Tapatalk requests tiresome

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Mick F
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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby Mick F » 4 Feb 2015, 11:20am

This may explain things.
admin wrote:I added the Tapatalk plugin to this forum after several forum users requested it. I've tried it, and it certainly makes browsing and reading easier on a small screen.

Then I disabled the plugin for iPad users, as the large screen makes it less useful, and the pop-ups were annoying people.

Perhaps we need to review whether allowing Tapatalk is still worthwhile?


viewtopic.php?f=14&t=80527
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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby mjr » 4 Feb 2015, 11:38am

And in viewtopic.php?p=849401#p849401 I explain why I feel it's because Tapatalk is badly-written junk that uses its own cookies instead of the PHP session.
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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby admin » 4 Feb 2015, 1:25pm

We have 90 to 100 people using hovercraft full of eels. to access the Forum each day, posting several hundred posts per month from the Tapatalk App. They're using iOS and Android devices, and even a few on Windows Phone!

While we don't have a fully-responsive theme, or a mobile-friendly version of the Forum, using hovercraft full of eels. means we get lots of mobile visitors for no additional cost.

Tapatalk appears to be pretty popular with Forum users, with only one or two reports of annoyance.

[Tapatalk uses its own cookie because it's not part of the phpBB3 Forum software. This means that the Tapatalk cookie is separate and visible if you look, which is a Good Thing. It also means that the Tapatalk code does not interfere in any way with the Forum session data, again a very Good Thing, especially if Tapatalk was badly-written junk! Feel free to contact the Tapatalk developers if you think they should be doing things differently.]

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby mark a. » 4 Feb 2015, 1:47pm

I'm fine with people using hovercraft full of eels., but I'm not fine with it being such horrible nagware.

I've hated going to the CTC forum on my iPhone for a while because of the incessant Tapatalk requests.

I tried it again now:
- Got a huge overlay saying to go to the App Store to get Tapatalk. Pressed the X in the upper right corner.
- This then loaded the forum itself, but with a link in the top to go to the App Store to get Tapatalk. Pressed the X on the top left.
- After that no more Tapatalk.

As an experiment, I logged out, closed the browser window and started afresh. This time:
- Get a modal dialog box saying to click OK to learn more about Tapatalk. Press Cancel.
- Same again
- Same again
- Same again
- Finally into the forum. Let's press the button to log in, shall we?
- Get a modal dialog box saying to click OK to learn more about Tapatalk. Press Cancel.
- Same again
- Same again
- Same again
- Get to the login form, enter my details.
- Get a modal dialog box saying to click OK to learn more about Tapatalk. Press Cancel.
- Same again
- Same again
- Same again
- Finally into the forum properly and no more Tapatalk.

No-one should agree that this is ok. If there's a way for the admins to fiddle with the Tapatalk integration so this doesn't happen that would be great.

So I don't know what your stats are for non-Tapatalk mobile access, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's massively reduced because of such issues. Consider this another tally on your annoyance registry.

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby Psamathe » 4 Feb 2015, 3:17pm

Or upgrade to iOS 8 where there is a specific button (in Safari) to request the Desktop version of a web site.

Ian

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby mjr » 4 Feb 2015, 3:47pm

Or disable javascript for this site or... but really, that's externalising tapatalk's costs onto every user.

admin wrote:While we don't have a fully-responsive theme, or a mobile-friendly version of the Forum, using hovercraft full of eels. means we get lots of mobile visitors for no additional cost.

No additional cost? So we're not paying with the annoying advert, allowing Tapatalk to advertise if they want (both in-app and on-forum) and giving access to all our email addresses for invite-spam and "now trending" emails? If so, that's unusual for Tapatalk.

Would you install one of the mobile-compatible themes as well?
[Tapatalk uses its own cookie because it's not part of the phpBB3 Forum software. This means that the Tapatalk cookie is separate and visible if you look, which is a Good Thing. It also means that the Tapatalk code does not interfere in any way with the Forum session data, again a very Good Thing, especially if Tapatalk was badly-written junk! Feel free to contact the Tapatalk developers if you think they should be doing things differently.]

The session management is a part of PHP not phpBB3, so it is available to Tapatalk simply because its phpBB3 plugin is written in PHP.

Is tapatalk cookie being visible useful? It holds a placeholder to a session managed by the tapatalk add-on and browsers can't see what's in that session anyway. So you can delete and refuse it - so what? Then you end up in the nag-screen hell described above. If appbanner.js failed safe and did nothing unless the app had been accepted, that would be better, but then it would be less in-your-face (less profitable?).

I'm far from the only web developer who criticises Tapatalk. Random link from the phpbb site: https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... p=12930936 - or you can check the tapatalk changelogs and see bugfixes for things like access-control bypasses in https://support.tapatalk.com/threads/ta ... ost-145436 (I don't know if this forum has any private boards?) - but it looks like they've taken all their github repositories down or private now.

Yes I could keep trying to contact them but I'm not going to work for Tapatalk for free and nor should the CTC forums.

On that note, will the forum terms viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3661 be updated to tell everyone that instead of "We will do all we can to keep your personal information safe & secure" in reality Tapatalk, Inc can access this forum's email database for a few reasons (https://tapatalk.com/forum_owner_license.php clause 2ii), can advertise on here as it sees fit (clause 16) and expand its access any time it likes without notice (clause 17)?
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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby admin » 4 Feb 2015, 4:12pm

mjr wrote:No additional cost? So we're not paying with the annoying advert, allowing Tapatalk to advertise if they want (both in-app and on-forum) and giving access to all our email addresses for invite-spam and "now trending" emails? If so, that's unusual for Tapatalk.


No additional cost to the CTC.

Tapatalk does have monetisation options (the Forum owner can turn on adverts to get a cut of the click revenue) but I haven't enabled that on the CTC Forum.

mjr wrote:Would you install one of the mobile-compatible themes as well?


If you can point me to one, I'll certainly have a look.

Note that phpBB3.1 is out, and I've been doing preliminary work to upgrade the Forum to use that new version. So any theme would need to work with phpBB3.1 to be usable.

mjr wrote:The session management is a part of PHP not phpBB3, so it is available to Tapatalk simply because its phpBB3 plugin is written in PHP.


I would be concerned it Tapatalk created session variables in the phpBB3 session. The $_SESSION array is global.

mjr wrote:Is tapatalk cookie being visible useful? It holds a placeholder to a session managed by the tapatalk add-on and browsers can't see what's in that session anyway. So you can delete and refuse it - so what? Then you end up in the nag-screen hell described above. If appbanner.js failed safe and did nothing unless the app had been accepted, that would be better, but then it would be less in-your-face (less profitable?).


Yes, because you can deal with the Tapatalk cookie separately to the phpBB3 cookie.

mjr wrote:I'm far from the only web developer who criticises Tapatalk. Random link from the phpbb site: https://www.phpbb.com/community/viewtop ... p=12930936 - or you can check the tapatalk changelogs and see bugfixes for things like access-control bypasses in https://support.tapatalk.com/threads/ta ... ost-145436 (I don't know if this forum has any private boards?) - but it looks like they've taken all their github repositories down or private now.


Fair enough comment, although Tapatalk is certainly popular with a number of our users.

mjr wrote:Yes I could keep trying to contact them but I'm not going to work for Tapatalk for free and nor should the CTC forums.


Quite. I was asked by several Forum members to install Tapatalk functionality, to make the Forum easy to use on a mobile device. As far as I can tell a majority of people find it very useful, and a few people have problems with popups for some reason.

mjr wrote:On that note, will the forum terms viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3661 be updated to tell everyone that instead of "We will do all we can to keep your personal information safe & secure" in reality Tapatalk, Inc can access this forum's email database for a few reasons (https://tapatalk.com/forum_owner_license.php clause 2ii), can advertise on here as it sees fit (clause 16) and expand its access any time it likes without notice (clause 17)?


That seems to only apply to users of the Tapatalk app (the Service). I don't quite understand why they specifically mention an "email database" when the app clearly has access to many tables in the Forum database in order to work.

I suppose the question is whether the Tapatalk service is part of the Forum (a "plugin") or whether it's a separate service that enables a native mobile app access to the Forum. Since it only does anything on a mobile device, I've always considered it to be the latter. It doesn't affect the Forum on non-mobile devices at all. Certainly Tapatalk does not add advertising to the Forum website, only in the Tapatalk app.

I could be wrong.

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby admin » 4 Feb 2015, 4:44pm

Further info:

  • The "Trending Email" feature is disabled for this Forum in Tapatalk.
  • Adverts are disabled in Tapatalk for this Forum.
  • I've just disabled "Link affiliation" for this Forum, whatever that might have been.
  • Approximately 3% of Forum users use Tapatalk, according to Tapatalk's estimates.

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby mjr » 4 Feb 2015, 4:51pm

admin wrote:
mjr wrote:No additional cost? So we're not paying with the annoying advert, allowing Tapatalk to advertise if they want (both in-app and on-forum) and giving access to all our email addresses for invite-spam and "now trending" emails? If so, that's unusual for Tapatalk.

No additional cost to the CTC.

OK, I think we differ in our valuation of supporter's personal data...

mjr wrote:Would you install one of the mobile-compatible themes as well?


If you can point me to one, I'll certainly have a look.

Note that phpBB3.1 is out, and I've been doing preliminary work to upgrade the Forum to use that new version. So any theme would need to work with phpBB3.1 to be usable.

Thanks. Whee, bleeding edge! I've not got a phpBB3.1 to play with yet to test and most themes haven't been updated yet, but I'd expect https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/styl ... ver_mobile and https://www.phpbb.com/customise/db/styl ... _wap_style will either work or be among the first to be bugfixed. The first is slightly prettier, the second crams more info in.

mjr wrote:The session management is a part of PHP not phpBB3, so it is available to Tapatalk simply because its phpBB3 plugin is written in PHP.


I would be concerned it Tapatalk created session variables in the phpBB3 session. The $_SESSION array is global.

So is Tapatalk's $user session and a lot of other variables, by the way.

mjr wrote:Is tapatalk cookie being visible useful? [...]


Yes, because you can deal with the Tapatalk cookie separately to the phpBB3 cookie.

To do what? Trigger more nag screens?
Quite. I was asked by several Forum members to install Tapatalk functionality, to make the Forum easy to use on a mobile device. As far as I can tell a majority of people find it very useful, and a few people have problems with popups for some reason.

I suspect a few people are running more secure browsers than most. It would be good for the forum to be easy to use on mobiles, but Tapatalk doesn't seem the best solution for that, putting sticking-plaster apps on every device instead of improving the mobile browser display at source - right diagnosis, imperfect medicine?
mjr wrote:On that note, will the forum terms viewtopic.php?f=10&t=3661 be updated to tell everyone that instead of "We will do all we can to keep your personal information safe & secure" in reality Tapatalk, Inc can access this forum's email database for a few reasons (https://tapatalk.com/forum_owner_license.php clause 2ii), can advertise on here as it sees fit (clause 16) and expand its access any time it likes without notice (clause 17)?


That seems to only apply to users of the Tapatalk app (the Service). I don't quite understand why they specifically mention an "email database" when the app clearly has access to many tables in the Forum database in order to work.

That appeared to be the licence that forum admins have to agree to. Why do you think the access is limited to Tapatalk app users? I may have missed the words causing that limitation - Californian legal text isn't the easiest to read with its LARGE AREAS OF BRICKTEXT.

The "email database" phrasing is probably because it's one agreement for all types of forum and maybe it doesn't/can't access so many tables in the others.
[...] It doesn't affect the Forum on non-mobile devices at all. Certainly Tapatalk does not add advertising to the Forum website, only in the Tapatalk app.

I could be wrong.

Sorry but I think you may be slightly mistaken. I can see the tapatalk additions from my desktop browser. They appear inert on the desktop at the moment (and get killed by my browser anyway), but they are sent and I think the terms allow Tapatalk to change what it sends to all users if/when they want. I've been through the whole "cool service! / takeover / evil" cycle before, sadly.
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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby PDQ » 5 Feb 2015, 10:52am

Wow such a lot of words.
My "oh so simple" solution works and works well. :D :D :D

It has even recieved confirmation of such from an independent source.
Perhaps the OP might like to respond.

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby mjr » 5 Feb 2015, 11:41am

The OP would need to close 20 or so tapatalk nag windows to reply saying it doesn't work... ;)
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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby PDQ » 5 Feb 2015, 12:58pm

Ah but it does work and is so easy. So there would be no windows to close :D

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby Psamathe » 5 Feb 2015, 1:32pm

admin wrote:
mjr wrote:Would you install one of the mobile-compatible themes as well?


If you can point me to one, I'll certainly have a look.

Mobile theme is the way to go (and one that detects mobile devices and switches between mobile/desktop).

I would not argue to get rid of Tapatalk (no opinion as I don't use it), but mobile theme must be the best solution (in addition to Tapatalk).

Ian

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby SteveHunter » 5 Feb 2015, 3:36pm

I have implemented a mobile responsive theme on a forum I run, and it is really quite nice and works well.

People still continue to use Tapatalk, including myself, and we are seeing a growth in the percentage of users and percentage of posts coming from Tapatalk.

I know some people do not like TapaTalk, but many more people would not like it if we got rid of it.

As the saying goes, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”

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Re: Tapatalk requests tiresome

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 5 Feb 2015, 5:12pm

The ideal would be to keep Tapatalk support, but get rid of the advertisements for Tapatalk.
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