, Mar 1st 2012 11:46am by Calthine
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#37 Mar 01 2012 at 2:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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On another note, I don't suppose SOE has plans to make a better browser, do they?

Haha! I crack myself up...
#38 Mar 01 2012 at 2:59 PM Rating: Decent
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lol. Heck, this IS a better browser. You should have seen what they had for a browser before this one. You talk about limitations. It didn't even support all the normal html tags. Took me forever to put together pages that worked in that mess they called a browser. This is leaps and bounds above the old one. :)

But yes, it could be much better. But at least it works. Most of the time. With some pages. :)
#39 Mar 05 2012 at 5:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Poof. Your repro directions, my persistence until I got a logged error, and devs who communicate equals today's EQ2 Test Server notes:
http://forums.station.sony.com/eq2/posts/list.m?topic_id=515760

GENERAL

Fix for Mozilla in-game browser crash when Flash is installed for non IE browsers and a flash site is viewed.

:)
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