chat room problems
Some of you have been experiencing chat room problems. Here's what we've been able to figure out about the problems -
As you suspected, the chat problems are related to software or configuration problems on particular computers. This has been going on since we first installed the Chat Room. In a few cases, upgrading Java to the current version helped. Once, I think, someone needed to upgrade their browser. Another time or two, a firewall or firewall setting was the issue.
I cannot get the chat room to function in Firefox but it opens with no problem in Internet Explorer. For others, the opposite is true.
What does this mean to the average user? If reloading/updating Java doesn't work, try an alternate browser. Most windows computers come with Internet Explorer as an installed component. If you are using explorer and experiencing this difficulty, see if your firewall is too restrictive. If your firewall has not been altered and you have successfully used chat in the past, try an alternative browser. FireFox and Iron are available on the internet for free - google either of those names for further information.
Why is this happening? The fault or responsibility is largely out of your hands - it is not a problem caused by you. Modern personal computers are a house of cards. With every effort being put into producing bug-free software, some bugs still creep through. This problem is compounded by additional software - internet servers, browsers, java, yadda-yadda-yadda. The possibilities out there are endless and infinite. Adding to the above, it can sometimes be difficult to reproduce problems - multi-tasking on an individual computer makes it difficult to completely and accurately reproduce the environment in which the problem occurs.
So, your approach to resolving this problem is to shuffle the variable you have control over - firewall, browser, java, etc. A word of warning though, if you have had success with the firewall in the past - leave it alone. It is your protection and should be one of the last things you look at when something stops working.
These are just my opinions, and you know what they say about everyone having an opinion...
Please feel free to document problems here - share the symptoms and any solutions you find - it just may help another user.