yes, but MY time difference to the server was 2 minutes (within seconds now that I got rid of the default Microsoft time server on WinXP). Other computers may be off by more since gazoi's wouldn't work at anything less than 126, but I could go to 120 (maybe lower). Both in the 2-minute range, but I'm sure we try to keep our times current (even if our source is off). Others may not stay so current. I don't think it's enough to make it work for *me* (I'm using FF anyway, so this wouldn't be an issue), but the goal is to make it work for the general public where we have little or no control over their system clocks. Gazoi's issue also seemed to be from a server that is off where he cannot set the time. This situation would be much easier to fix 'on the server' by setting the expiry delay in the script than fixing the end-users time discrepancy.
I tested closing the *monitor* window (with monitor and user in FF) and it changed the online/offline icon within a few seconds even with a 1-hour cookie. This was similar to tests I did with simply closing the window versus checking it as *offline*, then closing it (earlier with the default expiry time). I'm sure there's ~something~ different about a 1-hour cookie, but the system seems to use AJAX calls to see if someone is still online or not and tends to pick up on changes regardless of the cookie. I'd also definitely suggest marking yourself offline before closing the window to make sure that updates happen in a timely manner.
Looking at the cookie data, it doesn't seem to do much except list the 'state'.... online, offline... active, ?inactive? I know that small amounts of data become majorly important when the code looks for them elsewhere, but this cookie seems harmless enough and isn't using the time as data... based on the fact that I know nothing about this codebase except for what I've scanned briefly in the past 3 days.
I feel confident enough to keep it at 3600 (for now), until we find a specific issue with it. Keep throwing scenarios my way and I'll be happy to check them. 4-5 minutes may be ok, but if the time is off on a system by any more than that, based on what we've learned, it would be more of the same with the user getting trapped in oblivion and unable to connect for chat.
If 3600 fails for any reason, I'll be more than happy to post it here! If anyone can find an issue with 3600, please do the same. If there are no ill-effects, I would feel safer with a bigger number knowing that more users can avoid 'purgatory'.