Strange "Faults" - Did you know that...

Introduction

This article is a collection of odds and ends that may help solve strange or apparently non reproducible problems.  Some are seemingly simple - when you know the answer!

Several of these 'incidents' were not jDownloads related 'challenges' but due to things outside jDownloads but they may appear to be a jD problem!

As other such problems are found then they will be added to this article.

Example plugin activated

The site seemed OK but the Download button was not working.
Problem turned out that the example plugin had been activated in error.  Disabling it solved the problem.

Front End seems slow

A site seemed to be very slow when several Categories were added to a regular article using the jD Content Plugin.  User had a very high internet bandwith so it should not be slow.  Also had a delay when switching between jDownloads regular views such as, for example, between a Downloads listing and a Downloads Detail view.
 
Most of the Downloads were unchanged.  So it seemed a possible solution was that increasing the cache size might help.  But this did not solve the problem.  And in any case increased cache size does not help first time or occaisional users.

The site had high security and was using IP blocking with Akeeba Tools.  Now that meant extensive IP checks were being done on every page load.  As it was the Downloads that really needed the protection then the IP blocking was switched to the jDownloads option 'Activate IP Blocking' in the Options tab Security.  This IP blocking only operates when attempting to download a file.

This also speeds up the general switching between jDownloads views say from a Downloads Listing to a Downloads Detail or Summary view.

So speed problem solved and security maintained.

Downloads slow to Start

There are two reasons why Downloads maybe slow to start.

One maybe that the Joomla Error log file is very large

The other is that jDownloads database logs table may be very large.

Joomla Log Files

If the Downloads take a long time to start then this could be that you have a large Joomla! Error Log file, perhaps several megabytes in size. Looking at the log files (their location is set in Global Configuration - System Settings - Path to Log Folder) will help identify what is causing the problem and making the log files grow in size. Sometimes it is a faulty or 'misconfigured' Plugin.

jDownload logging

jDownloads keeps a record in the database in table abcde_jdownloads_logs, where abcde is your spefic site prefix in the database, of all the files that have been downloaded. A large Downloads log file is often the cause of delays in downloading.

In the jD 3.9 series the jD System Plugin has the ability to limit the size of the log file.

It is not limited by the number of entries but by a duration of 93 days. The value of 93 days is the maximum length of a 3 month period.

This duration is because jD can set a monthly limit on the number of downloads by user group members. So jD needs a suficiently long log file to enact the limit properrly in all situations.

In earlier versions the default setting of this parameter, which is "How long, in days, should the rolling period for keeping download logs be?", in the System Plugin was zero which meant no actual limit in size. So if you upgraded from jD3.2 or from early versions of jD3.9 then it would have used the existing setting of zero meaning there is no database limit!


To check the setting in the jD system Plugin goto Extension and select  Plugins as indiated opposite.
sys plugin01
Next type jD into the searchbar.


And then click on the Search Button

Then Click on the System - jDownloads to open it up to see the options.

.
sys plugin03
You will see the setting of the 'How long in days, ...' option.

If you are using the jD Usergroup 'Limits' then ensure it is at least 93 days.

Otherwise set as you requie but it is stongly suggested that you do NOT set to zero.
 
Setting zero does NOT turn of the recording of each Download!
sys plugin04
Finally click on the button save close to save any changes and exit.

Where does jDownloads select font Colour?

The font colour used by jDownloads in the Frontend views is taken from the active Joomla! template!

 jDownload Category List View seemed to only appear once!

 A really stange sympton occured when it seemed that a Categories view appeared just once when first created but then did not seem to appear when the page was refreshed.  Strange!
The symptom is that a change has been made to a web page, say perhaps an article has had a content pluging item added or a module has been added using a 'modules anywhere' plugin.  The view then appears when the edit is completed.  But it fails to appear when re-entering the page.

This sort of symptom is consistent with having caching active.  It could be the Joomla cache, or perhaps the Browser cache.  But clearing those caches may not solve the problem!

Some web modems, particularly those working with a satellite, also have a significant cache.  So it may be necessary to reboot your web modem in order to clear its cache.

Using Regular Labs Components Anywhere

The challenge here was that this worked AOK in jD 3.2.  It also worked in jD 3.9 when SEF was turned off but failed when SEF was turned ON.

The solution was a careful reading of the Components Anywhere documentation as things seemed to have changed with SEF in Joomla! 3.9.

In particular check out the Component Anywhere tutorial sections 'Using Menu Item...' and 'Component Parameters'.

The link was formerly
{component index.php?option=com_jdownloads&view=category&catid=XXX}  where XXX is the relevant catid.

Now to be independant of the SEF status, the link style requires the menu item as well so that the structure is shown below, where YYY is the id of the relevant menu item.
{component index.php?option=com_jdownloads&view=category&catid=XX&Itemid=YYY} 

jD Views appear twice!

The view showed a direct repeat of a regular jDownloads view as illustrated opposite

The component causing the problem was Ordasoft - Joomla CCK - Website Builder https://ordasoft.com/cck-content-construction-kit-for-joomla.html which is a high quality component when using its Quickstart templates. 

The problem is, at Nov 2020, still being resolved.
repeat02

Check Download Area has 'bad' message

Found in April 2022
If when doing one of the 'Check Download Area' Functions you get a message as shown on the far right, then it is probably caused by a php.ini setting.
Check dowload area01Check dowload area02
It is most likely caused by php setting 'zlib.output_compression' being enabled.

If you are accessing php.ini directly then find the line 'zlib.output_compression'
Check dowload area03


If it is 'enabled' then set it to 'disabled'. That is when directly accessing php.ini set zlib.output_compression=OffCheck dowload area04

Finally dependant on your host cpanel php.ini  editting arrangements you might need to 'apply' the change to activate it.

If accessing php.ini directly  with say Notepad++ then save and exit.
Check dowload area05

Old Items -maybe fixed

Error 500 after updating

An error 500 appeared after updating to jD 3.9. If this occurs it may be related to updating MySQL to version 5.7 from an earlier version. It seems this 'changed' the absolute path settings in jDownloads- Options - Path Settings tab - 'Upload Directory path' and also in Joomla! System - Configuration - Server - 'Path to Temp Folder' and System - Configuration - System - 'Path to Log Folder'. There are many ways to find the absolute path including contacting your web hosting service. This solution was first posted by user LoMa in this Forum Posting.

Invisible Cats or Downloads

The Categories and Downloads were not visible in the frontend.

This looked like it was a view Access level or possibly a Permissions problem. But no, all was well on those fronts.

But even the super user could not see, even when added to every view Access level. The problem was traced to the ECR plugin (this is not Easy Content Reader but Easy Content Restriction).

The plugin, which is embedded in the articles, is very flexible. It works by requiring a password associated with the article or by blocking specific usergroups to see the content.  But this is not compatible with the jDownloads.

Disabling the Plugin resolved the problem.

UPDATE
It is understood that an updated plugin is available from the ECR developer.

Green Bar on Video Images

Sometimes one sees a 'green bar' on a video such as shown opposite.  There may also be colour 'distortions'.

Usually this is with a Firefox browser.
See https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/troubleshoot-extensions-themes-to-fix-problems
for various causes/solutions.
green band on video
With some graphics processors and graphics driver setups, Firefox may crash or have trouble showing text or objects on pages when using hardware acceleration.

After turning off hardware acceleration the green band problem was fixed and colours were back to normal.
green band on video

The DP Calendar Extension

One of the facilities in DP Calendar is the ability to add descriptions.  This may include adding the jD Content plugin to allow a user to download more details, which is obviously desirable in many situations.

However sometimes this goes wrong! 

Investigation determined that problems only occured when the content plugin was added for a Download in the first line of the Description.

So a line like below where the content plugin, which has been slightly highlighted for clarity, is in the first line of the DP Calandar description:
"Here you may download additional information code01"
will cause 'challenges' with symptons such as other modules 'vanishing' and no further calandar events being shown.

However if the DP Calendar description is in the second or subsequent line as below:
"You will find some additional information
by clicking on the download  code01"
All then works OK 
NB the DP Calendar people are aware of this 'challenge' so it may have been fixed.

ColinM March 2020, updated October 2020, April 2022.

Tags: index, faq39

Print Email