Content Submission - Pulling my hair out still, over how Elgg handles this!

I am so sick and tired of how Elgg is STILL handling these tokens and content submission!

I just lost a fairly long comment that I was posting to one of the plugins, which had several questions and good suggestions. But apparently I had already had that tab open too long before I began typing the message and then when I got ready to submit it, I got another one of those expired page messages!


I simply cannot use Elgg. I had already thought for some time that I would just build my social networks in Drupal. I am convinced NOW that this is what I am going to do.

Rather disappointing! I was really loving Jeroen's new profile manager plugin. And I think that the whole Elgg experience is generally speaking much easier to set-up and get going.

However, I simply CANNOT have such IDIOTIC messages and handling of user contributions!

Imagine hundreds of users encountering the same thing all of the time! They worked SO HARD on a content contribution to the site. They UNFORTUNATELY did not type up the content in notepad or wordpad or word, before pasting it into the form on Elgg. They DON'T have the content ANYWHERE ELSE and it was ORIGINAL CONTENT. And now they get this ASININE error message about the page expiring and they have LOST THEIR CONTENT FOREVER!

Thanks alot, [removed]! I HATE YOU FOREVER.

The days of Classic Elgg are gone, when this [removed] stuff never happened!

  • If this can be fixed, I will eat my words, gladly! :-D

  • The core developers have been working at being more involved in the community site - both in answering questions and in administering the site. This wasn't happening 1-2 years ago. One of things that we are trying to do is "Perpetuate a culture of politeness and helpfulness". We want the community site to be a place where people new to Elgg are welcomed, where people offer help to each other, and where the efforts of the entire Elgg community can be used to create a better platform.

    As a part of this, we have been putting together some new site terms as we have found the current ones to be too ambigious on many points. Here are two items from the new terms (I don't know when they will be made public):

    1. You must be respectful to all members of the community site.  Abuse, threats, lewd language, and other harassment are unacceptable.

    2. You are responsible for all content and actions taken under your username.  Content must be “safe for work.” This is the equivalent of “PG” in the US and UK.

    Yakiv's posts in this thread violate those terms (which are not currently active, but I will be doing some light editing of his posts). We're also working on a methodology for handling warnings and banning users that repeatedly violate the terms. I just wanted everyone to know what will be coming. If you see any activity that does not promote helpful and civil discussion, please use the report content link or report it to one of the admins.

    As to the original reason for Yakiv's displeasure, any software that loses a user's comment has failed. There is no question about it. There are constructive ways of reporting bugs and also some not so constructive ways. The best way is to open a ticket in our bug tracking system ( I just checked and could not find any reports of this specific issue. Posting about it on the community site does not mean that it has been added to our to-do list. We manage development through the bug reports and feature requests on trac. Patches are always appreciated. If someone would open a ticket on this, that would be appreciated.

    As to why it was added, read this article: and please realize that Elgg 0.8 and 0.9 had several serious security holes related to this.

    Elgg 1.8 is adding sticky forms which helps perserve data if something goes wrong during a posting operation. The suggestion to make the time cut off a config parameter is a good one and could be added to 1.7.5.

  • hey cash, 

    thanks for the input.. 

    re- censorship - 

    my own understanding of this is that it is like taking a lion and putting him in a zoo and castrating.. creating corporate drones.. like muting yourself in the name of conformity and 'being a good pet'.

    elgg and social networks, to me, are about expression not blocking expression! :(


    re- the timeout issue.. I did find a ticket in TRAC that was listed for 1.7 which said the timeout had been extended to 3 hours.. but it didn't seem to have made it into the code.

  • @tunist - every community has a tone to it. There are some communities where a newbie posts a question and is immediatedly harassed for not reading the manual. There are others that frequently have flame wars. I'm suggesting that those activities are not conducive to building a positive community.

    We're all about people expressing criticism, feedback, and suggestions. Criticism is extremely important for making things better. There are also good ways to express it and bad ways to express it. To all, keep the feedback coming. It is all part to making Elgg better.

    The ticket that you saw was about exceeding the session length for the community site. Unrelated issue.

  • I will try to be a good, castrated lion in the Elgg zoo, from now on Cash. Really, I will.

    I know I was over-the-top. I have been working with Elgg for at least 4 years! And it was PAINFUL to give up on Classic Elgg. And it is PAINFUL to see that such a basic thing like user contribution is not dealt with properly. I think this issue, with the page time-outs / token issues, should have been #1 to fix, in the Elgg 1.7.x series. Certainly, by now, 1.7.4 should have already fixed it!

    Be that as it may, if I do stick with Elgg for anything in the future, I'll try to be more respectful. ;-) If only for the sake of being a good corporate drone. Corporate drones at least are welcome.

  • As I said earlier, submitting bug reports is the best way to influence development - well, submitting really great patches is the best so I'll call bug reports 2nd best. And seriously, we have received very few comments about the timeout - certainly no bug reports.


  • With such a serious flaw in the Elgg software, I find it shocking that more people haven't raised a stink over it. Maybe they don't have enough users on their sites to scream at them about the issue? Or maybe their users simply stopped using their sites and didn't say anything about the problem. Usually, site admins don't experience this issue because they are constantly moving. ...I have experienced this issue, because I often have multiple tabs open and come back to a tab later on, to comment. It's not at all intuitive to refresh the page before typing the message. ...You can complain that a ticket wasn't posted on this. I think there was. But, regardless, I do remember raising the issue on the site before and you participated. You could have written a ticket, I imagine. And with it being such a go / no-go issue, I would have thought someone on the Elgg team would have already fixed it.

  • As I said, talking about it on the community site is not the same as getting it into our system. I interact with a lot of people each day about Elgg and most of them have ideas on adding features, modifying something, or fixing something. I do not have the bandwidth to be involved in these conversations, create tickets for them, and write code. It is also important to get them to create the ticket in case we need extra information or some one to test the fix.

    I did a search on trac for 'token' and 'timeout' and did not turn up any tickets related to this.

    If it is important to you, open a ticket.

  • I've been develping software and in particular web related software for about ten years now, a lot of that on open source communities. I've pretty much seen it all from user posts, ranging from lazy people who don't want to read or do anything and serve something like Amazon or Ebay from their $3.99 a year servers off shore to fascist snobs chomping at the bit to jump down people's throats for asking questions. From this experience I'd like to offer the following:

    1) People work hard to offer a good product for free, open source needs respect to operate. Starting your own software project and working at it until it builds a community around it is hard work, people who are strictly end users don't get that part. For people who use this free software to be openly disrespectful is disturbing to read. I'm sure if you worked really hard to offer a free product to people and they came back with all the things they don't like about it, you'd be crushed.

    2) The whole "free" aspect of open source, the free as in beer part, can become quite a flaw in the long run. The detriment of it is that spoiled people who want everything to work great and use it to build some big money making scheme for themsleves and offer nothing in return for it, gravitate to this kind of set up. So because their attitude is so greedy, they bring down everything they touch and that's what the community becomes. The aspect of value gets lost when "free, free, free" is so emphasized.

    3) If you really want to voice legitimate criticism fill out the bug reports, code, and become involved. If all you want to do is download a bunch of free stuff and complain when it doesn't work, then sit on the sidelines and don't complain. If you don't want to work to fix it, you don't have any right to complain, especially cussing at people. The biggest problem is not people who code and do their best to put together the best software they can in their situation, it's spoiled people who don't code, don't want to code, don't care that they don't code, don't want to learn to code or troubleshoot, but still want to download free software and pretend like they are an IT person. If you make a choice to not learn what you are doing but at the same time make a choice to depend heavily on other people providing you free software so you can run your operations, the problem is your decision making. Don't put your faults on others.

    4) The whole analogy that having the forum posts be respectful is making people into corporate drones is dumb. A corporate yes person doesn't offer value, people who make good software and put it out for free do offer value and need to be resepcted. The blame is on end users who are just too spoiled for their own good, you want the end result but not the cost it takes to create it. If you chose that attitude, then you have no say so in the process because you chose to stay out of it to avoid the cost. So when it doesn't work, you need to continue to stay out of it as far as throwing a tantrum about it. The other choice is becoming involved and working to fix it by first filling out a bug report, then working to fix it. Learning about what you are dealing with is the first logical step, lots of online tutorials on php and web session handling.

    5) If you choose the last option I listed then you are starting to be part of the process and not just an outside complainer. It starts to cost you and you start to get an idea of what goes into creating all of this and not just standing on the sidelines complaining when it doesn't work. So that's why it's discouraging to read people who don't know this cost, just complain. If all you do is download free stuff then you can't be respected enough to be listened to, and you shouldn't be. Also, to say that pointing out disresepct from end users who don't want to contribute and deleting cuss words from their rants is mandating a corporate culture is a false analogy. Open source projects deserve more respect than big money operations that don't provide value for a price. Being respectful and implementing respect in a forum isn't being a corporate drone.

    The attitude of the OP and the defense of it shows the slacker, greedy end user, and no cost all gain attitude that spoils open source often times. If you change your attidue and risk costing yourself in exchange for a gain, then you'll be able to find success. If you stay with the no cost, just download and use other people's work attitude, you'll find the same problems with any open source project Drupal or otherwise.

  • you can't MAKE someone respectful. to attempt to do that IS disrespectful to free will expression.

    the focus of what i pointed to, really, is conformity.. wherever you find it.. it sucks the will to live.

    equally, as you point out.. it is not generally productive to rant and rave, in general about someone's (he)'artwork'. we need to balance and be open hearted - hence 'open source'. ;)

    my own focus is to make everything free.. as it really is.. before we limit ourselves!

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