Dear QuestionPoint Chat Users:
We would like to discuss an issue rasied on the list server regarding patrons using the Qwidget through Firefox version 3.6 and higher.
As mentioned on the list serve, we have learned though reports by users, and by our own testing, that problems of slow or interrupted text input might be experienced by patrons using Firefox version 3.6 and higher (including the newly released Firefox 4).
This is due to an issue between the Qwidget and changes made by Mozilla to improve Firefox's processing speed. The severity of the issue for Firefox users will vary based on a combination of these factors:
- The amount of bandwidth the patron is using at the time. This includes number of opened browser windows and tabs (not just Firefox's) and use of streaming media.
- The number of network hops between the user's computer and the QuestionPoint server."Network hops" means the number of internet routers that handle the patron's message between their computer and the QuestionPoint server. The network hops will change from session to session based on things like the patron's internet provider and the patron's physical location. The greater the number of network hops between the user and the QuestionPoint servers, the greater the risk of the problem occurring during the session.
- How fast the network hops are processing the patron's requests. Speed is measured by how much time it takes each hop to handle the patron's message. The longer the amount of time it takes each hop to process the patron's message, the greater the risk of the problem occurring. Speed can be affected based on the amount of traffic being handled by the hop at a given time.
While the problem is not pervasive, it is significant, and we are working on possible fixes to improve the Qwidget experience for patrons using these versions of Firefox.
Meanwhile, if you notice that Firefox patrons are experiencing difficulties, we recommend that you ask the patron to close any streaming media services as well as any extra Firefox tabs that they may have open. If this does not resolve the problem, then please ask them if they would be willing to end the session and come back with a different browser such as Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari.
Please continue to send any reports of this problem along with the transcript ID to Support@oclc.org, so that we may compile as much anecdotal material on this issue as possible as we work towards a fix.