This App Can Be Quirky
Many of us have experienced the occasional (or maybe more than occasional) quirk in the app—the loss of a KRNL harvest or the mysterious disappearance of a Memento you swore you claimed or an event you absolutely RSVPed to, now totally gone. This post should help you understand why it happens, how you can avoid it happening, or secure yourself if it does. And I’ll share what we’re doing to fix this once and for all.
Why does it happen?
To understand why it happens we should first look at how our app works.
Your Remarkist account is always in a particular “state”—for example, it has a certain amount of KRNLs, a certain number of Mementos, RSVPs, tips given, and lots of other little changes that you’ve actually made happen. When you do anything in the app—that’s to say when you tap on anything that changes the state of your account, two things happen:
The app changes its appearance to reflect that state change. Like if you harvest some KRNLs, the app will change your balance in your profile to include that new amount of KRNLs you got, if you RSVP to an event, the app will add a little 🌱 to the event to signal that you RSVPed to it, if you claim a Memento, that Memento will appear in your album of the Mementos. That’s because your phone (or computer) changes the look of your app instantly to give you a sense that the button you just tapped had instant effects… but it actually didn’t…
That action you just took was sent to us too, where it made a similar instant change to a Master App—an app that has everyone’s accounts in it.
Most of the time, this isn’t really an issue. The action you took that changed the look of your app eventually got to our Master App where it changed it there as well. So both your app and the Master App should look the same in terms of those changes you made. And every three minutes or so—as well as each time you open your app—it calls the Master App and downloads its current version and replaces what’s on your phone with that Master version. This is important because that Master App contains not just your changes, but all the changes from other people’s apps too. And since the changes you made in your app should be the same as those you sent to the Master App, there shouldn’t be a problem replacing it.
But sometimes… they’re not the same.
What happens if you take an action, like harvest or RSVP, which changes the look of your app instantly, but for some reason, it never gets to us to change the Master App. This can happen for so many reasons. It could be your internet connection was bad. Could be our internet connection was bad. Or it could just be that the signal got lost along the way. The internet isn’t a perfect mail courier.
But if this happens then the Master App doesn’t change itself the way your app just did when you pressed some button in it. And so next time your app calls the Master App to download its most recent version—which again happens every few minutes and always when you open your app fresh—it will replace it with a Master App version that doesn’t have any of those changes you just made instantaneously on your phone when you pressed some button to do something.
So really, it’s not that you lost a harvest or an RSVP or tip you made… it’s that it was never actually recorded, you never really got the harvest or RSVP because it never actually got to us. Your phone just made it look like it did. In order for that harvest to actually stick, it needs to get to our Master App where everyone’s harvests are being stored.
Sometimes, pressing something makes many pieces of information, and only some of it got to us. Like maybe you harvested and pressed that harvest button and it sent the following:
This person Harvested
This person should be given a certain amount of KRNLs
If only the first of those two got to us, then the next time you open the app, you’ll see the harvest you got is no longer there and when you return to harvest again, it thinks you did and won’t let you. The opposite can also happen. It might send the second, and not the first. In this instance, you reopen the app to find that your harvest is still there, but the event thinks you didn’t harvest and lets you do so again. That might sound like a sweet deal at times but can have weird effects all over the app.
So how to avoid it
There’s no foolproof way to prevent this from happening with this version of the app. The internet will always lose data every once in a while, so this kind of app will always have these problems now and again.
But there are a few ways to lower the chance that it will happen to you.
Use the app with a stable internet connection. Avoid doing any important actions like harvesting or RSVPing or restoring Mementos while traveling in and out of reception or on a really spotty connection.
Always remember to completely close out your app and reopen it again just before an important action like harvesting, RSVPing, restoring Mementos, adding a co-host to your event, claiming a Memento (especially a composable Memento), or even just starting the timer for a watch. This will assure you that the app is functioning well before taking that action.
Wait a few seconds after tapping any button in the app that might change the state of your account. Don’t just tap harvest and then close out the app immediately or hit the back button. Let that information at least make it out of the building. In many cases, like harvests, you’ll see a message saying the action is complete—an encouraging sign.
How to protect Your actions
Most things you do in the app aren’t a big deal if you lose them. Actions like adding a co-host, restoring a Memento, or RSVPing to an event can simply be done again if you notice they’re gone in time. But harvesting often cannot and neither can harvest streaks. Discovering that a harvest or streak you thought you got never actually arrived in our Master App is a huge bummer. So if KRNL harvests and streaks are important to you, keep a record. Even if your harvest doesn’t arrive in the Master App, your phone will show it in your list of Earnings for at least the next few minutes or before it can download a new copy of the Master App. So right after a harvest, make it a habit to take a quick screenshot of the harvest screen in your earnings. For added security, you might want to even screen capture the little success message that occurs right after a harvest.
How to check that it got to us
Since the whole process of sending and receiving to the Master App is usually pretty quick, you should actually be able to verify whether that harvest you took or that RSVP you made is there within just a few minutes. Just wait about 2 or 3 minutes just to be sure, then completely close out the app and reopen it. If the harvest you made is still there—or any other change like RSVP or co-host—you can delete any screenshot proof you have of it. It’s in the Master App at that point, and it’s not going anywhere. But if you open the app to find a harvest is gone, you still have proof it was there (including its timestamp and the exact amount you were given). Post it to our bugs channel on our Discord server and we’ll get it in the Master App for you.
Sometimes things can get really scrambled
It’s possible that the app could be suffering some weirdness if there is a huge load of people using it at the same time. But in some cases, if you find that the app has been acting weird for a long time, you might solve the problem simply by going back to remarkist.com and getting another version. The current app is essentially a little web page on your phone in app form, and sometimes web pages can get a little scrambled and need to be refreshed completely. In this case, that means another new app from that website.
And speaking of which, if you have access to a laptop, tablet, or desktop, some members have found that using the app through a traditional browser (that’s to say, just going to remarkist.com on a normal computer) is much more stable. You might want to get in the habit of that for more important events like Memento drops and whatnot.
When will all this be resolved?
You might be thinking, “Is that really how most apps are built? Sounds pretty shoddy.” Well, some apps are built this way, yeah, and some aren’t. This app didn’t really begin with the plan for an in-game economy or a digital collectibles game. Originally, it was just a calendar with very little need for button tapping. A simple app like that does well in those conditions. But as this project has evolved I’ve just built on top of what we had. That worked fine early on, but over time it has put a lot of stress on our app.
The way an app like ours should work—and eventually will work—is that when you tap a button to make an important action like harvesting, it won’t change your app instantly. Instead, it will send a message to us first to change the Master App, and it’ll show you a little loading symbol letting you know it’s on its way—a process that should actually take a split second. As soon as it gets to us and makes its appropriate changes in the Master App, it sends those changes back to you, along with a message saying all is good.
However, if the message doesn’t get to us in a reasonable amount of time or there’s an error along the way, then your app tells you to try again. In such an App, all of the heavy-duty work is done on our end rather than on your phone, as it’s doing now. In many cases, there will be no tapping at all because apps like these can change things automatically based on conditions that your account meets at certain times.
And this is exactly the kind of app we’re building for our second generation of Remarkist. It’ll be resistant to these kinds of bugs and everything will load much more smoothly. Like a real app in the App Store. In fact, it will be a real app in the App Store. And it’ll look a heck of a lot prettier too… in time, of course. We’re still so early.
And now you know why this happens, how to help prevent it from happening to you, and how to recover if it does.