empathy does not display AOL OSCAR too-frequent-login ban message to users

Bug #666108 reported by Robert Lange on 2010-10-25
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
empathy (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: empathy

The AOL Instant Messenger protocol bars users from logging in if they log in and out of their accounts too many times in rapid succession. When this happens in other clients, such as Adium (for OSX) and Slick (for Symbian), a message is popped up to the user informing them that they are barred from logging in, and letting them know not to try again for 10 minutes, or the length of the ban will be increased.

From empathy, I logged in and out of my account a bunch of times, forgetting about this rule. Eventually, empathy just stopped signing me in, and only gave a cryptic 'Network error' message. I kept hitting the button to try again, without success or further explanation. Then, I remembered the too-frequent-logins rule, and I tried signing in from another client. I discovered that I had triggered the ban. Empathy had provided no information about this ban to me.

UBUNTU RELEASE: 10.10 with latest updates as of 2010-10-24

empathy VERSION: 2.32.0-0ubuntu2
telepathy-haze VERSION: 0.4.0-1



Sign in and out of an AIM account a bunch of times in rapid succession.


Eventually, empathy stops signing you in, but provides no error message except 'Network error'. If you enable EMPATHY_DEBUG and check the empathy logs, you only see an error message about a network error and another error message for not being able to get an 'owner' for the account name. If you enable HAZE_DEBUG and look in the haze logs, you see the text of the ban message from AOL's OSCAR servers.


Telepathy-haze needs to communicate the relevant reason for the login failure to Empathy, and Empathy needs to display that to the user. I am not sure where the message is getting lost (that is, is telepathy-haze not sending it properly, or is empathy not displaying it). This problem needs to get fixed, otherwise our users may accidentally trigger lengthy bans by trying to reconnect after the ban message has been sent from AOL's servers.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
Package: empathy 2.32.0-0ubuntu2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-22.35-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-22-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sun Oct 24 22:31:23 2010
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release amd64 (20100429)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: empathy

Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :
Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :

I have attached a relevant snippet from my telepathy-haze.log. My username has been changed to 'myacct1' for privacy.

Pedro Villavicencio (pedro) wrote :

Thanks for the report, it has been some time without any response or feedback in this bug report and we are wondering if this is still an issue for you with the latest release of Ubuntu the Natty Narwhal, May you please test with that version and comment back if you're still having or not the issue? Please have a look at http://www.ubuntu.com/download to know how to install that version.Thanks in advance and sorry for the late response.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
status: New → Incomplete
Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :

This bug still very much exists using the latest Natty as of today. I just got myself banned for 10 minutes testing it.

I must assume that no one who looks that this bug report has an AOL IM account, because anyone with such an account can easily trigger this bug by logging out & in about 15 or so times in rapid succession. After doing so, the contacts list shows that the account is offline due to "network error" and offers the little button to retry the connection. If you look into the telepathy-haze logs, as I pointed out when I submitted the bug, you get the snippet of XML sent by the OSCAR server saying that you have logged on too many times in rapid succession.

Changed in empathy (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Robert Lange (rcl24) wrote :

This bug still exists in 12.10 (Quetzalcoatl, or whatever the crazy code name is this time) and I presume 12.04 as well. Now it says "authentication failure" after logging in and out too many times. Still no indication to the user that they should wait a while before trying to log in.

Bilal Shahid (s9iper1) wrote :

thanks for the bug report you can new send this bug to upstream

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