Failure to display progress bar


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AKrishna
AKrishna
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Dear all,

I ran into what is presumably an environmental issue recently when testing an experiment for online use. Specifically, I have a word recognition experiment in which a progress bar fills up gradually - depending on the condition, it either becomes filled with red as participants make more errors or it becomes filled with green as participants make more correct responses (condition assigned by subject number). The feedback is actually bogus in that the bar will never actually fill up (given an expected range of participant response accuracy), but should approach being full over the course of the trials.

So far so good, this all works as expected on my computer as well as on that of a research assistant. However, a second research assistant mentioned that the bar wasn't filling up on her screen in either condition and was able to provide screenshots. I have attached a stripped-down version of the code for reference, but the essence is that I'm using a <shape> element with a variable size parameter to fill the bar over time. Is there any known environmental condition that might cause this to fail in Inquisit? If so, is there any setting I might change (in <defaults> for example) to prevent this from happening?

Broad question, I know. Sorry I don't have more information - getting precise technical specs from the RA's computer is even more difficult via Zoom, unfortunately. She was running Windows (as was I and the other tester), if that helps any.

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Dave
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AKrishna - 6/2/2021
Dear all,

I ran into what is presumably an environmental issue recently when testing an experiment for online use. Specifically, I have a word recognition experiment in which a progress bar fills up gradually - depending on the condition, it either becomes filled with red as participants make more errors or it becomes filled with green as participants make more correct responses (condition assigned by subject number). The feedback is actually bogus in that the bar will never actually fill up (given an expected range of participant response accuracy), but should approach being full over the course of the trials.

So far so good, this all works as expected on my computer as well as on that of a research assistant. However, a second research assistant mentioned that the bar wasn't filling up on her screen in either condition and was able to provide screenshots. I have attached a stripped-down version of the code for reference, but the essence is that I'm using a <shape> element with a variable size parameter to fill the bar over time. Is there any known environmental condition that might cause this to fail in Inquisit? If so, is there any setting I might change (in <defaults> for example) to prevent this from happening?

Broad question, I know. Sorry I don't have more information - getting precise technical specs from the RA's computer is even more difficult via Zoom, unfortunately. She was running Windows (as was I and the other tester), if that helps any.

I've tested the script on a bunch of Windows systems and it's working fine, so it's probably something particular about the RA's computer. At a minimum, make sure the computer is running a supported Windows version (Inquisit 6 officially requires Windows 10) as well as the latest Inquisit 6 version.
AKrishna
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Hmm, I feared as much. I'll get her to test the experiment again (maybe with a fixed canvas ratio or something, just in case) and use the screencapture option to take a few screenshots near the end of the experiment. If she encounters the same error, it should be visible on the screencaptures - that way I can any exclude people who have the same error, at least.

If I do this, are there any specs I should log in Inquisit's data file? If the error does reoccur, perhaps my logs could help you squash the bug in the future.

Dave
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AKrishna - 6/2/2021
Hmm, I feared as much. I'll get her to test the experiment again (maybe with a fixed canvas ratio or something, just in case) and use the screencapture option to take a few screenshots near the end of the experiment. If she encounters the same error, it should be visible on the screencaptures - that way I can any exclude people who have the same error, at least.

If I do this, are there any specs I should log in Inquisit's data file? If the error does reoccur, perhaps my logs could help you squash the bug in the future.

I would log OS version as well as the various display properties.

https://www.millisecond.com/support/docs/v6/html/language/elements/computer.htm
https://www.millisecond.com/support/docs/v6/html/language/elements/display.htm
AKrishna
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Quick update: fixing the canvasratio didn't help. I'll do a pilot run of around 40 people and see whether the error occurs again - if it does, I'll post updates here.

AKrishna
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Another quick update: I've put data collection on ice, as the issue appeared on another tester's laptop. That makes 2 of 5 systems I've tested it on, which is worrying.

My RA's data also didn't upload to the Inquisit server for some reason (there may be a firewall issue she was unaware of), but I've since been able to confirm that screenshots capture the issue. I'll try to sit down with the RA and narrow the problem down, but any help would be appreciated, as this project is fairly time-critical.

I suspect it may have something to do with the calculation of the progress bar's length somehow leading to invalid pixel values on certain systems. Will update if I find anything new.

Dave
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AKrishna - 6/10/2021
Another quick update: I've put data collection on ice, as the issue appeared on another tester's laptop. That makes 2 of 5 systems I've tested it on, which is worrying.

My RA's data also didn't upload to the Inquisit server for some reason (there may be a firewall issue she was unaware of), but I've since been able to confirm that screenshots capture the issue. I'll try to sit down with the RA and narrow the problem down, but any help would be appreciated, as this project is fairly time-critical.

I suspect it may have something to do with the calculation of the progress bar's length somehow leading to invalid pixel values on certain systems. Will update if I find anything new.

(1) Are the testers' systems at issue here by any chance also among the systems showing the zoom problem with your AAT script?
(2) Regarding

"I suspect it may have something to do with the calculation of the progress bar's length somehow leading to invalid pixel values on certain systems."

I see no obvious reason how this could be the case, but to rule this in or out, you could either round the calculated pixel value to the closest integer:

/WordRecognitionProgressBarLength = concat(round(values.WordRecognitionProgressBarLength),"px")

Or use ceil() if you want to round up exclusively (floor() for rounding down):

/WordRecognitionProgressBarLength = concat(ceil(values.WordRecognitionProgressBarLength),"px")

Or use ipart() to throw away the fractional part:

/WordRecognitionProgressBarLength = concat(ipart(values.WordRecognitionProgressBarLength),"px")

(3) Another thing to rule in / out: Per concat() the expression returns a string, so I'm wondering whether there's some type confusion involved. Rather than using concat(), try e.g.

/WordRecognitionProgressBarLength = 1px*round(values.WordRecognitionProgressBarLength)

AKrishna
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Oh, cheers, those are good ideas! I'll make sure to test them ASAP.

With regard to the zooming bug: one of the two affected systems definitely overlaps; I don't know about the RA's computer, as she didn't test the zooming paradigm. I'll ask her to do so when we get together.

Dave
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AKrishna - 6/10/2021
Oh, cheers, those are good ideas! I'll make sure to test them ASAP.

With regard to the zooming bug: one of the two affected systems definitely overlaps; I don't know about the RA's computer, as she didn't test the zooming paradigm. I'll ask her to do so when we get together.

> With regard to the zooming bug: one of the two affected systems definitely overlaps;

That's interesting, as the two issues have some similarities (i.e. in both cases some systems fail to draw an object that is constantly adjusted in size to the screen). This may point to the some underlying cause, though I'm still not sure what that is (both issues do not show on any of our systems). It would be good to know the specs for the systems at issue here as well, insofar as you have them available or can easily obtain them.

GO

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