Frequently Asked Questions

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General Help

I can't validate my e-mail address! The validation mail never arrives!

1. Users have been reporting delivery problems with the following email providers, due to an error with the providers' general spam blacklist (which prevents the messages being delivered at all).

  • Hotmail
  • Outlook
  • MSN
  • GMX
  • Web.de

Please use a different email, as there is nothing you, F-List, or the staff here can do to change this. (If there are other providers having this problem, please edit this.)

2. Make sure that no-reply[at]f-list.net (replace the [at] with an @) is on your whitelist, and check your spam folder. It is possible that your settings are not currently allowing the mail to reach your inbox.

3. If you have already signed up for an account, and your validation email isn't in your inbox or spambox, please put in a ticket to request a manual validation.

How do I reset my password?

Check out our Account Recovery page, where you can request a new password, if you know your username, or request your username if you can only remember the email address. Password requests have the following sequence:

  • Submit your request.
  • Get an email with a link that will trigger the reset. (This prevents resets from being triggered accidentally or by other people.)
  • Click the link, and get returned to the front page of the site. There should be a message letting you know that a password has been sent to you.
  • Get a second email, containing the new password.

In the event you do not receive either email, after a couple of hours, you can use the contact form to request that we manually reset your password.* If the email you provide is not connected to the account you're trying to get a reset for, we may ask for further proof that the account belongs to you.

* If you are able to log into your account, please do not use that contact form to request help, with other problems. If you are logged in, and you need to request help, a variety of options are provided in the 'Help and Info' menu, including the Community Help forum, this FAQ, bug reports, tickets, and suggestions. Check below in 'Something else is wrong!' for assistance determining which option is the best choice for a particular problem.

I got locked out of my account for too many login attempts! Now what?

Look at the time, and go do something else for an hour. Until no login attempts have been made for an hour, the account will remain locked. If you try to log in after, say, half an hour? That will reset the hour back to the beginning, and you'll get stuck waiting longer.

How do I find out who has bookmarked my character?

You can't. And we cannot change that. Say that user 1 has two characters: Hexxy, and Rebbi. If user 1 bookmarks your character, how would the site know to send you a message about Rebbi, or Hexxy? Not without telling you about both characters; revealing user 1's every single alt. We could make it so that you have to input with which character you bookmark someone... But if we did that, the bookmarks system would be identical to the friends system we created for this exact reason.

How do I prevent someone from sending me messages?

In F-Chat, type /ignore their name. This will block private messages from the character, prevent you from seeing in-channel messages or RP ads from that character, and prevent notes from being sent from any character on that account to any character on your account. If someone uses a different character or account to bypass your ignore, please report them, as this violates the rules.

What are the rules surrounding ignores?

The latest version of all the rules for F-List and F-Chat can be found here.

In short, any user may be placed on ignore by any other user, for any reason. The person doing the ignoring is not required to provide a reason, and a failure to provide a reason for an ignore will not be accepted as a valid reason to report someone. However, you are free to report someone for poor behaviour preceding an ignore -- for instance, if someone messaged you to insult you and then placed you on ignore -- as that behaviour violates the rules regardless of whether an ignore was involved.

Once a user has been ignored, any attempt to contact the person who placed the ignore will be in violation of the rules. Do not do it. If you have been ignored, move on. If someone contacts you after you have ignored them, please report them.

It is not possible to ignore global moderators, nor should you ignore the moderator of a room you wish to remain in. Placing moderators on ignore prevents them from being able to do their job, with regard to your character, and if you have ignored a room moderator, they are strongly encouraged to ban you from any rooms they moderate.

Why can't I send notes to this one character?

They may have one of your alts on their notes blocklist, or on their chat ignore list. Recent changes to the chat ignore list have caused it to also prevent notes from all characters on the account, same as the blocklist does.

Why can't I send notes to anyone?

Please log in to F-Chat and type /ignorelist into the console. Check the list to be sure that none of your own characters are on it. If they are use /unignore <character> to remove them from the list. You should be able to send notes again.

How can I file a complaint about a character or player?

There are several ways to do this, based on what you'd like to report.

If you are reporting a chat conversation, please use the 'Alert Staff' option, in the standard client, or the 'Report this tab' option from the menu in the experimental client. This will direct your report to the global moderators. Depending on how many reports are being handled, it may take a while to get to yours, but it will be handled.

If you are reporting a note, please use the 'Report' button that appears in the note view screen. This will open a ticket, that will provide us with the note. You can add as much context as you think it needs, such as whether you already have this person on ignore or if you have reported them for anything in the past.

If you are reporting a profile violation, like art theft, photos on underage characters, walls of shame, etc., please use the 'Report' button on the profile, and describe what's wrong with the profile.

Do not report people for placing you on ignore. Any user is permitted, at any time, to ignore any other user (except for room moderators, in the rooms they'd like to be permitted to stay in). No one is required to explain why they have placed someone on ignore.

Help! My suggestion disappeared!

Nah. It's probably just changed status. For some reason, messages are not sent about comments in the 'staff comment' box or about status changes (Accepted, Rejected, Closed, Implemented), so you won't necessarily know that one of these things has happened. If you can't find your suggestion, all of a sudden, try clicking on the 'closed' or 'rejected' links on the suggestions page, and checking for it there. Usually, when something is rejected or closed, there will be an explanation in the grey 'staff comment' box, just below the text of the suggestion.

Why do I keep getting logged out?

There are four ways to get logged out from the site:

  • Pressing the 'Logout' button.
  • Not loading a page for more than 48 hours.
  • Your browser's cookies getting cleared. This is possible, especially if you have a tool that does it for you at scheduled times.
  • Your computer's IP address changing. Anything from flaky wireless to your ISP having local route problems can cause this.

Things that might help:

  • Are you using a wireless connection? If you are, try switching to wired for a while, and see if you have better luck.
  • If you're using a phone or tablet, try an actual computer, instead. Mobile data connections are pretty flaky.
  • If you're using satellite internet... you may be screwed.
  • If you're using Tor or a VPN, don't switch exit nodes, while you're logged in.

Something on the site errors out or doesn't work, every time I try to use it!

0. Scan your computer for viruses and malware. Certain malware interferes with our site's JS, and causes links to render improperly, the webclient to fail, and other minor issues throughout the site.

1. Check with another browser. If it doesn't work, there may be something wrong with your connection, or essential scripts may not be loading for some other reason. Open a ticket to get more help figuring out what's wrong with your computer. (I'm the guy who will end up handling it, so I can say that.) If it does work, move on down the list with the browser that's giving you trouble.

2. Clear your browser cache. Instructions for that are here.

3. If you're using a script blocking extension, make sure these are in the whitelist:

  • f-list.net
  • ajax.googleapis.com

4. If you're using an ad blocking extension, make sure this is in the whitelist:

  • f-list.net

This one's a little weird, but see the next question down, for some more on why it's important.

5. Disable all add-ons in your browser, then restart it. If it works, one of them is causing the problem. Re-enable them one at a time, restarting your browser after each one, until it breaks again. That last one is the problem.

I'm using Chrome, and I get 'Error: Error:error', every time I try to bookmark someone!

According to the last person this happened to, this is a conflict with AdBlock Plus. We advise either whitelisting f-list.net or using the 'Disable on f-list.net' option in the menu. (From Bug Report 885)

I'm using Chrome, and I keep getting 'Error: Not Found' with F-Chat, friend requests, or trying to delete a character!

We've recently identified an extension for Chrome called 'Youtube Plus' that is causing this error, for people who have it installed. This is extension is some sort of adware/spyware, and it is injecting some JavaScript into the page that is corrupting the 'domain' variable that F-List relies on, for certain functions. Although this is the only extension that we are certain causes this problem, there may be others. If you are experiencing these problems, and do not use the 'Youtube Plus' add-on, consider disabling your add-ons one at a time, until you find the one causing the problem, and then let us know, so we can keep an updated list, here.

I'm using Firefox, and the site looks all screwed up!

I've just become aware of a change to the way Firefox handles sizing on web pages, and I suspect this may be causing a boom in reported issues of stuff looking weird in Firefox, after the version 22 update. I'm not certain about how it works (if it does it) on Macs, but on Windows, this is happening:

DO NOT CHANGE THIS SETTING
Firefox 22 is now respecting the pixel density you've set on a system level in the windows control panel > appearance > display. more information about that is available at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/make-the-text-on-your-screen-larger-or-smaller

Now, you're not going to want to tweak stuff at the system level, because stuff does not actually need to be tweaked at the system level. There's a way to fix this problem from inside Firefox.

CHANGE THIS SETTING INSTEAD
If you want to set the text size/pixel density in Firefox different from that of your system's settings like it was handled in prior versions, enter about:config into the Firefox address bar (confirm the info message in case it shows up) & search for the preference named layout.css.devPixelsPerPx. Double-click it and change its value to 1.0 (or any other zoom factor that fits your purpose; -1.0 is the default value and will adhere to the system settings).

Be aware that this may change the size of your UI on Firefox, but only on Firefox. It will also ensure that 1px is correctly rendered as 1px and not as 1.2px, which seems to be the most common flavour of broken on high-resolution screens.

Info from here, if you'd like to read the original complaint and its whole response chain.

Profile Help

I tried to edit my character and my kinks/description/images all reset!

This happens. Yes, it's bad, but the damage can be controlled. Keep local backups of your description, custom kinks, and images. There is no way to restore a previous version of your profile, serverside, so it's very important to at least keep a text file with your character's info.

The profile update script needs work, particularly in the way it saves things, and safer defaults and better accuracy checking are on the list for the next overhaul. That overhaul is not yet scheduled.

At present, things you can do to decrease the chance of data loss are making sure to NOT click the submit button twice and NOT to stop or interrupt the page load. In the event that something does go wrong, if you click the browser's back button, to return to the edit screen, it is possible that you can regain some of the lost data. Browsers behave differently, and some will have not saved anything, but others may retain your pre-edit or post-edit data. Make sure you check what shows in the form before you submit it again. Custom kinks and images may be obliterated in the back-button profile edit screen (but, if you're here, they might be gone already...), so please ensure that the form believes everything is where you left it, if you choose this route.

Why doesn't my avatar upload?

Most likely it did, and other people are already seeing your new avatar! However, since the name of the avatar file does not change, when you upload a new one (it will always be [charactername].png), there's a good chance your computer has cached the old one, and hasn't realised the file contents aren't the same. Caching for avatars currently lasts four hours. You can likely fix this problem by doing a hard refresh of the affected profile, to reload all the content on the page. In most browsers, this is ctrl+F5, but in Opera it is ctrl+R. If this doesn't work, try clearing your cache, and then viewing the page again. If you are still unsure if the new image or the old image is showing, ask someone else to take a look.

Avatar files must be:

  • png, jpg, or gif
    • animated gifs will only show the first frame
  • 100x100px (Up to 400x400 will be scaled down)
  • (filesize?)

Why doesn't my avatar show up, even though I uploaded a new one?

It probably has uploaded. However, your browser isn't showing you the new version you just uploaded, because it has no idea your avatar changed. This is probably the case for a few other people who have already seen your avatar in the past few days - their browsers haven't checked to see if it's changed yet.

To fix this and see your new avatar, do a hard refresh, which will reload all content on the page. In most browsers, this is ctrl+F5, but in Opera it is ctrl+R. If this doesn't work, try clearing your cache, and then viewing the page again. If you are still unsure if the new image or the old image is showing, ask someone else to take a look.

Why doesn't my character image upload?

Most likely, because the image is too large or not a supported format. Character images must be:

  • png, jpg, or gif
    • animated gifs should work
  • smaller than 2000x2000px
  • less than 400kb

Someone accepted my friend request, but they don't show up on my character's Friends tab!

There is an option in the profile edit screen called 'Visibility'. If that is turned off, a character will not show up in searches or in other characters' friends lists. However, if you view your account friends list (which only you can see), they should appear there.

How does 'Copy Kinks' work?

The 'Copy Kinks' feature, in the Character menu, will let you replace the kinks of one of your characters with the kinks from another. Make sure that the receiving character is NOT open in edit mode. If the character is open for editing, and you copy kinks and then save, the copied kinks will be overwritten by the kinks from the edit screen. Copy first, then open the character for editing.

Why do I get 'Error 3' when I try to update my profile?

This appears to be a problem with there being more space in the input box for custom kink names than the form is expecting to receive. Custom kink names should be 30 characters or less, and the UTF-8 encoding of many non-English characters takes two or more bytes, up to four bytes. ◊ for instance, takes up the same amount of space as three letters. So, if you find yourself going over, and you're not sure why, cut down on the dingbats.

How long can a character name be? What can I put in it?

Length for a character name is from 2 to 20 letters, numbers, spaces, dashes, and underscores. No non-English letters (letters with accents, umlauts, tildes, etc.) or other punctuation can be used. Names may not begin or end with a space, and must begin with a letter or number. Names may not contain slurs that would violate the rules.

Good:

  • Jordan
  • Fitz Weiner
  • Morton_Flapjack
  • 123Potato

Bad:

  • Super Petrolatum Jammz (Too long)
  •  !!Mousie!! (Contains punctuation that isn't _ or -)
  • Übermensch (Contains a non-English letter, 'Ü')
  •   Dogroll (Starts with a space)

How can I change my character name?

Name changes are now available for all users! Good news! From now on, we allow every user to change one character's name every week. A character can be renamed by clicking here. All usual restrictions apply to new names. The restriction on renames is so that people will still be forced to think their names over carefully.

Please note: this is currently the only way to rename your character; the staff will no longer accept requests to rename your character.

Having trouble?

  • The error with avatars not being ported has been fixed. If your avatar went missing in the few hours this bug was still a problem, look for it as http://static.f-list.net/images/avatar/[your old character name].png, and it should still be there, so you can save it and re-upload it.
  • If you are a room owner, you may need to request assistance from a global moderator, after a name change. The chatserver doesn't pick up these changes, by itself.
  • If you are a room moderator, the best thing to do is have the room owner /cdeop your old name and /cop your new name.
  • If your friends or people who have bookmarked you are reporting they can't see you in their online friends list, in chat, tell them to log out and back in, so the contents of the list will reload. That list isn't stored on the chatserver, so it does pick up the changes.

Someone else has the character name I want!

Under certain circumstances, character names can be released for use. You are welcome to ask after names, but asking is not a guarantee they will be released for you. If the name you want belongs to someone who:

  • is banned
  • hasn't logged in for a year or more
  • has no information on their profile

then, you may be able to get it released by clicking the 'Report' button on the profile, and explaining in next screen that you're requesting the character name. If you're asking after a name that's been banned, select 'File a Ticket', from the Help & Info menu, and let us know which name you'd like.

DO NOT open a suggestion, bug report, or Community Help thread. These things will not get you what you want.

How much text can I fit in a profile?

The description field holds up to 100,000 characters, including those used for BBcode. That's quite a bit of text, and for most users, it will be sufficient. At this time, there are no plans to allow the description field to hold more. If your character requires more space, we suggest storing that information in a publicly-available off-site place, like a blog, pastebin, Google document, or personal website. Many free options are available, even for those with no knowledge of HTML, and a search engine can help you find the one that's right for you and your character.

I just changed my profile, but it's still showing unchanged in the search results!

That's because the search tables update every 12 hours. It's a design decision intended to reduce the load on the database. Don't worry about it; visitors to your profile will see the changes right away!

What are profile badges? What are the icons below someone's avatar?

See the explanation at Profile badges.

What does Verified mean? How do I become verified?

Verified is a profile badge which indicates the art has been verified by site staff as belonging to the character owner. This is not an 18+ verification. For information on how to get verified, see the page on Verification.

Subscription Help

How can I get a subscription?

On the left side of the front page, there is a tab marked 'Donations'. Click on it to learn the current prices and available means of payment. Make sure that you open a ticket, per the instructions there, to get your subscriber status enabled, after you donate! Please also include a screenshot of the transaction or, if Bitcoin, the transaction ID, so admins other than Hexxy can verify the transaction.

What happens when my subscription runs out?

All subscription functionality will function while your subscription is active. When your subscription ends, this functionality will be disabled; except in cases where it would modify your characters; e.g. custom kinks and character images are not removed.

I am not happy with my subscription. Can I get a refund?

We always offer refunds if the subscription was created within 7 days of the refund. In special cases we may offer a refund as well upon request; we're pretty lenient. If you violate the terms of service, your account can still be disabled; and you may request a refund for the remaining period of your subscription.

How do I make a group?

Currently, only subscribers can request groups. If you are a subscriber, open the 'Subscription' menu, and select 'Request Group'. Name the group, type in a description, and select the character you would like to show as the owner of the group. Everything you need to know about the process is at the top of the Request Group page. Requests are not guaranteed to result in groups. You can check on the status of your request by returning to the 'Request Group' page (but keep in mind that unreviewed requests show up as 'denied', for some reason, so don't freak out, right away).

How can I keep memos about other characters' profiles?

Become a subscriber! Character memos are a subscription feature that adds a button to character profiles that aren't yours, so you can store private information about those characters. The memos are viewable from the profile and also from the 'Memo List' page, available only to subscribers. For more about subscription features, check out this list.

Chat Help

How do I change chat channels?

  • For official channels, /channels will give you a list of available channels, and /join [channel name] will open the channel.
  • For private channels, /prooms will give you a list of the available channels, and you can click channel names (in the web clients) to join rooms from that list.
  • /join [channel ID] will also work, for private channels, but /join [channel name] will not.
  • In F-Chat 1.0, click the 'Channels' button, to get lists of both public and open private channels.
  • In F-Chat 2.0, click on the fifth button, a square made of nine grey squares, to get lists of both public and open private channels.
  • In the Desktop Client, click on the last button, a square made of nine grey squares, to get lists of both public ('Channels') and open private channels ('Public').

How can I save the channels I'm in, for later?

Most chat clients offer a way to save your favourite rooms, so you automatically rejoin them each time you log in. If you're using one of the web clients, instructions are below. If you're using a third-party client, please check the documentation for that client, for more help.

  • In F-Chat 1.0, click the disk icon beside the console tab. This does not work for all people. If it doesn't work for you, open the settings screen, from the F-Chat menu, and click save. Saving your settings will also save your open rooms. In F-Chat 1.0, channels are saved for your account, so all your characters will be put into the same rooms, when you log in.
  • In F-Chat 2.0, click the pin icon on each channel you'd like to save. In F-Chat 2.0, channels are saved by character, so each character you use can have a different list of saved rooms.

How do I save logs?

Logs from the webclients, both the standard and experimental versions, are stored in the browser's memory. If you reload or close the tab, without having saved your logs, the logs are gone.

To save logs, while logged in:

  • F-Chat 1.0/Standard: From the 'F-Chat' menu, select 'Get Logs'. A box with a link will appear. Right click the link and select 'Save as...' (make sure it saves as an .htm or .html file!) If that doesn't work, click the link to open the log in another tab, then right click on the new page and select 'Save as...' to save the log. This will only save the logs for the tab you are currently looking at!
  • F-Chat 2.0/Experimental: Click on 'Browse/Save/Download Chatlogs', which is the third button from the right, in the menu. You'll have a few options.
    • Download a zip of the session. This is the best option, if you have a lot of logs. Click the link and remember to add a .zip file extension and name the file something you'll recognise!
    • For each individual room, you'll see a download icon and a view icon. Due to some difficulties with the download icon, I advise using the view icon (magnifying glass) to open the log in another tab, then right click on the new page and select 'Save as...' to save the log.

To save logs, after getting logged out:

  • F-Chat 1.0/Standard: You should be presented with a box that contains links for each room you were in, as well as a link to download a zip file of all the logs for the session.
    • Most of the time, I advise clicking the zip link, as it's faster and more complete. Just remember to add a .zip file extension and name the file something you'll recognise!
    • Individual room/pm links can be clicked to generate a logs link for that room at the bottom of the box. Right click the link and select 'Save as...' (make sure it saves as an .htm or .html file!) If that doesn't work, click the link to open the log in another tab, then right click on the new page and select 'Save as...' to save the log.
  • F-Chat 2.0/Experimental: The logs tab becomes unavailable, if you log out. Relog in the same tab, and you'll be able to get to it again. Then follow the directions for saving logs while logged in.

Logs from the Desktop Client, slimCat, and the Pidgin/Adium plugin are automagically saved to your hard drive, as they happen, if you have logging enabled in the client. Check the readme files for those clients for more information on where they save logs.

Why are the names in different colors?

Each color is for a different gender.

None Cream Character Name
Female Pink Character Name
Male Light Blue Character Name
Herm Dark Purple Character Name
Male-Herm Dark Blue Character Name
Shemale Light Purple Character Name
Cunt-Boy Green Character Name
Transgender Light Pink Character Name

What are those colored dots and gems?

The dots are status lights. Each status light also has the first letter of the status in it.

  • StatusLightLooking.pngGreen: Looking for Role Play
  • StatusLightOnline.pngBlack: Online
  • StatusLightBusy.pngLight Blue: Busy
  • StatusLightIdle.pngYellow: Idle
  • StatusLightAway.pngDark Blue: Away
  • StatusLightDND.pngRed: Do Not Disturb
  • StatusLightOffline.pngGrey: Offline

The gems indicate the role of that character in the present channel:

  • GemChatop.pngYellow: Global ChatOp
  • GemChanown.pngGreen: Channel Owner
  • GemChanop.pngRed: Channel Operator/Moderator

What are those cookies by names?

A cookie (StatusCrown.png) next to someone's name indicates that a moderator rewarded them for something. They go away if you leave chat or change your status.

How do I chat with someone privately, check their profile, or ignore them?

To check someone's profile, just click their name. To open a PM (private message) window with them, try right-clicking their name; this will bring up a menu (with some more options, as well, such as ignoring that person).

How do I make a private room?

  • In any client, you can type /makeroom into your chatbox, followed by the name of the room. Example: /makeroom The Chat Cafe.
  • In F-Chat 1.0, click on the 'Channels' button, at the top, then on the 'Create Room' tab. Type the name of the room into the box, and click 'Make Room'.
  • In F-Chat 2.0, click on the fifth button, a square made of nine grey squares. At the top is a text field and 'Create' button, with which you can create a new channel.
  • In the Desktop Client, click on the button with the key on it. Enter a name for the room into the box, and click the button.

Don't worry about names -- there can be multiple private rooms with the same name. When you've created a private room, your current character will automatically become its owner.

What are some of the commands for Private/Public Rooms?

For a complete list of chat commands, see the F-Chat Command Reference. To see which BBCodes can be used in chat, consult the List of BBCode tags. For help with smiley codes, see the list of smiley codes.

  • Open to the Public: /openroom
  • Make Private/Invite Only: /closeroom
  • Invite User: /invite <name>
  • Add Description: /setdescription <text>
  • Advertising Code: /code

How do I make a link to a room?

For official rooms, use the [channel] tag. Example: [channel]Non-Sex Driven LFRP[/channel]

For open private rooms, use /code in the room and copy the provided [session] tag. Example: [session=Test Room]ADH-3EE4POTATOES3D7B8D23[/session]

These tags only work in chat, not on profiles or elsewhere on the site.

How do I make a public room?

The F-List official channels are the 'public rooms', so you can't make one of those. By default, all newly-created private rooms are available by owner invitation only. However, you can open your private room to the public, which will make it show up in the Private Rooms list, and will allow anyone in the room to invite others. All you, as the owner, have to do is type /openroom . Opened rooms can also be advertised in LFRP or your status, by using the code available by typing /code in the room.

Note: Admins and mods will be watching those channel code posts. Do them only in the appropriate channels, and don't spam them.

How do I make my private room persist?

Normally, your private channel will disappear the moment it is empty. If at least five characters have been in the room at the same time, though, the room will be protected from deletion for 24 hours after the last person leaves it. While the room is occupied, the timer is stopped, and when the last person leaves, it will reset.

In the event of a server restart, all rooms are extended 24 hours of protection from the time of the restart, while they remain empty. Once someone enters the room, the timer will stop, and it will behave just like a freshly-made room, once again needing to reach a population of five to regain the 24 hours of protection while empty.

What about mobile clients? iOS apps?

The developers are already handling three clients, and the code team is small. It is extremely unlikely that an official mobile client will come into being. You are more than welcome to write a mobile client, since the protocol is open. Client development threads belong in the Developers and Third Party Tools forums in the F-Chat group.

iOS:

Low chance our app would be allowed on the iOS market: The App Store Review Guidelines are "in place to ensure that applications are reliable, perform as expected, and are free of explicit and offensive material." I probably don't need to go into depth on why a chat specialised for discussing sex, and kinks like gore and ageplay which could be seen as offensive, wouldn't get past this guideline. Instead of offering an equivalent of an R18+ rating, the wording suggests that the iOS market does not permit such apps: just like how Australia has no R18+ rating for video games and thus simply has no R18+ video games (tangentially: Australia's getting an R18+ rating soon).

Extremely high cost: To develop iOS applications, you must be a developer ($99/yr) and own a Mac ($1,000+). Since no current site developer has either an iOS developer license or a Mac, it would cost us over $1,000 just as an entry barrier.

Android:

High chance of being permitted on the Android market: Has a high maturity classification which is a rating applied to "Apps that focus on suggestive or sexual references", meaning such apps are permitted and classified with the equivalent of an MA15+/R18+ rating.

Low cost: Registering to be a Google Play developer requires $25, once and can be done on Windows (and probably Linux) which are machines our devs own.


Can I make my own third-party F-Chat client?

Yes, you may! F-List is open to the idea of third parties developing unofficial F-Chat clients. The F-List Wiki openly documents the F-Chat protocol for just such a purpose. See these references:

Importantly definitely talk to StatusLightOffline.pngKira, the chat server's developer. She would want to know you're making a client and, being the developer of the server you'd be working with, her help would be invaluable.

I recommend you also talk to the site administrators (StatusLightOffline.pngHexxy or StatusLightOffline.pngAniko) to let them know of your intentions. You may get some assistance from them, and at the very least an open dialog between you and the administrators will ensure any tensions can be resolved quickly and with minimal pain (e.g. if you do something they don't like).

A more general mobile client was once available at the mobile version of F-chat. (Unfortunately, the mobile client no longer exists. It has been broken for a long time, and did not survive the server swap.)

Chat Troubleshooting

If you need more help, please don't hesitate to talk to a chat moderator (their names are marked with a yellow gem), or submit a ticket.

What is the maximum number of users that can be in the chat at once?

There was once a version of the server that maxed out at 200 total connections. Some people who have been on the site for a long time may remember this. However, the current server (0.8.6) is currently limited to 4900 characters, due to some bandwidth problems involving the massive amount of data the server sends on connect. For more about this, please see Newspost 242. We are in the process of revising the protocol and re-writing the server, so we can dramatically increase the limit.

How many characters can I log on?

The current limit on concurrent chat logins is three per account and three per IP address. This does mean that multiple users with the same IP address will only be able to connect three characters among them. Please do not open suggestions about the number of concurrent logins, as this is not something about which we are accepting suggestions. It is an unfortunate fact of the way the chat protocol was originally designed, and we are working on repairing the problem.

What is the login queue?

The login queue is the list of attempted logins the server is currently trying to process. At the moment, it is limited to thirty slots, because after that point, clients start timing out, because they haven't gotten a response. What this means for you is that if there are many people trying to log in, all at once -- for instance, during peak hours or right after a server hiccup that disconnected a few hundred people -- it may take a few tries to get into the queue. Keep in mind that repeated pageloads and reloading the webclient (when done by the several hundred people trying to get into the queue) will have a detrimental effect on the queue processing time, because login requests are passed from the chatserver to the webserver and back, and if the webserver is slowed, it may start dropping requests. This is what causes the rolling maintenance mode during and after chat outages.

Why can't I connect to the chat?

1. Are you seeing any of the following errors?

  • Error: No free login slots
  • Error: not found
  • Error: Failed to connect. There may be a problem with your internet connection, or F-Chat is currently not available.
  • Error: Failed to get an API ticket. There may be a problem with your internet connection or F-List.

These indicate that the chatserver may be down, or has very recently come back up. Come back in half an hour and try again. You can also check the chat stats page, which will likely indicate if the server is behaving strangely (flatlining, sudden drops, etc.).

2. Browser issues.

  • Does your browser natively support websockets? Check here.
    • If it does, that's not the problem.
    • If it does not, the browser needs the latest version of Flash.
    • If your browser does not support websockets or Flash, you're not going to be able to connect, but these cases are rare.
  • Check with another browser.
    • If it doesn't work, there may be something wrong with your connection, or essential scripts may not be loading for some other reason. Skip to the next section.
    • If it does work, continue this section with the browser that's giving you trouble.
  • Clear your browser cache and cookies. Instructions for that are here. Afterward, reload the client page.
  • If you're using a script blocking extension, make sure these are in the whitelist:
    • f-list.net
    • ajax.googleapis.com
  • If you're using an ad blocking extension, make sure this is in the whitelist:
    • f-list.net
  • Disable all add-ons in your browser. If it works, one of them is causing the problem. Re-enable them one at a time, restarting your browser after each one, until it breaks again. That last one is the problem.
  • Scan your computer for viruses and malware. Certain malware interferes with our site's JS, and causes links to render improperly, the webclient to fail, and other minor issues throughout the site.

3. Websockets problems. The websocket protocol, which is what the chat uses, is a fairly new protocol. As such, it's not well-integrated into some things, which can cause connection problems. Check out the Websockets page for tips on discovering and solving websockets problems.

  • Does your antivirus software have a 'link scanner'/'web protection'/'cookie guard' function? Web protection options tend to break websocket connections. Disable those functions (not your whole antivirus!) and see if the problem clears up.
  • Are you using Zonealarm firewall? Adding exceptions for F-Chat does not help. Even if you disable it, it will continue to block F-Chat, until it is uninstalled. (Newspost 189) Other firewalls may also exhibit similar behaviours. Consider disabling yours, temporarily, to see if this is part of the problem.
  • Do you have 'Internet Download Manager' (IDM) installed? You can check this under Add/Remove Programs in Windows. Basically, IDM mis-detects your chat connection as a starting download and tries to hijack it, breaking it in the process. It does this even when it's not actively running, since it hooks itself into Windows in some nefarious ways. If you can't get into the chat and have IDM installed, IDM is almost certainly what's stopping it from working. (Newspost 160)

4. Connection problems. It is possible that you may be able to reach the webserver and the rest of the internet, but not the chatserver. This may be the problem if you're getting one of these errors: "A connection error occurred. Please check your internet connection.", "Failed to connect. There may be a problem with your internet connection, or F-Chat is currently not available.", "Failed to get an API ticket. There may be a problem with your internet connection or F-List."

5. Ports 80, 443 and 9799 (TCP) on f-list.net must be reachable through your router/firewall, and additionally port 843 (TCP) if you have to use Flash. Under no circumstances should you have to open ports on your own computer. These ports are likely to already be reachable through your firewall, except in the following cases:

  • You are behind a filtering proxy or a very restrictive firewall (companies do this, are you chatting at work? :P).
  • Your router has parental controls enabled or filters network traffic.
  • You are using an anonymizer, such as Tor or I2P.
  • Your ISP is restricting your network traffic to the most commonly used ports (especially dial-up ISPs do this sometimes).

6. Are you using Google Chrome? Many users have reported frequent 'Aw, Snap...' errors while using or attempting to connect to chat. Consider using Firefox, reportedly most stable at this time, or another browser. Also, if you do not mind some bugs, it has been noted that the experimental chat client may be more stable, with Chrome, at present. It is, however, still experimental, and as such may be more prone to doing other peculiar things. (F-Chat 2.0/Experimental/Beta Documentation)

7. Do you have more than a few hundred bookmarks or friends? We think the webclient starts to choke around 2,000, and we know for a fact that 5,994 is too many. Basically, if you've got thousands of friends, the server tries to deliver the entire list to the webclient, and your browser just starts laughing and closes the connection. Not much for that, except to cut down the list or use a different client. The desktop client seems to have less trouble with large lists.

Why does Tor break my chat connection?

There's a few reasons, off the top of my head. First, Tor is really slow, because of how it works. If the server doesn't get pings back from the client in a reasonable amount of time, it decides you've been disconnected. Second, websockets connections are only valid while being used from the IP that initiated them. If you change your exit node while connected to the chat, you'll get dropped. Third, you're kind of dependent on a bunch of other people not rebooting their computers, while you're connected. That said, I have gotten the webchat to connect with Tor. I'm in Frontpage, right now, from an exit node somewhere in Russia. Stability isn't great, for the reasons above, but it is possible.

Why am I getting disconnected with connection errors?

  • Connection error: 'stopPropagation' => "func [..]
  • Connection error: 'clipboardData' => "undefi [..]
  • Connection error: 'bubbles' => "false" ' [..]

These are unspecified connection errors. Basically, everything after 'Connection error' is raw websocket data that's not really relevant. The important part is the 'connection error', which means that your connection to the chatserver has been interrupted, and the client doesn't know why.

You might want to check if it's your firewall or virus scanner interfering with the connection (see Websockets for more on that), but if it's not, then the problem is just a connection timeout somewhere in the route between you and the server. Those things tend to last a few hours and then stop, once load balancing re-balances on the problem node. Using a VPN or proxy might let you route around the problem node, but if it's a flaky proxy it might cause more problems than it solves, so be cautious if you decide to try this.

Why can't I download chatlogs?

In short? It's probably your choice of browser.

Chatlogs are provided in data URI format, meaning that the whole log is squished into the link. Firefox (12.0), Safari (5.1.7), and Opera (11.64) are confirmed to handle these correctly, and until recently, Google Chrome did, as well. However, there is an open issue with Chrome, where saving data URIs has been intentionally disabled. (It's fixed in the latest dev release (20.0.1132.11 dev-m).) In Internet Explorer 8 and 9 data URIs can only be used for images, not for Javascript generated file downloads.

I'm using Firefox, and the right-click menu doesn't work right!

Firefox sometimes doesn't play nicely with some right click menus and slaps its own right click menu right over them. To stop Firefox from doing that, go to Tools - Options - Content and click the Advanced... button next to the Enable JavaScript entry. Make sure that F-List is allowed to Disable or replace context menus (make sure the box is checked).

If all else fails, you can also open your settings panel (the button looks like this: ) and check 'Clicking names opens PM' (F-Chat 1.0) or uncheck 'Left click opens f-list profile' (F-Chat 2.0). Once you hit save, a left click will open a PM window. The PM window has the other profile options at the top.

I'm using Firefox, and the chat sounds are horrible!

MP3 support has just become available in Firefox 21, and it's doing some wonky stuff where it asks the operating system to interpret the file for it, instead of using the WAV or OGG files, which are natively supported in the browser. However, you can make it stop doing that.

If you're using Firefox 27 or earlier:

  1. Type in "about:config" into the URL bar
  2. Search for "media"
  3. Go to the setting "media.windows-media-foundation.enabled"
  4. Change the setting from "true" to "false" (don't get confused, the name stays the same)
  5. Restart Firefox

Thanks to StatusLightOffline.pngMaijah for the fix, originally posted here.

If you're using Firefox 28 or later:

  1. Type in "about:config" into the URL bar
  2. Search for "media"
  3. Go to the setting "media.directshow.enabled"
  4. Change the setting from "true" to "false" (dont get confused, the name stays (...).enabled)
  5. Restart Firefox

Thanks again to StatusLightOffline.pngMaijah for the new fix, originally posted here.

Why can't I see the last line of the text entry, in chat?

This is more prevalent in F-Chat 2.0, but for some reason, the client is loading a few pixels too large for the available space in the window, causing it to spawn an extra scrollbar on the right, and cut off either the last line of the chat input or the top menu. If you open your browser's search function (usually ctrl+F) and then close it again, the chat client will re-size properly into the window.

Why did I get a flood control error? It's been five minutes since my last post!

Many computers are set up to periodically automatically sync the system time with an internet timeserver. If the system time is altered during syncing, it confuses the chat, which results in the flood control error that won't go away. The easiest fix for this is just to save your rooms, so you rejoin them on reconnect, and then reload the chat client.

When I click on someone's name, their profile doesn't open!

This is usually caused by your browser's popup blocker, which reflexively overreacts to Javascript stuff that tries to open another tab. If you set it to allow popups from f-list.net clicking to open profiles should work.

Something else is wrong!

I don't understand how this works!

If you think your problem might be a misunderstanding, or you just need help learning to use something, post a thread in the Community Help forum.

I need help with my account./This dude keeps bothering me!

(i.e. Is there a problem with your subscription or verification? Is someone evading an ignore to harass you?)

If yes, open a ticket, instead. Tickets are there to help staff address individual issues, rather than widespread issues. If someone is bothering you in F-Chat, just /ignore them. If someone is breaking the rules in F-Chat, use the 'Alert Staff' option.

I don't like how this works!/We need a new feature!

If an intended behaviour, feature, or lack of feature is bothering you, open a suggestion about it.

I'm pretty sure this is actually broken...

'Browse public bugs' and use your browser's search to see if any open reports look similar to or the same as the bug you're having. If you find the same bug, add your report, along with any relevant technical information, to the thread in progress. This makes the list shorter, which makes it easier to see what bugs are still occurring. If there is no open bug report for your issue, read the guide to making bug reports, and then open one.

Someone is breaking the rules!

  • In Chat: If someone is breaking the rules of the site, in chat, make sure you're looking at the tab it's happening in, and use the 'Alert Staff' option (in the standard client) or the 'Report this tab' option (in the experimental client) to send in a report. Make sure you tick the box to include logs, and give a brief description of what the person is doing.
    • If someone is breaking the rules of a room (but not the rules of the site), in chat, contact the room's owner or moderators, via PM or note, and let them know. If it's an official room, it may be appropriate to alert the chat staff, as in the example above, but if it's a private room, you'll want to go to the room's staff.
  • In Notes: If someone has sent you a note that in some way violates the rules, please press the 'Report' button on the note view screen. Do not report the character from their profile, just report the note. All of the info we need will be in there. Also, include a statement about why you're reporting the note. Is it harassment, ignore evasion, spam, trolling, or something else?
  • On a Profile: If someone's profile or images violate the site rules, use the 'Report' button on the profile and include a comment about which rule is being broken. Don't report profiles for chat or note violations.
  • In a Group/Forum/Suggestion/Bug Report/Guestbook: If someone is breaking the rules of the site, in a public thread, copy the URL of where the rule is being violated and then go to the violator's profile and press 'Report'. Paste the link into the ticket and let us know which rule or rules they're breaking. Harassment, trolling, and spam are the most common reasons for this kind of report.

How do I clear my cookies/cache?

  1. Anything you are doing in another tab that will break if you are suddenly logged out? Finish doing it first. This includes forum posts, surveys, saving your game, and anything else you need to be logged into a site to do.
  2. Close every tab with anything from F-List loaded in it, not just the one that's giving you trouble. Some browsers will not completely clear the cache for a page that is currently being displayed, so to ensure that everything gets reloaded, you'll be better off closing the tabs.
  3. Follow the instructions for your browser, below. (It it is unlikely, but possible, that it may take several minutes for the cache to be deleted. Don't panic.)
  4. Load F-List again, and log in.
  5. Whatever you were doing before? See if it works, now.


Firefox

Windows:

  1. In Firefox, click the Tools menu.
  2. Select Clear Recent History.
  3. Under 'Time Range to Clear', select Everything.
  4. Click the 'Details' arrow.
  5. Select the 'Cache' checkbox.
  6. Select the 'Cookies' checkbox.
  7. Select the 'Active Logins' checkbox.
  8. Deselect everything else.
  9. Click 'Clear Now'.


Mac:

  1. Click the Firefox menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Click the Network tab.
  5. In the "Offline Storage" section, click Clear Now.
  6. Click OK.


  1. Click the Firefox menu.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click Privacy.
  4. Click Remove Individual Cookies.
  5. In the Cookies dialog box, click Remove All Cookies.
  6. Close the Cookies dialog box.
  7. Close the Preferences window.


Google Chrome

  1. Click the wrench icon on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Clear browsing data.
  4. Select the checkbox for 'Empty the cache'.
  5. Select the checkbox for 'Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data'.
  6. Use the menu at the top to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select beginning of time to delete everything.
  7. Click Clear browsing data.


Internet Explorer

IE 9.x & 10.x:

  1. Select 'Tools' > 'Safety' > 'Delete browsing history...'
  2. Uncheck 'Preserve Favorites website data'
  3. Check 'Temporary Internet Files'
  4. Check 'Cookies'
  5. Click 'Delete'


IE 8.x:

  1. Click 'Tools'. If you don't see the menu, press Alt on your keyboard to show menus.
  2. Select 'Delete Browsing History'.
  3. Select the checkbox next to 'Temporary Internet Files'.
  4. Select the checkbox next to 'Cookies'.
  5. Click 'Delete'.
  6. Once the files have been deleted, click 'OK'.


IE 7.x:

  1. Click 'Tools'. If you don't see the menu, press Alt on your keyboard to show menus.
  2. Select 'Delete Browsing History'.
  3. Click 'Delete files'.
  4. Click 'Yes' in the confirmation window.
  5. Click 'Close'.


  1. Click 'Tools'. If you don't see the menu, press Alt on your keyboard to show menus.
  2. Click 'Delete cookies'.
  3. Click 'Yes' in the confirmation window.
  4. Click 'Close'.


Opera

  1. Click the 'Tools' menu (Windows) or the Opera menu (Mac).
  2. Click 'Preferences'.
  3. Select the 'Advanced' tab.
  4. Click 'History'.
  5. In the 'Disk cache' section, click 'Empty Now'.
  6. Click 'OK' to close the Preferences window.


  1. Click the 'Tools' menu (Windows) or the Opera menu (Mac).
  2. Click 'Delete Private Data'.
  3. Click 'Detailed Options'.
  4. Select 'Delete all Cookies'.
  5. Deselect the checkbox for everything else.
  6. Click 'Delete'.


Safari

Mac:

  1. Click the Safari menu.
  2. Select Empty Cache.
  3. Click Empty


  1. Click the Safari menu.
  2. Click Preferences.
  3. Click Privacy.
  4. Click Remove All Website Data.
  5. Click Remove Now.
  6. Close the "Preferences" dialog box.


Windows:

  1. In Safari, click the Edit menu.
  2. Select Empty Cache.
  3. Click Empty.


  1. Click the Safari menu.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Click Security.
  4. Click Show Cookies.
  5. Click Remove All.
  6. Click Done to close the cookies list.
  7. Close the "Preferences" dialog box.

How can I check my connection to the webserver or chatserver?

First, let me talk a little bit about the internet. Getting online is like coming to a new city. You're at the airport, and there's places you want to go, but you have to get directions. Luckily, you have addresses, so you can go to an information kiosk (DNS server) and ask for directions to an address (www.f-list.net, for example).

Usually, you'll get good directions, and everything's fine, but sometimes, there's a street under construction, or there's a traffic accident blocking the road, so everything gets backed up, and you have to take an alternate route. Luckily, there are ways to check the route between your computer and our server. (Which, obviously enough, is not the same as the route between your computer and any other server on the internet. Just because you can get to YouTube or Amazon doesn't mean the route is clear between you and F-List.)

These instructions will say <server>, when they expect you to fill in the address of the server you're testing. Use one of these, depending on which one you're having trouble with:

  • Webserver: www.f-list.net
  • Chatserver: chat.f-list.net

Ping

Ping is the quickest way to determine if your data is getting where it's going. Basically, it sends some data to the server, and asks the server to say if it received that data. If the server doesn't respond, it means the data didn't get there. The thing to look at on ping results is 'packet loss'. If that's anything other than 0, you're losing some data. The bigger the number, the more data is getting lost.

WINDOWS

  • Open a command prompt and type:
    • ping <server>

It should ping four times, and then provide results at the end.

LINUX

  • Open a terminal window and type:
    • ping <server>

After about ten lines, press CTRL-C to stop it and get results.

MAC OS X

  • Go to Applications > Utilities > Network Utility.
  • Click on the Ping tab and type the server address into the box where it asks for 'network address'.
  • Set it to 'Send only 10 pings'.
  • Click the ping button.
  • When it's done, it should provide results.
Sample Ping Results (Linux)

PING f-list.net (95.211.159.86) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from hosted-by.leaseweb.com (95.211.159.86): icmp_seq=1 ttl=47 time=167 ms
64 bytes from hosted-by.leaseweb.com (95.211.159.86): icmp_seq=2 ttl=47 time=161 ms
64 bytes from hosted-by.leaseweb.com (95.211.159.86): icmp_seq=3 ttl=47 time=161 ms
64 bytes from hosted-by.leaseweb.com (95.211.159.86): icmp_seq=4 ttl=47 time=163 ms
^C
--- f-list.net ping statistics ---
4 packets transmitted, 4 received, 0% packet loss, time 3519ms

rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 161.406/163.334/167.031/2.250 ms

Traceroute

Traceroute tries to follow the route from your computer to the server, and displays every server it passes through, along the way, along with how long it took to reach that server on each of three tries. If it displays '*', for a timestamp, that means the server didn't send back a response, that time. If it shows *** for a server, that server was unreachable. (Obviously, the trace also stops if it reaches the destination!) This is a good way to figure out where the problem is occurring. (But, if the problem isn't with your computer, your ISP, or our server, none of us can fix it, and the only thing to do is wait until the problem node recovers!) Keep in mind that traceroute can take a few minutes to run!

WINDOWS

  • Open a command prompt and type:
    • tracert <server>

Wait until it says 'Trace complete.' Windows may also stop a trace if it gets three timed out servers in a row.

LINUX

  • Open a terminal window and type:
    • traceroute <server>

Linux might not tell you if it's done tracing, so look for the IP address it announces at the start of the trace, to see if it's gotten there, yet. It will also terminate after 30 hops, regardless of whether it's gotten results.

MAC OS X I have no idea. I'll come back and fill this in, later.

Sample Traceroute Results (Windows)

Tracing route to f-list.net [95.211.159.86]
over a maximum of 30 hops:

 1 1698 ms 2291 ms 136 ms 10.146.1.1
 2 * 1126 ms 51 ms 198.15.108.225
 3 * * * Request timed out.
 4 1000 ms 952 ms 1060 ms 108.170.0.14
 5 * 2021 ms 507 ms xe-2-0-0.phx10.ip4.tinet.net [216.221.159.29]
 6 * 2880 ms 3129 ms xe-9-0-1.lax20.ip4.tinet.net [89.149.187.109]
 7 1943 ms * 2106 ms xe-11-3-0.edge1.LosAngeles6.level3.net [4.68.62.1]
 8 * 1908 ms * vlan70.csw2.LosAngeles1.Level3.net [4.69.144.126]
 9 * * 346 ms ae-73-73.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net [4.69.137.37]
10 * 2087 ms 1112 ms ae-3-3.ebr1.SanJose1.Level3.net [4.69.132.9]
11 * 2556 ms 2923 ms ae-2-2.ebr2.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.135.186]
12 * 2754 ms 2182 ms ae-82-82.csw3.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.148.42]
13 1037 ms 887 ms 400 ms ae-81-81.ebr1.NewYork1.Level3.net [4.69.134.73]
14 1039 ms 226 ms 901 ms ae-44-44.ebr2.London1.Level3.net [4.69.137.77]
15 3744 ms 621 ms 316 ms ae-47-47.ebr2.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [4.69.143.77]
16 1921 ms 1988 ms 517 ms ae-57-222.csw2.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [4.69.153.206]
17 1230 ms 343 ms 600 ms ae-2-52.edge3.Amsterdam1.Level3.net [4.69.139.169]
18 2029 ms 1593 ms * BR2.Amsterdam1.surf.net [213.244.164.2]
19 2369 ms 2821 ms 2187 ms 225-95.dsl.netbuy.nl [82.192.95.225]
20 2930 ms 1039 ms 1738 ms hosted-by.leaseweb.com [95.211.159.86]

Trace complete.