Dune 2d20
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Fairfax County, Virginia
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    499

    Three bugs (or possible bugs)

    Found three issues during this evening's session with FG to report, using 2.0.11. One or two of these may be serious problems, although it's possible that the problem is somewhere other than FG.

    1. Entire token catalog shared with players. Upon opening their token boxes, my players reported being able to see all of the custom tokens I had added in the "host" folder on my machine, instead of only the "shared" tokens. The tokens appeared in the top-level token bag on their machines (that is, they opened the token box and they were all shown right there). On my machine, the tokens appeared correctly within the structure of directories/bags I had set up. After I restarted the server (see #3 below), they were no longer able to see the extra tokens.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any more specific data on this issue. Here are some things that we had done during the session before we noticed what was happening - they may or may not be related, but I figure a little crappy info is better than none at all:
    • One of my players also uses the Full version.
    • I had started preloading a map to my players before everyone was present. One player joined while the map was preloading. Don't know whether it shared the map with him or not.
    • Added a new image to the campaign's images folder while FG was running and the players were connected. Shared that image with them right afterwards.


    2. 100% CPU utilization while tabbed out. At one point, I needed to drop an image into the campaign's images folder. The image was obtained from an attachment in Thunderbird. I tabbed out to Thunderbird, right-clicked the attachment and picked "save as", and in the "save as" dialog where you choose where to save the image, it was clear that nearly all of the CPU time was going somewhere else. Files in the current directory were listed verrry slowly, and things were generally lagging while I was tabbed out. When I tabbed back in to FG, it appeared that everything in FG was running normally.

    I was running Thunderbird and Firefox at the time, along with a few miscellaneous tray items. None had ever given me any problems before, even when running large DirectX apps alongside them and tabbing out.

    3. Possible memory or resource leak. Late in the session - after FG had been running for about 3.5 hours - it became clear that something seriously bad was going on on my machine. In FG, the cursor in the chat box was shown twice as thick as normal, and the bullet points in the text in one of my story entries were blinking rapidly. A small area at the edge of one of the images (I had two large images open at the time) was blinking in time with the chat box cursor. Clicking outside the chat box to get rid of the cursor caused the other blinking to stop.

    However, within a couple minutes, it became clear that things were getting worse. When I right-clicked on a die, one of the "how many dice" options was displayed as a solid white square instead of the normal icon. A couple of tooltips had a small solid black box displayed where part of the text was supposed to be.

    I tabbed over to Firefox (which was also running), and an image that was shown in that browser window was instead displayed as a solid black box. When I tabbed back to FG, all the text in the chat window had disappeared and the two maps I had open were no longer visible, although I hadn't closed them. Typing /save in the chat window caused the text to reappear when it scrolled everything up by one line to display "campaign saved".

    Suspecting that things were going horribly wrong, I told my players I needed to exit FG and restart it. This is where things went really bad. Upon re-entering FG, it complained with the "FG has crashed, there's a backup here" dialog. When I clicked OK and entered FG, however, it appeared that the entire campaign had been blanked out, as in the db.xml file was empty. I exited, but the backup was nowhere to be seen. (Fortunately, I had a fairly recent campaign backup saved elsewhere, so my players only lost the evening's edits while I lost part of the past week's planning.)

    Even worse, however, the problem extended beyond FG. I exited the other programs I was running at the time - Firefox and Thunderbird - and rebooted my computer. When I restarted and ran Thunderbird, it was no longer able to find my profile, as if some important file had been corrupted when Thunderbird exited. (I was able to recover everything, and took the opportunity to upgrade Thunderbird, so no worries there.)

    Anyway, this could become a serious problem for some folks if it's actually a problem with FG itself and not a problem solely on my machine. Unfortunately, I don't really have any good leads for tracking down a problem. All I can say is that we had six players connected to the server, and we had looked at maybe five or six large (roughly 1600x2000) maps during the evening and a number of tokens (including the "share all the custom tokens" issue listed above). None of my players had problems with the CPU utilization or with the resource leak, but I had viewed a couple of extra images in FG that I hadn't shared with them, so it's possible that it could have happened later on their machines as well.

    In case it helps any:
    • Win2000 SP4
    • nVidia 7600GT AGP running NGOHQ 97.92 drivers
    • Athlon XP 3200+
    • 1GB memory
    • 1920x1440 resolution


    Sorry for the long-winded post. Let me know if there's anything else I can do to help track down these bugs. Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia
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    499
    Oh, I almost forgot! When I exited FG after things started going haywire, I restarted it, found out that the db.xml had been blanked out, and exited again. I copied the backup campaign that I had made after our previous session in place and began recreating one of the image masks that I had made earlier (outdoor area, but I wanted all the building insides masked). While I was working on this, my players all reconnected to the server. FG was running extremely slowly, and it eventually locked up. In other words, exiting FG and restarting it didn't solve the resource leak problem, which is why I suspect that it was a resource leak rather than just a memory leak. (That's why I ended up rebooting my machine.)

    Also, I had an item entry open, two maps, some tokens, the combat tracker, and I think the story section and image section the first time FG started going crazy (but I don't think any other entries were open from those sections).
    Last edited by Dachannien; May 10th, 2007 at 09:33.

  3. #3
    One thing to verify is if FF is responsable for your memory leak. Especially if you are running FF2. On my machine, if I leave FF2 up for longer than an hour, I can look and it is using about 400,000 K in memory.

    What I would suggest is to try FGII alone, and see if you get the same memory leak.

    Sandeman
    Ultimate Licence holder

    I've had FG for so LONG I DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE IT!

    But I'm learning!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7,001
    It really sounds like you ran out of memory. FG2 is a DirectX app and by definition does not share CPU well unless it is windowed - that is the whole point of DirectX to allow a single app to consume most of a computers resouces without having to worry about time slicing another app. Out of curiosity did you notice if you were hitting virtual memory? From the sound you might have been.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia
    Posts
    499
    Okay, I did a little bit of testing to root out the CPU utilization issue. Here's what I've figured out:

    FG will go to around 100% CPU utilization under these circumstances:
    • You have at least one Personality or Item entry open, and
    • All of the Personality and Item entries you have open are completely obscured by another application's window.
    • This occurs regardless of whether FG has the focus.
    • If even one Personality or Item entry has even a single pixel visible on the screen, CPU utilization will be normal.


    I'll leave FG open for a few hours to see if it has problems with resource (probably DirectX handles) leakage, but so far, I haven't seen a memory leak. (This is made more difficult by Microsoft's obtuse decision to stop supporting Win2k for the DirectX SDK, which means I can't run the debug DLLs to see DirectX debug messages.)

  6. #6
    When I first got FG2, I left it open for about 18 hours straight so that my players could log on at their leisure and input their characters. I saw no resource-management issues at that point. Admittedly, I wasn't doing anything with it at the time, so it's possible large-scale activities with it could cause issues, but there's nothing wrong with just leaving it open.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Fairfax County, Virginia
    Posts
    499
    I managed to find another two cases where CPU utilization was abnormally high. When hovering the mouse cursor over the category bar in the story/image/etc. section, CPU usage goes up to around half on my machine (single core, so not sure why it was 50%). This also happens when hovering over the token box. It may have something to do with tooltips.

    Also, I wasn't able to reproduce the resource leak problem that I mentioned earlier. I opened a ton of maps and such, but was only able to get the peak commit charge up to about 700MB (I have 1 GB in my machine, so it didn't have to hit the swap file for this). None of the earlier symptoms occurred this time. However, one big difference is that I only had one client connected during this test, whereas I had 6 clients connected when things went horribly wrong the other evening.

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