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Disappearing Posts

MattGardner |  Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:35

Hi folks. We're looking into the disappearing posts issue. We writers don't really have anything to do with the site infrastructure but this bug's been popping up ever since the site redesign at sporadic intervals. Had thought we'd squashed it more or less previously, but evidently not.

I'd appreciate it if those affected might be able to go into further detail on this message stream if possible please? Didn't want to do it off topic on the Surface post really. A few things that'd be really useful:

- What post was it on?
- Which browser were you using and on what OS?
- Comment length

If you can give us as much feedback as possible, we'll make sure it gets over to the devs.

Thanks,

Matt

Add a comment6 comments
Quietus  Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:59

I've had it happen to posts of any length, so I'm not sure that's a factor.

It usually happens when I'm not logged in, and I'm entering my username and password, and posting a reply at the same time. I don't recall it happening on other replies once I'm logged in. Basically, you click the submit button, and the page reloads, but your reply is missing. Sometimes it even kicks me back to the main blog, rather than the article.

I'm using Firefox on XP at work (teehee), and Firefox on Vista at home.

Most recently, it happened on the Mobile Gaming / Consoles article.

The only non-fix workaround I've found so far is to copy my reply before I post it, just in case it disappears, but I'm almost certain that a few times, it HAS posted, yet when I check later, it's gone.

*Hits Ctrl-C before clicking submit.*

(On a slightly different note, is there any chance of us having the option to change the replies by e-mail to OFF by default?)

Last edited by Quietus, Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:59
Late  Jul. 22, 2013 at 11:44

I've had it happen around three times, that I'm aware of - though I wouldn't be surprised if there's more that I just don't notice; but I don't think I've been a victim to it in the last couple of months, so I'm not able to help much...

I'm always logged in before I start typing my posts. I'm logged in with "always remember me" or whatever the setting is. I seem to be logged out randomly from time to time - about once a week - but when that happens I always log in straight away before browsing and/or posting.

It usually seems to happen with longer posts - but that could just be that I remember making the long posts and check back for other comments, whereas the short throw-away comments I might not check back on them or remember posting.

I do the vast majority of my posting from the office computer (chrome on windows 7), the rest is mainly from tablet (chrome on android 4.2.2). I've never noticed a tablet post disappear - but I generally make shorter posts on that, as typing is easier on a keyboard.

As with Quietus, I always copy my posts to clipboard before posting, these days. I can't say that I've ever noticed the post correctly displaying at the time then disappearing later, but it's something I've always suspected - because I have a tendency to read through my posts after I submit them. I'll then invariably spot a typo and make an edit. (I guess that's another random variable to throw into the mix.)

Late  Aug. 12, 2013 at 10:44

I don't know if it's related, but I replied to this thread today. 36 minutes ago, to be exact (at the time I start typing this).
At the time I posted there were only two replies to the article - then mine made three.
Additionally, I noted that the top two posts in the "Recent Comments" pane over on the right of the page were by me and by imdurc.

I pop back to the site half an hour or so later and see I have a notification that two people have posted in an article I'm subscribed to. When I checked it was the same thread I'd posted to, but the two other posts were made hours ago. 7 hours ago, and 3 hours ago.
And the "Recent Comments" pane now shows those two posts in between mine and imdurc's.
Those posts definitely weren't there when I posted, but magically appeared later.

Not being technically minded, I have no idea how that happens. Did the two posts from a few hours ago (by xxSgtBrianB14xx and fnation7414) show on other peoples' computers? Did they show on their own computers? Were they cached somehow and the site later updated, merging everything together? Could that be related to posts going missing? i.e. stuff being cached but not then being integrated properly.

(Forgive any incorrect terminology or n00b mistakes in understanding how the site, computers, and the internet work. Like I say, I'm not tech-savvy...)

Late  Aug. 12, 2013 at 10:51

Screenshots showing further info.

JonLester  Aug. 12, 2013 at 10:53

@Late: That I can explain. The two comments you mentioned were from brand new unvetted users, so they needed to be manually approved. I did so a few minutes ago.

This sometimes happens if a post contains links, too. However, it doesn't account for all these missing comments, since we always approve comments unless they're patently spam (even if they're giving us a hard time!).

Late  Aug. 12, 2013 at 10:56

Ah - thanks Jon. Makes sense.


Back to square one, then!

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