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Topic Title: Missing posts
Topic Summary: In Top index but not in thread
Created On: 27 April 2010 08:19 AM
Status: Read Only
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 27 April 2010 08:31 AM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

I have noticed the same problem a couple of times recently.

Regards.
 27 April 2010 08:35 AM
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keithgparr

Posts: 710
Joined: 07 May 2002

The messages to which Alan refers were spam and I assume have been promptly removed.

Keith

-------------------------
Keith Parr
Council 2006-10
Consultants' Professional Network - 2009
Benelux LN - 2009
http://keithparr.tel/
 27 April 2010 03:59 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

I'm experiencing the same problems as Alan. I posted a thread to the CEng, IEng, EngTech etc -> New techician Council message board and it's not appeared except for my username appearing at the top level index.

I did discover that if I posted it again my message did appear, but now there were two lots of posting. If I removed one of them, then both messages were deleted. It seems to be happening when posting at the end of a long message page, when it should appear at the start of a new page.

My message to this thread will appear because it's at the end of a small number of posting when page 1 has still a long way to go before the next page appears.

This problem should be looked into.

Edited: 27 April 2010 at 04:06 PM by mbirdi
 27 April 2010 04:09 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Good point mbirdi, I recall it also happened with other messages at the end of a long message page.

Not related to this same point but I have also noticed that if we edit a post once it accepts the edit but if we edit the post a second time it starts to put back the original errors.....lol.

Regards.
 27 April 2010 06:14 PM
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mbirdi

Posts: 1907
Joined: 13 June 2005

My message finally appeared after meixian's posted a reply. Note that meixian ended up posting it twice which must mean they had the same problem.
 27 April 2010 08:48 PM
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rossall

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Clearly, if several people are reporting the same thing, the problem is looking systematic, so first of all apologies. Our difficulty is in reproducing it so that we can investigate. I'm going to offer a few initial comments, and would welcome feedback. Some points pick up on the New Technician Council thread that has already been mentioned.

First, we have found that the speed of the site can be below our (and your) expectations at times recently. We took a significant step towards resolving that just over a week ago, and will make further improvements soon. This affects (only) users who are logged in, and could lead to pages refreshing slowly when you post messages, for example. That might lead some users to believe that a message has not been posted successfully when it has.

More generally, in this connection, I would recommend refreshing a page once or twice if it does not seem to have been updated as you expect. Try bypassing your local cache, to ensure that your own PC does not just give you the same version of the page again without refetching it from the server.

Some of you have said that problems occur near the bottom of pages. I hesitate to mention it, but the maximum number of messages before a new page is started is set in your Personal Options for the forum. (You can also set Descending order so that the newest message comes first.)

If you've done a refresh as above, and the page has definitely reloaded, and there's a difference between the latest message author on the thread page and the one on the category listing of threads, then please let us know the date and time of the incident, and how long it takes before the missing message appears.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 27 April 2010 08:57 PM
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rossall

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Joined: 06 August 2001

Also in the New Technician Council thread, there was mention of email notifications. Asking to receive these is referred to as subscribing to the thread. You can subscribe when you post a message, or via the Topic Tools at the top of this page; obviously, you need to go to the page for the thread of interest and use the tools there.

You can manage subscriptions on the Dashboard (previously called the Today page). See the news tab there for more features.

You won't get further notifications for a topic if you don't respond to the first one (by visiting the forum to read the thread) - this is especially helpful in fast-moving threads to prevent a flood of notifications. If you are not receiving notifications when you expect to, check your spam filters.

Duplicate postings in threads in these forums appear to happen where the page failed to refresh as quickly as the author expected, leading him or her to resubmit the message.

Please let me know if there are further questions.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 27 April 2010 08:57 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
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I have actually cleared my IE cache and then tried again to view the missing posts and they were still missing. At the time the relevant persons name can be seen on the main forums window, for the relevant forum, and then within the relevant forum window, for the relevant post, but the post is not there in the topic itself.

Next time it happens I will also have a check with Firefox to see if it sees the same problem.

Regards.
 27 April 2010 09:00 PM
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rossall

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Using a second browser (if you have one) would be very helpful - it will at least eliminate caching in your browser as the source of the problem.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 28 April 2010 06:39 PM
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rossall

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One further point I missed - as mentioned earlier in this thread, we do remove spam postings, of which we can get significant numbers. We also move threads between categories when this seems helpful.

I have sometimes seen slight discrepancies on the main forum page, just after moderating in these ways. This seems to relate to what one or two of you described, but not mbirdi, because that was when he actually posted a message himself.

Hitherto, we have regarded this effect related to moderation as minor. The next time someone posts to the category, the ordering is resolved. Any problems when you yourself post would be more significant, because of the confusion over whether you were successful in submitting your message.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 05 May 2010 09:20 AM
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dbacon

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I can answer the specific question about "xmst" - this was a spammer who was banned and his four posts removed.

Regarding the "last poster" for the category, this is stored in the database table that contains information about categories; it is not taken directly from the table that contains threads. It's not updated when messages are moved into the Trash Bin, so if the last message is removed by a moderator there is a discrepancy until someone posts again.

-------------------------
David Bacon
Internet Services Group
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 09 June 2010 11:24 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

There was a problem with mbirdi's post not appearing in the 'CEng, IEng, EngTech and other professional registration matters' forum tonight and when I posted my comment his post started on the next (new) page and mine was then second on the new page.

mbirdi's post was not visible in either IE or Firefox browsers and/or after the cache was cleared. It did not appear until I posted after him....and there was NO spam post.

Regards.
 10 June 2010 01:05 PM
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rossall

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So in effect it took two new messages to start the new page?

May not be relevant, but can I just check how many messages per page you are viewing? Also that your view order is ascending rather than descending? These can be set in your profile options.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 10 June 2010 01:19 PM
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keithgparr

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That seems to be one way of describing what I have seen happen, David. I have posted messages which apparently post OK (other people can see them) but which I cannot see until someone else responds in the thread. This has often been associated with (can't be sure in retrospect if this is 100%) the new post appearing on a new page.

In my case, the display is ascending and 20 messages per page.

Keith

-------------------------
Keith Parr
Council 2006-10
Consultants' Professional Network - 2009
Benelux LN - 2009
http://keithparr.tel/
 10 June 2010 01:30 PM
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roddalitz

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Joined: 19 April 2002

I can hardly believe the fussy picky nature of this minor software issue in the 21st century - although I have experienced the IET web tools which gave me some idea of the depths possible. There are so many email and forum sites and tools which just seem to work. Is this forum run on custom software - generally a bad move!

-------------------------
regards, Rod Dalitz (CEng MIEE FInstP)
rod.dalitz@blueyonder.co.uk
 10 June 2010 01:48 PM
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roddalitz

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I should add, the problem with re-inventing the wheel is that it is easy to add features. like make it triangular for greater stability and to avoid the need for a handbrake.

-------------------------
regards, Rod Dalitz (CEng MIEE FInstP)
rod.dalitz@blueyonder.co.uk
 10 June 2010 05:03 PM
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rossall

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Thanks Keith for the guidance on your settings. We have sat posting meaningless messages to a test thread, and have a possible solution. What I believe is happening is this:

When a page is "full" (has 20 messages in your case), and you post another message, a new page is started (obviously). Therefore Fusetalk adds navigation buttons at the top and bottom. These offer page 1, page 2, next, etc. The page refreshes to do this. However, the message you have added is on the next page, and so is not shown.

If you use the newly-appeared buttons, you can navigate to it. However, they are probably above or below your screen, so you don't notice them. When someone else posts, you get taken to the new page anyway.

Most forum packages, when you post and add a page like that, redirect you to the new page. It appears that Fusetalk does not. This is a bit odd, and I'll certainly raise it with the producers.

The problem is not apparent if you use my personal preferred option of "Descending" (newest first) message order, because your new message will always be at the top and everything else will move down to accommodate it.

Rod - no, we don't develop what we could buy in, and hence this software is identified at the foot of each page. What we do do a lot of is integrating. Therefore, the Web site is a mixture of custom software where that is needed, packages integrated into the main site systems where those met the IET's requirements (these discussions, library catalogue and event bookings/management for example), and systems/services supplied on the IET's behalf by third-party specialists (e.g. site search or Career Manager). Even in the last case, however, we integrate log-ins as far as possible, so that you do not have to look up different usernames and passwords constantly.

Hope this helps.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 10 June 2010 05:27 PM
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keithgparr

Posts: 710
Joined: 07 May 2002

That's feasible, David, and thank you for doing the testing. I'm not convinced tho'.

In cases where the message has not appeared I have tried all sorts of things to find it - refreshing the page, going back to the thread list (where the new message IS listed), hunting all over the place, ... It's conceivable that I missed the next page buttons but I find it very hard to believe.

Keith

-------------------------
Keith Parr
Council 2006-10
Consultants' Professional Network - 2009
Benelux LN - 2009
http://keithparr.tel/
 10 June 2010 05:40 PM
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rossall

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Point taken - but if I hadn't been looking for the effect I think I might have been fooled in our tests.

We really need to reproduce this to get it fixed. I've already opened discussions with Fusetalk.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology
 10 June 2010 06:12 PM
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roddalitz

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Joined: 19 April 2002

Perhaps my outburst was over the top. However, it seems to me that there has been a long string of minor problems, with the forum if not wider, which give rise to a feeling that the product is half-baked. That the IET has not produced its own software is sensible, however the IET is responsible for its choice. Certainly the integrated login seems to work well.

Perhaps it would wash dirty linen better to handle fault reports and subsequent analysis via a less public channel.

I speak as an engineer and also as owner of several mail groups, including one with 889 members.

-------------------------
regards, Rod Dalitz (CEng MIEE FInstP)
rod.dalitz@blueyonder.co.uk
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