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Forum Runner on Android Phone stopped working

Discussion in 'Site Feedback' started by Sun Tzu Wu, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    I understand that CivFanatics requires an application such as Forum Runner when accessing the site from a mobile device.

    I have been using the free version of Forum Runner with Firefox on my Android Phone for several months without any issues.

    I just got a replacement Android Phone, identical to the my first phone (which stopped working). I decided to get the paid version of Forum Runner for my replacement phone, but it doesn't work at all. Neither Firefox or the pre-installed web browser are able to launch Forum Runner when I access a CivFantics Forum page. Instead of that, it launches Google Play (formerly known as Google Market) to download, pay for and install Forum Runner, which it does. However, neither web browser are able to access either variant (free or paid) of Forum Runner no matter how many times I try to install/uninstall and run it. They repeatedly start Google Play to install Forum Runner ...

    I currently have Forum Runner version 1.3.10. Will that version work with your web site? Sorry, I don't remember which version I had working on my old phone (it was the free [not paid for] variant though).

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  2. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    I just use the browser on my Android device, have never needed any other app.
     
  3. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    The forum doesn't require any special app or extension to use on an Android. You can use it on your normal browser, just hit cancel when the popup comes up (twice - once for Forum Runner, once for Tapatalk).

    I don't know about Forum Runner, but I use Tapatalk, which I guess does the same thing. It's also a paid app and it works on many sites. The Forum Runner reviews look pretty bad tbh, lots of people complaining that it doesn't work...


    EDIT: Wait, I think I understand your problem. The Forum Runner app is completely separate from your browser. So you use it instead of using your browser, to view Civ Fanatics. So when you want to browse/post on CFC, you load up the Forum Runner app and log in through that.
     
  4. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Thanks for the responses so far, but I'd really prefer a response from one of the administrators of Civfanatics.

    I can assure you that Civfanatics specifically requires use of Forum Runner to view its web pages, since that is made clear in the error message I get when I attempt to view a Civfanatics Forum page. Please note that this issue affects only the forum pages. I also understand that this requirement originates from the vendor that provides the forum server software, so they can also make money on the client forum software too.

    Firefox Mobile has add-ons that fake the user agent string and thus trick the CivFanatics server into assuming it is receiving a connection request from a Firefox desktop system. Forum Runner is required only for mobile devices, so this is a potential way around this issue, but then the text is too tiny to read easily.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  5. The_J

    The_J Say No 2 Net Validations Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Forum Runner is not required. The admins installed last year for the mobile access the already mentioned tapatalk, to make it easier to browse CFC on mobile phones, because people requested it. People still use it (you can see it occassionally).
    Therefore the error must come from another source :dunno:. Might be the mobile itself, or the service provider :dunno:.
     
  6. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    You are right. The Firefox error message doesn't say Forum Runner is required; it says an app is required. That app could possibly be tapatalk as well, but the CivFanatic forum page access causes a Google Play (formerly Market) access to its Forum Runner page where you are expected to pay for, download and install Forum Runner in order to to view the originally accessed CivFanatics forum page.

    Also, when I change the user agent string to indicate a Firefox desktop browser, I'm able to access the CivFanatics forums just fine without a working Forum Runner. So the CivFanatics server does indeed start the chain of events causing this issue, though it may not actually be the source of the bug.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  7. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    I'm pretty sure I'm better with vbulletin than any of the admins here.

    No, it really doesn't.

    Here's a screenshot of my Android device using Firefox with the regular UA string:

     
  8. Genocidicbunny

    Genocidicbunny Bug squasher

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    Should have just pm'd them

    Not only is this wrong, but its so authoritatively wrong it amuses me, and makes me feel stupider for having read it. I'm going to go read some YouTube comments, they'll smarten me up after that one.

    Moderator Action: If you're not going to help, then don't post.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  9. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    What? No, none of this is true. If you hit "cancel" on the pop up, you would be able to browse on any browser, regardless of what device you use.

    But you're welcome anyway :)

    EDIT: Some screenshots:

    When you first load the page, you get this pop up, for Forum Runner:
    Spoiler :


    Then you click cancel, and get this second pop up, for Tapatalk:
    Spoiler :


    Then you click cancel again, and get to access/use the forum:
    Spoiler :


    Now, it's too small to read, so you can zoom in by pinching or double tapping (or using zoom buttons if your browser has them):
    Spoiler :


    You don't need to buy any app or install anything else to view/use/access the forum. You just need to hit "cancel" twice on the pop-ups and zoom in. Nowhere and at no point does it say that you are required to buy an app, and the "error message", if you read it, is not actually an error message at all. I haven't touched any user agent strings in my browser, and I don't use Firefox Mobile - this is the default browser on my phone, and it doesn't even have the ability to change the UA string.
     
  10. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Thanks for all the helpful feedback.

    From the way the pop up reads, I incorrectly assumed that the Civfanatics forum required an app. I never saw any additional pop ups, because I always clicked ok. I'd been using it this way for several months. When it didn't work, I ended up with a completely blank page where I expected a forum page.

    Sorry for being so obtuse, but there are and will be many more people just starting to use smart phones and a few of them may make some incorrect assumptions like I did. Perhaps the wording of the popups could be changed to avoid such confusion.

    I have contacted vBulletin, the provider of the forum softare that Civfanatics uses for its forum and the provider of Forum Runner regarding its complete failure to work properly with the CivFantics Forum.

    I still did not get an answer about whether a specific version of Forum Runner is required for use with the CivFanatics forum. The orginal reason for this thread was Forum Runner stopped working for me and noone has helped yet in this specific regard.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  11. Sun Tzu Wu

    Sun Tzu Wu Deity Supporter

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    Thanks for fixing CivFanatics' configuration of Forum Runner.

    I'm finally able to use Forum Runner on the CivFanatics forums again after a few days lapse.

    Sun Tzu Wu
     
  12. LucyDuke

    LucyDuke staring at the clock

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    This is a good suggestion. If it's possible, it could be very helpful to add "Or tap Cancel to browse the forums without this app." to the popups in Mise's screenshots.
     
  13. Plotinus

    Plotinus Philosopher Super Moderator

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    Certainly more so than me, I'm afraid.

    I'm glad to see this got sorted, and thanks to our members for helping out here.
     
  14. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    I think the two pop-ups are a bit much. I know that they are probably put there by the Forum Runner and Tapatalk vBulletin addons, but is there any way to make them not popups, but actually part of the website instead? Like a notification at the top of the page so you can continue to use the website without pressing any extra buttons.
     
  15. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    Do you get those pop-ups if logged-in (i.e. remembered settings?)
     
  16. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    No, but the forum runner / tapatalk cookie is actually separate from the CFC/vBulletin cookie. If I log in then log out, it still doesn't show me the pop-ups again; but if I clear all cookies and reload the webpage, it shows the pop-ups. I don't know how long the forum runner / tapatalk cookies persist though.
     
  17. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    Ok... so accepting cookies stops it.

    I've tried blocking it. Should work for tapatalk.... not so sure about forum runner.

    That said, it is a useful message for people who are just trying to visit on their phones with a standard browser. Not sure if disabling the message is a good move.


    Edit:
    By the way - both cookies are set to expire after 90 days.
     
  18. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    The message is useful but I'm not sure if they need to be pop-ups (pop-ups are annoying :p). Can they be text notifications as part of the webpage itself? E.g. a banner at the top of the entry page notifying users, but still allowing users to continue to browse the forum without any additional interaction?

    Having said that, 90 days is probably a decent expiry time for the cookies and shouldn't cause too much grief/confusion.
     
  19. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    I've re-enabled it. I think the upsides outweigh the downsides.

    At people with pop-up problems: Please enable cookies to prevent the pop-up(s) showing again and again.
     
  20. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

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    This is really poor practice, other than logging in, sites should work optimally without the need for cookies.
     

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