Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

some serious database problems on the site

Our Web host disabled my account a few minutes ago because of a database problem that threatened to bring down the shared server. They re-enabled it so I can work with them to figure out what is wrong. I'm going to stay out of the chatbox for now, in case that's the cause of the problem.

Hopefully the site won't go down again today, but if it does, this is why. We're working on the problem.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Kudos to you, Pro

Just thanks.


still waiting for Web host to give me information

The Web host was very fast to disable my account, but is being very slow to give me the information I need to fix the problem. From my point of view, everything is fine. If this site is making queries that threaten to bring down the server, they must send me the queries. I don't have access to the MySQL server log, and I'm not psychic - I can't guess at what is causing the problem. This is annoying.

If they would just send me one example of the excessively long query, I could track it down. But they have not gotten back to me with this.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

slow query log

maybe they have the slow query log enabled? If not, maybe they could edit the mysql config file and restart the db server.

tiptree - overly long sessions inserts

The problem (they finally sent me an example) is overly long inserts into the sessions table. They insist it's a problem with only my account, but the example they sent me was for YOUR account (tiptree).

They said it started happening at the end of November. I did update the chat software at the end of November, but I didn't do anything that would affect the sessions data - I just tweaked the code for the "away" feature.

They are giving me very little information to go by in diagnosing. They are quick to disable this site, but slow to help solve the problem. I just asked them for more log information - waiting for a reply.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

phpFreeChat hell

I got an answer back from the Drupal developers, and the answer isn't too good. It seems the problem is in phpFreeChat, which is promiscuously saving all kinds of unnecessary things to $_SESSION. This is not a problem I can fix - the phpFreeChat developer must fix this. I tried turning off the saving of all session data to the Drupal table, and it caused the chat to malfunction, so the easy way out doesn't work.

I'm now trying to reach the phpFreeChat developer about this. Right before Christmas, I'm not sure how much luck I'll have.

This is really too bad because the chat check-ins have been helping me (and others) enormously these last couple weeks. I really want to find a solution.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

chatbox seems to be causing the database problems

I took a close look at the example query our Web host sent me, and the problem seems to be phpFreeChat. I don't think it's anything I changed recently, just that we've been using it more.

I see vast amounts of extraneous phpFreeChat data being saved as Drupal sessions data, and this seems to be what's threatening to bring down the server. I need to find a way to get Drupal to stop saving phpFreeChat data to the sessions table. I sent an email to the Drupal developers list for info on Drupal sessions, but I don't know when I'll hear back with it being so close to Christmas.

I'll look at the Drupal code and see if I can find the problem on my own, but Drupal is written in a very obtuse way that's incredibly hard to trace through, so I don't know how successful I'll be without some guidance from the Drupal developers. I'll try, though. In the meantime, I guess we should cool it on the chatbox a little - not use it so much until the problem is fixed.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

problem is phpFreeChat, not Drupal

I got a response from the Drupal developers. The problem is in phpFreeChat, not Drupal. Drupal is just saving everything in $_SESSION. phpFreeChat is being a pig and not clearing out unnecessary data from old chat sessions (like who was in the nick list the last 4 times you logged into the chat).

I wrote to the author of phpFreeChat, but it's right before Christmas, and he isn't always that responsive at the best of times.

I'm feeling stressed out and aggravated about this whole thing. It's taking up a lot of time I don't have, and I really miss the chatbox.

Until I find a solution, we need to lighten up on the chatbox use - a lot. We do not want to lose our hosting account. If I can't find a solution, I'll have to remove the chatbox (or replace it with a different chat program). Hopefully I'll find a solution.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

check out FlashChat

I think I'm probably going to move the site over to FlashChat. You can try it out here:

Don't worry about the ugly colors - I can change that.

I'm 99% sure that FlashChat can be integrated with Drupal, and it's a very nice full-featured chat. I'd forgotten about FlashChat or I'd have installed it in the first place, instead of going through all the pain with the phpFreeChat module (which I had to rewrite to get working - and now it's crashing the server).

I might install FlashChat as early as tomorrow (Wednesday). Actually that's today because it's past 1am and I'm still up. I don't think the author of phpFreeChat is going to fix the $_SESSION problem any time soon (judging from past experience), and there's no clean way for it to be fixed on the Drupal side. Or if there is, I don't know how. The Drupal developers (who tend to be very snotty and cliquish) have stopped answering my questions.

And of course one last caveat... I'm still guessing about what's causing the server problem. It might not be phpFreeChat at all. I'm waiting for the Web host sys admin to confirm a few things, and then I can be sure. But I'm pretty sure now.

Gotta go to bed now - so tired...

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Another Drupal site seems to be using this FlashChat

Another Drupal site (using a fairly recent release of Drupal 5) that I know of, i.e., , also uses a FlashChat program that is written in PHP.  On top of its identical name, its private communications dialog box looks the same as what is shown in the link that you provided pro.  Note that we tried several different chat programs before, all of which had some significant problems and limitations.  I am not the webmaster and I don't know all of the details, including whether or not any of the other ones that we tried before were phpFreeChat.  However, all of the other ones, for example, sometimes had quite bad lag time, but after several months of use, FlashChat has always been very responsive, even when there were like 6 or 7 people simultaneously using it with fairly active conversations going on.

The program is very full featured, with many customization choices.  Also, there are many options available on the back end for the chat moderators and administrators.  On the whole, it works very well.  The most significant issues that I am aware of on our end are that it seems that banning people (i.e., trolls) is not always permanent (however, I think that this has being resolved in some way) and there is no apparent way to clear the chat logs (although you can have them shorter, but as an experienced computer programmer (about 20 years, mostly in C/C++ but also with a couple of contracts for PHP work), I may be looking at modifying the code to add this option; if I do and you are interested, I can provide the modified code to you as well).

One non-trivial limitation is that, unlike the other chat programs, we need to log on separately to this other program.  However, it at least seems that there is a way to automatically keep the list of registered users, including their permissions, updated with the program.

I am sorry for the long response, but I hope that some of this information is useful for you.

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)


The chatbox appear to be working. I made a change that I think fixes the problem, and it didn't break the chat (yay!). Our Web host will be monitoring to make sure the excessively long queries really are gone. Please come join the chatbox - for company and testing.

If it turns out that this does not fix the problem, I'll switch to FlashChat. But I don't think this will be necessary.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


Please don't log into the chatbox until I post another message. It's easier for me to test here on the live site than the hidden site, and also the current code is causing problems.

Our Web host has just confirmed that it is the sessions table that is getting clobbered, so now I know for sure it's the chat that's the problem. Someone (brilliant, wonderful, generous, and kind) on the Drupal developers list took a quick look at the phpFreeChat module code and may have identified the problem. I'm about to test it.

If we switch to FlashChat here, I'll do it in such a way that you don't need a separate login (there's a way to do that). But we may not need to switch. Right now, checking the suggested fix.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


for working so hard on our chat . . .I miss the chat, but appreciate this site so much and all the work you do fo rus. 


"Hard work must have killed someone." - Charles Gregory

Thank you pro

I really appreciate the knowledge, the time and the effort.... 

"Recovery from procrastination means doing what you say you're going to do, when you say you're going to do it."

I appreciate, too, Pro :)

Hi Pro!

I also appreciate all you are doing! :) I have no idea about all the technical stuff you just said, so I doubly thank you for doing all you do! :)



Thank you, gals & guys, for being here! :)