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Archive for August, 2009

If you use sockets in Flash for games, virtual worlds, or streaming video you can run into a nasty problem in IE7. The open socket will not close until the entire browser is closed. Closing a tab or refreshing the page won’t do it. Luckily IE8 has been out for a while and fixes this. (Though, according to w3schools ~16% users are using IE7 and ~14% are using IE6 at the time of this post.)

The behavior that we had to deal with in our multiplayer applications is what would be viewed as ‘stuck users’. Someone comes to a game and logs in with their account information. The socket server knows that the user is logged in and allows him to chat and play games. The user refreshes the page for whatever reason, or browses away and comes back, and the socket doesn’t die. When the user comes back and tries to login via Flash it fails because the server believes the users is already logged in.

We worked around it by having the server force close the first socket if the same user tried to login a 2nd time.

Here is a useful blog post that talks about another work around.

Here is a useful application that shows all TCP connections that you have. It is how we pin pointed the issue.

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