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24 Mar 10 Archived Chats in ALA Connect

We’ve been getting reports from users having trouble using ALA Connect’s chat feature, but unfortunately we haven’t been able to narrow down the specific problem. It’s not limited to users on any particular operating system, by time of day, to one web browser, or anything else we can see as a pattern. Some users (but not all) just seem to randomly get kicked out of chats, which obviously is causing problems.

There are very few Drupal-based chat modules that will work for us because we’re intent on keeping the site accessible, and we haven’t been able to find a better one that meets accessibility guidelines. So the solution that we’re going to try to is to upgrade the chat module we’re currently using since there’s a newer version of it.

We’re hopeful it’ll solve the problems, but there’s one, big issue with it. The new version breaks all links to past chats, including those that are archived.

What does this mean?

It means that if you have a transcript from a past chat that you want to keep, you’ll need to¬† go to it, copy the text, and paste it into an online doc or discussion topic in order to manually archive it. After April 21, 2010, all past chat transcripts will disappear from Connect.

Example chats that will disappear after the upgrade

When will this happen?

We’ll implement the new upgraded chat module on April 21, 2010, so you need to manually archive through copy and paste any past transcripts before that date. Beginning on April 21, we won’t be able to recover any past chats for your group.

Will this solve the chat problems?

We certainly hope so, but if you still run into problems, please let us know via the contact form on the site or by emailing us at connect [at] ala.org. We’re sorry about the inconvenience this will cause, but hopefully the trade-off will be a more stable chat feature.

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