#197 FO hangs while using ZoneAlarm

Client (126)
Geoff Topping

This is not the same as the previous Zonealarm bug.

After installing the newest v0.3.1-RC1, and running the
game fullscreen, I went to start a new game. After
pressing OK on the galaxy setup screen, the game hung.
The computer was still working seemingly, as caps lock
and the mouse were working, but I FO was nonresponsive
and there was no response to alt-tabbing or ctrl-esc or
windows keys, or ctrl-alt-del. I believe the problem
is that FO fullscreen doesn't play nice with other
windows wanting to take the focus while FO is doing
something non-interactive (repeatedly trying to connect
to server in this case). I waited for a few minutes,
hoping the server connect failed message would pop up,
but never did. I eventually had to hard-reset.

There should be a way to cancel attempting to connect
to server, or the UI should be otherwise responsive
while this is happening. Alternatively, the game
should just not hang when zonealarm does it's popup.

A resolution of "fix it in zonealarm first" isn't
adequate. The first experience using the game will be
this for people running windows and zonealarm, which is
not good.


  • Zach Laine
    Zach Laine

    Logged In: YES

    I don't know what you expect me to do about this, besides
    tell people they should change their ZoneAlarm settings.
    How am I supposed to change them from within FO? Running FO
    on your system means running a server on your system. If
    people run software that won't let them run a server, they
    obviously won't be able to run FO.

  • Geoff Topping
    Geoff Topping

    Logged In: YES

    This isn't really a ZoneAlarm issue, so much as an issue
    that's demonstrated by ZoneAlarm.

    The problem is that FO doesn't like it when other programs
    try to steal the focus while FO is fullscreen and doing
    something that renders it nonresponsive. Things like
    connecting to servers or loading the planet textures for the
    sidepanel would be better done asynchronously or in another
    thread or somesuch (I'm not too sure of the lingo or
    relevant technical details), so that the UI doesn't freeze
    while they happen.

    The sidepanel case isn't so bad since it's finished after a
    few seconds and other programs will rarely try to steal
    focus during that time.

    The the ZoneAlarm / networking case seems to be bad because
    FO hangs waiting for the networking stuff to go through, but
    doesn't let anything else pop over it or steal focus while
    it'd doing so, and the zonealarm popup halts network traffic
    until the popup is dealt with... and for some reason FO
    never seems to time out and resume working after the failed
    zonealarm popup happens.

    I've also had other cases of fullscreen FO hanging,
    requiring hard resets. Everything else seems to be running
    fine, and caps lock / num lock still work, but I just can't
    get any visual response to alt-tabbing or ctrl-esc or
    windows key pressing or ctrl-alt-del, since FO won't give up
    the screen to the OS since it's hanged...


  • Zach Laine
    Zach Laine

    Logged In: YES

    Fixed in CVS. That is, FO is now responsive to Alt-tabbing
    while trying to connect to the server; that FO may conflict
    with ZoneAlarm or any other piece of network-interference
    software has not, and will not, be "fixed".

  • Zach Laine
    Zach Laine

    • status: open --> closed-fixed