How to force a product to update in chat after you've uploaded a new version.

Important:

These instructions are almost certainly obsolete.

These instructions have been updated to reflect the new behavior of IMVU 410.0.

IMVU client 410.0 does not appear to use the "Productfiles" folder any longer, and probably stores the files in "Cache" instead. Further to that it appears that the client may auto-update. It is not clear whether the "Clear Cache" command is useful or not. 

  1. Updating a product's appearance in chat
  2. Updating a product's name and icon in the chat client after an upload
  3. Automating the process of forcing a product to update
  4. Forcing a derived product to update in chat after the parent product is updated
  5. Forcing a derived product to update in the previewer after the parent product is updated
  6. Notes

Updating a product's appearance in chat

I think every developer must hit this problem at some point or other. Warning: I have seen some evidence that if a product is in peer review due to an update then chat sessions will recieve the OLD version of the product until it clears peer review. 

There have been times when closing the client and restarting has been enough. It is possible that IMVU have added an automatic update.

The "Clear Cache" function in the client currently may or may not work, it doesn't work for me...

The following is an alternative cache clear procedure:

  1. Click here Don't click hereYes you must EXIT IMVU, not just close chat...Close down IMVU by selecting "Exit IMVU" in the "Buddies" menu.
  2. Open your IMVU data folder

    From the windows Start menu select "Run..." and type:

    %appdata%\imvu
    You should see the IMVU data folder displayed in a window.
  3. Find the "Cache" folder and delete it.
  4. Make a new empty folder called "Cache".
  5. Now close the folder and restart IMVU.

Note that this only applies to your chat client not others. If you used the product in chat then the people you chatted with will still see the out of date version unless they also force an update or wait three days.

Updating a specific product without forcing a reload

I have been unable to determine whether a specific update can be forced without reloading everything.

There is evidence this may be possible, the Cache folder contains files with names beginning with "product" and a product number, followed by a hex code.

Product update and Peer review

I have seen signs that an update to a published product may actively be held back until it has passed peer review again. This would imply that IMVU has the means to deliver the updated version to a peer review session and continue to deliver the old version to chat sessions. 

Updating a product's name and icon in the chat client after an upload

These instructions have not been checked against version 410.0

This is not such a common problem but can occur when you used a placeholder icon for your product then later updated it with the proper icon.

  1. Click here Don't click hereClose down IMVU by selecting "Exit IMVU" in the "Buddies" menu, as shown above
  2. Open your IMVU data folder

    From the windows Start menu select "Run..." and type:

    %appdata%\imvu
  3. delete "inventory.cache"
  4. Go to the "avpics" folder
  5. Look for filenames of the form:
    http%3A%2F%2Fwww.imvu.com%2Fcatalog%2Fimage_product.php%3Fsize%3D30x24%26products_id%3D80
  6. The last part highlighted in yellow is the product ID. Look for the file with your product's ID and delete it. Incidentally the rest is just the file's URL in encoded form.
  7. Now close the folder and restart IMVU.

Automating the process of forcing a product to update

Update.bat no longer works. If there's real call for it I could make a new one.

Forcing a derived product to update in chat after the parent product is updated

This is no longer an issue, clearing cache resets all products.

Forcing a derived product to update in the previewer after the parent product is updated

Warning: this procedure involves deleting a "cfl" file from your IMVU previewer products folder. By default any products you develop are stored there and I advise you think carefully before deleting. Usually anything listed as "Product"+number+".cfl" is a download that can be deleted safely.

  1. Identify your design's parent product, either by checking in the previewer or by looking it up in the IMVU catalog.
  2. Go to the previewer Products folder:
    1. It can be found at 
      %ProgramFiles%\ImvuTools2\Previewer\Products
    2. It can be found by running the previewer and selecting "Open".
  3. Delete the Parent product cfl file.
  4. In the previewer select "Create a derived product" and give the parent product ID. This downloads a fresh copy of the parent product.
  5. You can now close the previewer to get rid of the product you just derived, unless you want to make a clean rebuild from nothing.
  6. Open your design. It will now be shown in the previewer derived from the up-to-date parent product.

Notes:

  1. It is necessary to close down the IMVU client and not just the chat window. IMVU tends to store objects in memory and the version in memory does not appear to get updated.

    Note that you can't close IMVU by clicking the "x", that only shrinks it into a taskbar icon. Its important that you use the "Buddies" menu.

  2. The location of the IMVU data folder varies from machine to machine, as it is located in the "Application Data" folder and each user has their own folder. Fortunately there is a way to go straight there using the "appdata" environment variable. "%appdata%" always expands out to the path to the current user's Application Data folder.
  3. There are several files with the extension ".pickle". These are containers for various types of data used by IMVU. It seems as if there are used to hold product data as deleting the "cfl" file will not force a refresh while the "pickle" files remain intact.

    There are at least three that may be holding product data, but in my experience "productAuth.pickle" seems to be the relevant one.

  4. Despite removing the pickle file it appears as if you still need to delete the original cfl file from "ProductFiles". Incidentally there is a second folder containing cfl files located in the IMVU Program folder. I've seen no evidence that this is ever used, but if it is then its probably only there to "seed" a new install with a set of standard products. Certainly nothing is downloaded to there.
  5. Previewer 372.9 will quite happily load product "cfl" files stored in an alternative location and I would strongly advise you make a folder under "My Documents" or similar for any of your own cfl files. Personally I would use folders named after the product and save a copy of the "cfl" plus copies of all the component files that make up the product in that folder. This allows you to empty the Previewer folder, reinstall the Previewer or move to another computer without risking losing your files.