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Re: [XBoard-devel] TCP connection (expiry?) with ICS

From: H.G. Muller
Subject: Re: [XBoard-devel] TCP connection (expiry?) with ICS
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2015 13:23:05 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.2; WOW64; rv:31.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/31.4.0

ICS have a time-out period (for FICS this is 1 hour, IIRC), and disconnect you if that expires without you giving any commands. They know immediately when they disconnect you, however. XBoard has an option -keepAlive M , which sends a "date" command to the ICS every M minutes. If M < 60 this should prevent FICS from ever disconnecting you.

TCP/IP commands also sometimes mysteriously "fade away", without either end being informed that they no longer operate. Each side then just thinks the other end is unusually quiet. The keepAlive option also protects you from that: if no responsefrom the ICS arrived between sending one "date" command, and the time where it would want to send the next, it assumes it is no longer connected despite the fact that the TCP/IP socket told it the sending was successful, and exits with a fatal error. This way it will discover a broken connection within M minutes.

It does not automatically reconnect, however. Usually some user intervention would be needed anyway, to resume what you were doing. (E.g. you might have to resume a game that was in progress when your connection died, or repost seek ads yuo were waiting for someone to respond on, which the ICS removed when it saw you disconnect.) You could of course invoke XBoard from a script that automatically reconnects it when it exits.

Svetlana Tkachenko schreef op 1/25/2015 om 10:59 AM:
I leave xboard open and connected to Internet chess server (ICS). After a 
while, because of what I think is it not sending any data to server, the 
connection dies. Due to the way TCP/IP works, the fact that the connection died 
is only known to server in some 20-30 minutes.

Is there a way to make xboard do something -- such as, if my understanding 
above is correct, send some dummy messages to server every few minutes -- so 
that I don't encounter the above issue, and can leave xboard connected to an 
ICS for days?

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