[Davical-general] problem with iOS-clients: 'server URL'-setting disappears silently

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[Davical-general] problem with iOS-clients: 'server URL'-setting disappears silently

Vincent Van Houtte
Hi,

TLDR: probably not a DAViCal-problem, but I might get an answer

We have two iPhones at our office and three Android smartphones
connecting remotely to DAViCal 0.9.9.7.

Last week one smartphone (iOS 5) didn't sync its calendars anymore, so I
started debugging only to find out in the client its settings, the
'Server URL' was empty...

Of course that calendar would not be synced anymore, and of course I
frowned upon the owner of said smartphone, who insisted he was not to
blame.

Today I receive a similar bug-report from the other owner of a device
with iOS 4.x. She new about the problem last week and has ensured me,
knowing that I had my doubts about her colleague, she did not remove any
setting.

So now I can do two things:
1. I can blame the users, which would be easy, and stick my head in the
sand
2. I can try and see if anyone else has seen such behaviour.

I don't think this is caused by DAViCal, but I'm hoping this is the best
place to ask this question, since some of the followers here are using
iOS-devices to sync with calDAV-calendars...

THX for listening anyway,
--
Vincent Van Houtte
--
Advocatenkantoor Suy, Van Baeveghem & Van Houtte
Brusselsestraat 108
9200 DENDERMONDE
T 052520605
F 052520646
W http://synergylaw.be


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Re: problem with iOS-clients: 'server URL'-setting disappears silently

Andrew McMillan
On Thu, 2012-02-09 at 11:31 +0100, Vincent Van Houtte wrote:

> Hi,
>
> TLDR: probably not a DAViCal-problem, but I might get an answer
>
> We have two iPhones at our office and three Android smartphones
> connecting remotely to DAViCal 0.9.9.7.
>
> Last week one smartphone (iOS 5) didn't sync its calendars anymore, so I
> started debugging only to find out in the client its settings, the
> 'Server URL' was empty...
>
> Of course that calendar would not be synced anymore, and of course I
> frowned upon the owner of said smartphone, who insisted he was not to
> blame.
>
> Today I receive a similar bug-report from the other owner of a device
> with iOS 4.x. She new about the problem last week and has ensured me,
> knowing that I had my doubts about her colleague, she did not remove any
> setting.
>
> So now I can do two things:
> 1. I can blame the users, which would be easy, and stick my head in the
> sand
> 2. I can try and see if anyone else has seen such behaviour.
>
> I don't think this is caused by DAViCal, but I'm hoping this is the best
> place to ask this question, since some of the followers here are using
> iOS-devices to sync with calDAV-calendars...
Hi Vincent,

I've heard some other reports of this happening, and I believe that the
Apple software attempts to rediscover the server in some communication
error situations.

Other than filing bugs with Apple I don't know what might resolve the
issue.  Possibly setting up SRV records for your domain *might* help.
It would be good to be able to characterise the "some communication
error situations" more accurately. Perhaps it is LDAP lookup failures
causing authentication failures - that seems to ring a bell, and maybe
DAViCal could return an error other than '401' in that case.

Regards,
                                        Andrew McMillan.

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Re: problem with iOS-clients: 'server URL'-setting disappears silently

Ján Máté-2
Hi Andrew,

we are using Davical with ~30 iPhones (+ several iPads / Mac OS X clients) and LDAP setup (without SRV records) and I never noticed this (or any similar) error. The only difference in our setup is, that we are distributing iOS configurations using Apple XML configuration profiles /iPhone configuration utility/ (no user setup allowed) ... maybe this can solve the mysterious 401 error ...

Regards,

JM

On Feb 14, 2012, at 5:23 AM, Andrew McMillan wrote:

> Hi Vincent,
>
> I've heard some other reports of this happening, and I believe that the
> Apple software attempts to rediscover the server in some communication
> error situations.
>
> Other than filing bugs with Apple I don't know what might resolve the
> issue.  Possibly setting up SRV records for your domain *might* help.
> It would be good to be able to characterise the "some communication
> error situations" more accurately. Perhaps it is LDAP lookup failures
> causing authentication failures - that seems to ring a bell, and maybe
> DAViCal could return an error other than '401' in that case.
>
> Regards,
> Andrew McMillan.


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Re: problem with iOS-clients: 'server URL'-setting disappears silently

Vincent Van Houtte
In reply to this post by Andrew McMillan
Hi Andrew,

Thank you for your continuing high level of unpaid support. Writing the
word 'unpaid' made me check again if there was no way to contribute
financially to the project, but no option is listed (so far)...

> I've heard some other reports of this happening, and I believe that the
> Apple software attempts to rediscover the server in some communication
> error situations.
>
> Other than filing bugs with Apple I don't know what might resolve the
> issue.  Possibly setting up SRV records for your domain *might* help.

I will look into those. I remember seeing them on the wiki, but I'm
quite conservative in mucking around with DAViCal...

> It would be good to be able to characterise the "some communication
> error situations" more accurately. Perhaps it is LDAP lookup failures
> causing authentication failures - that seems to ring a bell, and maybe
> DAViCal could return an error other than '401' in that case.

I just wanted to let you know that server is not using LDAP auth (^^
conservative-thingie...), so that should not be the problem.

It is also very difficult to tell exactly when the problem occurs,
because it doesn't throw an error and is noticed some (indefinite) time
later.

Filing bugs with Apple it is - will look for the bugtracker and report
back if something gets fixed because of this.

THX again!
--
Vincent Van Houtte
--
Advocatenkantoor Suy, Van Baeveghem & Van Houtte
Brusselsestraat 108
9200 DENDERMONDE
T 052520605
F 052520646
W http://synergylaw.be


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Re: problem with iOS-clients: 'server URL'-setting disappears silently

Andrew McMillan
On Tue, 2012-02-14 at 10:14 +0100, Vincent Van Houtte wrote:
> Hi Andrew,
>
> Thank you for your continuing high level of unpaid support. Writing the
> word 'unpaid' made me check again if there was no way to contribute
> financially to the project, but no option is listed (so far)...

I'm happy to accept contributions any way you want to send them :-)

There is no trust or foundation framework behind DAViCal, though I have
considered applying to SPI for that, so at present contributing
financially to the project really means "paying Andrew something so he
doesn't get so distracted by work". [1]

I operate a company "Morphoss Ltd" which is basically $ME which I can
also use if you want a contract for support services, or an invoice for
some donation.


> > I've heard some other reports of this happening, and I believe that the
> > Apple software attempts to rediscover the server in some communication
> > error situations.
> >
> > Other than filing bugs with Apple I don't know what might resolve the
> > issue.  Possibly setting up SRV records for your domain *might* help.
>
> I will look into those. I remember seeing them on the wiki, but I'm
> quite conservative in mucking around with DAViCal...

SRV records are something which happens entirely outside of your DAViCal
installation - hopefully that will make it easier to take the step.
It's not always possible, however, depending on how you administer the
DNS for your organisation.


> > It would be good to be able to characterise the "some communication
> > error situations" more accurately. Perhaps it is LDAP lookup failures
> > causing authentication failures - that seems to ring a bell, and maybe
> > DAViCal could return an error other than '401' in that case.
>
> I just wanted to let you know that server is not using LDAP auth (^^
> conservative-thingie...), so that should not be the problem.
>
> It is also very difficult to tell exactly when the problem occurs,
> because it doesn't throw an error and is noticed some (indefinite) time
> later.
Yeah, I understand the issues.  Also it's normal for the Apple clients
to get a 401 when they send a request because they leave off the
username / password and then re-request with those details in response
to the 401, making it a lot harder.

Regards,
                                        Andrew.


[1] Or Real Life, such as my wife's cancer operation happening
tomorrow...

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