Comment disappears when adding a comment to highlighted text

I have been using the paid Kami service for many months. Over the last couple of days, I have run into a strange problem. While typing a comment, the comment box would suddently disappear, resulting in loss of comment. Often, the highlight would disappear at the same time and appear a minute later without the comment. This has happened many times in the last two days.

I do often have the same pdf open in multiple browsers. This has not been a problem in the past.

Update 1: the problem seems to happen even if the file is open only in one browser.

Update 2: Now I am seeing this problem all the time. Easy to reproduce.

Update 3: BTW, I am using Chrome on Linux (Centos 7). Previously, when things worked fine, I used Chrome on Mac.

Hi @Umesh

Thank you for posting this, and I’m sorry you’re experiencing this. We definitely want to get to the bottom of this issue though we haven’t experienced this problem on our own use of Kami. Would you be able to use Screenastify or any other screen recording tool to record this bug? We’d like to see your entire screen while it happens (e.g. time on your PC, seeing the URL in the toolbar, etc).

Once you have it, could you email us at support@kamiapp.com

Edit: This does sound like a serious bug, and we’ll do everything we can while we’re waiting for more info to reproduce this. Also if you don’t have time to record the video, even sending/share the file with us would be useful.

Thank you!

I don’t think we heard from you yet. But I think we’ve reproduced the issue, and we’re aware of an issue where annotation updates from the server arrives while you’re editing your comments, you could lose your draft work. We’ll be working on a fix early next week. Stay tuned.

Update4: I am seeing this problem at home on my Windows desktop, so I think it is independent of my moving to a Linux desktop at work.

I am seeing the problem pretty much all the time, so this is hindering my work seriously.

Update5: now I am seeing some of the created comments disappear, not just those that were in the process of being created.

Update6: it seems that the problem does not happen if I create a comment as a comment from the beginning instead of adding a comment to a highlight. This workaround seems to be working so far.

Great thanks for confirming that. Yes that’s what we’re been able to replicate as well. We’re releasing a hotfix today (version 2.0.11236-20191012220709) that some-what fixes it by reverting a change we made that amplified the issue. A longer term fix is being discussed.

Thanks, Hengjie.

BTW, I am a researcher in computer systems and I am curious about the problem and your fix. I will connect with you separately over LinkedIn. --Umesh

Hi again, sorry it looks like the hotfix didn’t actually fix the issue. Here’s what’s happening:

  1. You make a highlight (which successfully saves to the server)
  2. Highlight is converted to a comment box (client has highlight in ‘dirty’ unsaved state)
  3. You go offline, and go back online while you’re editing the comment box.
  4. Client detects it goes online, and attempts a full reload of all annotations from the server, annotations replaces the existing annotations array and therefore deletes the dirty comment.

I can’t explain the annotation hiding and reappearing back. At step 4 it should already reappear as a highlight as that’s what is saved from the server. I thought that a change we made in step 3 amplified this issue, but it looks like it doesn’t impact the exact pathway for it to happen.

The proper fix we’re discussing is intelligently merging the server sided annotations without replacing ‘dirty’ or newer annotations. Can you confirm if you have any intermittent network issues when annotations are lost?

Thanks for the explanation.

I am not aware of intermittent network issues, but its possible that my new Linux desktop at work has a network issue. But that does not explain this happening on my existing Windows desktop at home.’

To clarify the symptoms, here is what typically happens:

  1. I create a highlight.
  2. Within a couple of seconds of creating the highlight, I add a comment to it and start typing.
  3. Suddently, both the highlight and the comment box disappear.
  4. After about 20 seconds, the hightlight reappears, but the comment box does not reappear.