I'm aware that we have a nice lite version of chat for mobile clients, and I've seen reports that other people have it working quite nicely, so what am I doing wrong?

  • I'm logged in successfully to chat.stackexchange.com (so the list of my favourite rooms is correct and populated).
  • Visiting the Login Help page results in "All tests successful".

I can view the transcripts of rooms (which used to be the default view IIRC), however when I actually join a room (for example LEGO®) all that happens is I get a screen with "Loading LEGO® Just a second...".

This has always been the case for me, and happens on every room I try and join - are there any settings I can tweak here?

I'm using iOS 5.0.1 on an iPhone 4, connecting via O2 here in the UK - it seems to work OK when I turn on WiFi, but generally when I'm in range of a WiFi connection I'm happy to access, I'm also in range of a desktop or laptop computer ;)

Edit to add:

Turning on the debug console (thanks balpha, just to note in latest version it's "Settings -> Safari -> Advanced -> Debug Console) I get the following two errors:

  1. JavaScript: Error on Line 20
    SyntaxError: Invalid regular expression: nothing to repeat
  2. JavaScript: Error
    ReferenceError: Can't find variable: StartChat
  • 1
    Please go to Settings -> Safari -> Developer and enable the debug console, then reload the chat room page. Does the consonle (at the top) give you any errors?
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 10:14
  • @balpha Cheers, I've updated the question with the errors reported. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 10:27
  • Beware, it might be back; see yesterday's Chat not loading on iOS 5.1 (and if it's back: look for another provider...).
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:12
  • @Arjan - I don't believe it ever went away, I've never been able to load the chat successfully on the O2 powered iPhone. Works fine on other providers. Commented Apr 25, 2012 at 9:20

1 Answer 1



  1. The error message says the error is happening in the page (i.e. not in an included JS file),
  2. we don't create regular expressions in the page,
  3. O2 UK, as we just learned yesterday among other things likes to put JavaScript into our pages if you download over 3G:

    Another annoying feature of O2 is that they interfere with the responses from servers too. They downgrade all images and insert a javascript link into the HTML of each page.

  4. and you're saying it doesn't happen over WiFi

– I'm inclined to blame O2 UK for this.

  • Cheers, and thanks for looking into it - I'd missed point 3 amongst all the other press about O2's muppetry yesterday. Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 13:05
  • 1
    I think the way we got round O2 and their silly practices was either document.write or appending the javascript at the end of the body via another script. Inception style.
    – Sarkie
    Commented Jan 26, 2012 at 13:21
  • @balpha I'm having the same problem with O2 however my brother, also on O2 with exactly the same cellular settings and contract, doesn't have any problem.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 6:14
  • @Balpha, also no other site has problems, I've only ever had 2 problems with loading sites over O2 and both have been stackoverflow sites. So there is definitely a degree of fault lying with stackoverflow.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 6:16
  • 3
    @Jonathan. If O2 injects something into the page -- and all signs point to this assumption -- then whatever effects this has on us, it's very far-fetched to call this our fault, even if we were the only site on the Internet it may be breaking. O2 has no business altering a page, and if they do (and again, as I explained it seems like that's precisely what happens), you have to take it up with them.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 14:43
  • @balpha, I have also taken it up with them. I do not like they modify the page, although their intentions are good (lower quality images and external js is embedded inline in order to reduce data and requests). But the facts are that they do that to every downloaded page, and the only issues lie at the intersection of stackoverflow and O2, this is the second time stackoverflow and O2 have combined to create a problem. so it's only logical that there is some minor problems on SO and O2 that happen to combine into something noticeable.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 15:11
  • the only issues lie at the intersection of stackoverflow and O2 -- why do you think that, @Jonathan?
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:15
  • @Arjan, the only site with the problem is stackoverflow and the only network with the problem is O2. (and I meant the issue only lie rather than only issues lie)
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:29
  • What I'm reading, @Jonathan: the only site you are having the issues with is SO chat, and maybe an internet search (I din't check) doesn't show related issues as SO is one of the few sites with a Meta... Anyway, I'd even vote not to try to solve this, to make O2 users complain a bit harder about "When you browse from an O2 mobile, we add the user's mobile number to this technical information, but only with certain trusted partners" and to don't let them get away with "This is standard industry practice"...
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:36
  • @arjan, that is irrelevant they have stopped adding numbers, and its nothing to do with this problem. Yes it's specifically chat.se.com but in the past it's affected other parts of the stack exchange network. I visit many sites, none have such serious errors (error that prevent you from using a site) when on O2. If this was a common problem everywhere it would be known easily, and O2 would know about it.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:45
  • I don't think they stopped adding numbers. They just stopped doing it to any site, @Jonathan. True, that by itself is unrelated to this issue, but they're still/again messing with the pages you're visiting... I can't see why one would blame SO for that.
    – Arjan
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:49
  • @arjan, because they mess with every site that you visit. And StackExchange is the only site I've ever been on or heard or seen, that reacts badly to it. I'm not saying O2 is innocent, quite the opposite, I'm asking them about it atm. But there is some tiny little problem somewhere that means when O2 embed the Javascript on StackExchange it ends badly.
    – Jonathan.
    Commented Apr 20, 2012 at 17:53
  • Damn, this sucks big-time. Can't load chat at all from a mobile interwebs connection.
    – DeadMG
    Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 8:24

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