Answers lost - suspect session

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158736 by rleuthold
rleuthold created the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
We're getting more and more complaints from our customers that they are missing answers. Usually this seems to happen after a survey has been closed or left without clicking "save and resume later".

Then if they pick up the survey, answers are missing.

We already spent a lot of testing and support hours into this issue but cannot figure out what happens. Lately we started to give our customers the link to start a new sesion with each try (with the newtest/Y parameter). This helped in some cases but dit not work at all in other.

Especially the token parameter combined with the newtest paramater led to even more problems. Some people reported back, that they could not see a single answer using this form of entry link (I could confirm that from my local computer).

So with all that inconsistency concerning the session, it feels like this is the source of our problem. We had problems before (when we had less customers) but switching to database based session improved things a lot.

Is it possible that the session and the database are in some kind of an unsynced state and the session overwrites or deletes data in the database? I'm asking because it seems like the session data includes most if not all of the current survey data for a user - including answers.

Could it be a misconfiguration of the server? I'm running version 2.64.1 with php 5.5.9 (thanks to an old TYPO3 site running on the same server) & MySQL 5.5.41 on a Ubuntu 14.4 server.

Any ideas & help are very welcome.

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158741 by jelo
jelo replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session

rleuthold wrote: Especially the token parameter combined with the newtest paramater led to even more problems. Some people reported back, that they could not see a single answer using this form of entry link (I could confirm that from my local computer).

"/newtest" is clearing the session and opening a new session. Depending on the settings in the survey it doesn't matter if tokens are used. The answers will be saved in the database but not available when accessing the survey with the same token again.

You're mentioning "customers". Are you customers creating the surveys and selecting the settings?
To me this looks like a few different issues which look like one issue. Perhaps you have a session issue too.Why did you switch to database sessions?

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158758 by rleuthold
rleuthold replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session

jelo wrote: "/newtest" is clearing the session and opening a new session. Depending on the settings in the survey it doesn't matter if tokens are used.

What do you mean by that. All our surveys use token based authentification with token-based response persistence and
Allow multiple responses or update responses with one token enabled.

The answers will be saved in the database but not available when accessing the survey with the same token again

But this depends on the survey settings and not the newtest parameter, right?

You're mentioning "customers". Are you customers creating the surveys and selecting the settings?

No - particpiants would maybe be the better word. We are creating and configuring the survey and send the token to the participants.

To me this looks like a few different issues which look like one issue.Perhaps you have a session issue too.

Do you have an idea or gut feeling what else might cause this issues.

Why did you switch to database sessions?

I I remember right, we had a lot of participants who reported, that they had to log in again after just a few minutes.
Have you had better experiences with file based sessions?

Thanks four reply!

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158811 by DenisChenu
DenisChenu replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
Disk space ?

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
An error happen ? Before make a new topic : remind the Debug mode .

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158814 by rleuthold
rleuthold replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
Filesystem         Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/ploop64780p1   50G  5.7G   41G  13% /
none                32G     0   32G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
none                32G  4.0K   32G   1% /dev
none                32G  1.1M   32G   1% /run

nope ...

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158816 by DenisChenu
DenisChenu replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session

We're getting more and more complaints from our customers that they are missing answers. Usually this seems to happen after a survey has been closed or left without clicking "save and resume later".

But if user don't move next or don't save and quote : current page are not saved. It's attended behaviour.

In fact : use newtest/Y with token and the 2 settings must not update something if you don't update survey. Must do the same things.
Maybe user take same survey at same times on different computer ?

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
An error happen ? Before make a new topic : remind the Debug mode .

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158818 by rleuthold
rleuthold replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session

But if user don't move next or don't save and quote : current page are not saved. It's attended behaviour.

That is clear, but we already ruled this out. These participants do a lot of our surveys.

In fact : use newtest/Y with token and the 2 settings must not update something if you don't update survey. Must do the same things.

Unfortunately it doesn't. I've seen this myself - the link with the newtest & the token parameter showed no answers, the link without the token showed them all.

Maybe user take same survey at same times on different computer ?

Very, very unlikely. But I will look into it. There is no way to "lock" a survey if somebody else is working on it - is there?

The surveys have around 350 questions - could that lead to problems?

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158833 by DenisChenu
DenisChenu replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session

There is no way to "lock" a survey if somebody else is working on it - is there?

I bstart a plugin to do this, but really complex … really really …

Else : i don't really see what specific issue you can have without pout some debug in your instance. You use the last version ?

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
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2 months 3 weeks ago #158853 by rleuthold
rleuthold replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session

i don't really see what specific issue you can have without pout some debug in your instance. You use the last version ?


I'm using Version 2.64.1 (new but not latest). How would you debug this? I'm no a Yii guy (mostly Laravel and Symfony).

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2 months 3 weeks ago #158854 by DenisChenu
DenisChenu replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
I doin't have really idea where put some log , but here : it's really old code not totally related to Yii
See github.com/LimeSurvey/LimeSurvey/blob/85...urvey/index.php#L554 : where the response is loaded from database (with newtest=Y).

1 : activate log on server file
2: put some log : Yii::log("Here it's OK", 'info', "mydebug");

For 1 :
        'log' => array(
            'routes' => array(
                'fileError' => array(
                    'class' => 'CFileLogRoute',
                    'levels' => 'info, warning, error',
                    'except' => 'exception.CHttpException.404',
                ),
            )
        ),

See manual.limesurvey.org/Optional_settings#Logging_settings

Assistance on LimeSurvey forum and LimeSurvey core development are on my free time.
I'm not a LimeSurvey GmbH member, professional service on demand (or search sondages pro).
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1 month 1 week ago #160246 by vkuzmin
vkuzmin replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
I've had this issue too, try to restart browser after every participant, or run surveys in incognito mode (new incognito window every time), it will solve your problem.
Without that if you see red (error) labels on every array questions 99% that you got that issue and your answers will be lost,

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1 month 1 week ago #160256 by rleuthold
rleuthold replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
Thanks for the answer. However, we only have multiple choice and text questions in our surveys.

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1 month 1 week ago #160272 by vkuzmin
vkuzmin replied the topic: Answers lost - suspect session
I didn't mean "dont use array questions", i mean "restart browser every time". Arrays don't cause problems, they can notify that something went wrong instead.

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