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Is checkfriends now disabled for free accounts? - LiveJournal Client Discussions [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Is checkfriends now disabled for free accounts? [Dec. 29th, 2002|03:18 pm]
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We've gotten a few reports of Journalert's new-friend-post feature not working: the users never get any updates that friends have posted. These reports came from users with free accounts, and one said that the problem persisted when he used iJournal. We just tried checkfriends from this very account, which is free, and got the same results. Interestingly, the 'interval' parameter in the response is 36000, which means the server is saying we're only allowed to check every ten hours! If this is true of all free accounts, then it means no free user will get any notifications unless they stay logged in for that long.

This must have changed sometime in the past two or three months — checkfriends seemed to work for free accounts before that. I just checked the support page, the FAQ, and the description of the checkfriends protocol, and didn't see any mention of this. Anyone know what's up?
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Comments:
From: evan
2002-12-29 03:25 pm (UTC)
I think checkfriends was disabled (effectively) for free users due to load.
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[User Picture]From: xb95
2002-12-29 05:44 pm (UTC)
This is correct.
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From: evan
2002-12-29 05:45 pm (UTC)
Did we announce this anywhere? I looked around and didn't see it... :\
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[User Picture]From: xb95
2002-12-29 05:47 pm (UTC)
I think it was announced to support through Alan, but I don't think it was ever posted officially. At least, not that I know of.
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[User Picture]From: dottey
2002-12-29 06:36 pm (UTC)
Well, thats pretty lame. I would highly suggest that someone adds it to an FAQ somewhere.

I can't believe that checkfriends causes THAT much of a load. Now, instead, people are going to reload their entire friends list every 1/5/10 minutes, even if none of their friends updated.

Of course, I don't know the stats. You guys do. So perhaps checkfriends does in fact cause a high load.
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[User Picture]From: jerronimo
2002-12-29 09:36 pm (UTC)
well crap. one of my friends with a free account spent lots of time trying to debug my client since checkfriends didn't work for him at all. At least now we know what the culprit was.
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[User Picture]From: sprote
2002-12-30 10:34 pm (UTC)
I agree that this seems lame. The whole point of checkfriends is supposed to be that it's lightweight.

We can try to put together a workaround, which will probably involve a conditional GET of the friends page using an If-Modified-Since header, but that will only work well if the server is intelligent about knowing the mod date of the friends page, which I suspect it might not be.
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[User Picture]From: mart
2003-01-01 07:05 pm (UTC)

The server doesn't actually check if a friends page has been modified since the time given, it simply assumes that if the time given was within a given number of minutes ago the page was not updated, thus doing some half-assed rate limiting for when people hit refresh a lot.

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[User Picture]From: kumokasumi
2002-12-30 10:06 am (UTC)
I definitely posted a message here about that a few weeks ago and nobody could figure out what it was. Thanks a lot, guys. XP

Doesn't even make any sense. o.o
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