Checkbox Widget Load Error

  • Profile Image
    ldeemiller
    Asked on July 27, 2020 at 05:13 PM

    Hello,

    Users have been complaining about a non-deterministic load error with the checkbox widgets on our form.

    We are using Fancy Checkboxes widgets.

    Maybe 1/10 times one or more of these checkboxes fail to load when the rest of the page is loading. The user can fix by refreshing the page, but still is annoying.

    Observations

    (1) The rest of the form loads fine.

    (2) Non-deterministic. Maybe 1/10 times (10%) for both new submissions and edits.

    (3) Some load. The actual checkboxes which fail to load appear random.

    (4) Refreshing the page fixes the problem, but sometimes the page needs to be refreshed 1-2 times.

    (5) Happens on Windows OS with both Chrome and Firefox browsers.

    Conclusions

    Race condition where sometimes widgets are not finished loading when page is finished?

    Regards,

    LD Miller

  • Profile Image
    Vick
    Answered on July 27, 2020 at 10:11 PM

    Hi LD Miller,

    Happy to help you today.

    I've tested your form on Windows and in different browsers, unfortunately, I'm unable to replicate the issue. One of the main reasons for this issue to occur could be the slow internet.

    At my end, your form loaded instantly and I can see all the checkboxes loading properly.

    Are you able to replicate the issue yourself? If yes then please send us a screen recording so we can further investigate the issue.

    Thanks.

  • Profile Image
    ldeemiller
    Answered on July 28, 2020 at 10:43 AM

    Hello Vick_W,

    You are probably right about the slow internet. All users have broadband, but slowdown could make the problem non-deterministic.

    I'm unable to replicate the problem consistently on my end. Like I said, happens about 10% of the time though (as an estimate). There are days when I don't have problems and days when I have to refresh 2-3 times.

    What is unusual is that only fancy checkboxes widget seems to be affected. Maybe this widget is not as optimized as the core components? Not sure.

    Regards,

    LD Miller

  • Profile Image
    enterprisesupportteam
    Answered on July 28, 2020 at 12:23 PM

    Hello @ldeemiller,

    Our apologies for the inconvenince that you have experienced.

    I've also tested the form and it seems and it loaded successfully on my end as well and all of the widgets displayed correctly.

    However, I did a performance test on your form using a chrome browser Developer Tools and it seems that the form is taking longer than normal to load. It took your form ≈ 10 secs. to load and the average load time is ≈ 4 secs.

    1595952858Screenshot (386).png

    As you can see from the report, Scripting and Rendering took up the chunk of your forms load time and that is because each widget is loaded from the server individually, which means that the more widgets you add to a form, the longer it will take to lead each one.

    You currently have 20+ instances of the Fancy Checkbox widget and 10+ instances of the Bootstrap Switch Field widget. So, it would make sense that the Fancy Checkbox widget would take longer to load or even fail to load due to a slow internet connection.

    Here is a screen recording of the second performance test results to show how the form loads each widget individually.

    1595953293ideemillerFormPerformance.gif

    To resolve this, you may consider using the regular Multiple Choice field for your checkboxes instead of the widget to improve your form's performance.

  • Profile Image
    ldeemiller
    Answered on July 29, 2020 at 11:49 AM

    Hello Felipe,

    Thank you for the detailed analysis! I had suspected from observational data that the widgets were causing the slow load. =(

    The problem is this is a production form which already has hundreds of submissions. And we often edit the existing submissions as part of our workflow.

    Followup Questions

    If we remove the fancy checkboxes and replace with regular, then we would have to update all the previous submissions by hand correct?

    Is there any backend solution to optimize the widget loading or a way we could refresh the frontend automatically?

    Recommendation

    Also, I would recommend that Jotform make it clear online that widgets should be used sparingly because they are slow to load.

    Regards,

    LD Miller

  • Profile Image
    enterprisesupportteam
    Answered on July 29, 2020 at 01:41 PM

    Unfortunately, removing the widgets from your from will also delete the associated data that is attached to this field. If you remove the widget and replace it with the regular checkbox field, you will need to manually update all submissions.

    Here is a very helpful user guide to assist you with editing and updating your form submissions:

    How-to-Edit-Submissions-Made-on-Your-Forms

    Also, thank you for the recommendation. Your feedback is appreciated.

    However, please note that these widgets are not exactly slow to load, they just load individually, as I've mentioned in my previous response. This means that each widget makes an independent call to the server, which can lead to a slow form while using a weak internet connection.

    If you are using a strong Internet connection, the form will load successfully, as it has in my case, but the load time is a bit delayed by the simultaneous loading of the widgets on your form.

    But, yes, you are correct, it should be made more clear that using many widgets at once in a form will cause the form to load a bit slower.

    Again, we do apologize for the inconvenience that you have experienced and we thank you for your understanding.

  • Profile Image
    ldeemiller
    Answered on July 29, 2020 at 03:52 PM

    Thanks again Felipe for your informative response!

    I can understand that slow internet connection can impact form load.

    But the issue we are having is that sometimes the widgets never load (without a refresh).

    Almost seems like there is a timeout in either the browser or connection to the Jotform server...

    Like after X seconds, if the widgets are not loaded, then browser/JotForm loads the form without them.

    Proposed Solutions

    (a) Adjust the timeout. Is this possible?

    (b) Make a new version of the forms with fancy checkboxes replaced with conventional checkboxes.

    Regards,

    LD Miller

  • Profile Image
    enterprisesupportteam
    Answered on July 29, 2020 at 05:46 PM

    Hello,

    Yes, I do understand the issue that you are mentioning and I believe you are correct. When it takes too long for the form to load, the widgets are timed out and thus never appear on the form.

    In regards to your proposed solutions.

    Unfortunately, there is no setting or configuration that can be changed to prolong the loading of a widget. If the server takes too long to respond to the widget's request, then the widget will fail to load and only the page refresh would solve it.

    However, you can certainly create a new form in the same exact style as the one you have now and replace the widgets with multiple-choice fields. This way the form's speed will improve and you will not lose any of your previous form's data.

    You can actually just make a clone of the existing form so that you o not need to go through the trouble of re-creating the entire form. Here is a helpful user guide to assist you with cloning forms: How-to-Clone-an-Existing-Form-from-a-URL

    Please let us know if you have any further questions or concerns, we are always happy to help.

  • Profile Image
    ldeemiller
    Answered on July 30, 2020 at 02:16 PM

    Thanks again Felipe,

    We will remove the widgets in our next v1.1 release. That way we don't lose any entries on any existing submissions.

    Regards,

    LD Miller

  • Profile Image
    enterprisesupportteam
    Answered on July 30, 2020 at 03:32 PM

    Sure thing,

    On behalf of the Jotform Support Team, you are most welcome.

    Feel free to let us know if you need help with the new version of your form, we are happy to assist.