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posted by NCommander on Wednesday April 09 2014, @01:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the yay-for-old-slashcode-bugs dept.
We've been dealing with a long standing issue involving a significant percentage of users not seeing some articles posted on the homepage. After several rounds of debugging, paulej72 *finally* found the underlying cause. Inside slashcode, there's a function that writes user preferences to the database, but this function doesn't do a lot of sanity checking. As part of the normal options, you can disable specific authors from appearing on the index, but due to an unrelated misconfiguration, this list wasn't properly populated (due to Slashcode having seperate vars for "author" and "is_admin"). The upshot of this is if you edited your preferences at all, it would write out an incomplete list of authors to the database, which would cause a bunch of articles to simply not show up.

We've applied a workaround for now, but this entire bit of logic needs to be rewritten to be less crap. Since we can't easily determine the garbage from legit users settings, we have blown away the variable on all users for the time being; the upshot is if you were manually filtering out an author, you'll have to reset it. Once we have a proper fix in place, we'll drop it into a point release, reset the user table again, and drop another announcement.

I apologize for any inconvenience.
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  • (Score: 1) by chris on Wednesday April 09 2014, @01:41AM

    by chris (3977) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @01:41AM (#28546)

    And good job...

  • (Score: 1) by kwerle on Wednesday April 09 2014, @02:13AM

    by kwerle (746) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @02:13AM (#28562) Homepage

    What about the rss feed - are you not posting anything other than the headline on purpose?

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by paulej72 on Wednesday April 09 2014, @03:50AM

      by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @03:50AM (#28591) Journal

      RSS fixes are on the todo list, but it is not an easy fix. Needs a lot of work to fix properly.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
      • (Score: 1) by kwerle on Wednesday April 09 2014, @11:45PM

        by kwerle (746) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @11:45PM (#29152) Homepage

        Gosh, I find that hard to imagine. You have the subject, and you have the feed code. Isn't the summary right there, next to the subject? I don't understand how it isn't just adding the summary to the RSS data.

    • (Score: 0) by terrymaster77 on Wednesday April 09 2014, @04:04AM

      by terrymaster77 (2185) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @04:04AM (#28595)

      posting for the first time to +1 this ^ - please add the summary to the RSS feed!

  • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 09 2014, @03:48AM

    by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @03:48AM (#28589) Homepage

    Every time something like this gets posted, it makes me feel happy about the site -- because it's so good to have folks at the helm who care enough to get it right, and to tell us when it's not. Thanks!

    --
    And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Wednesday April 09 2014, @03:53AM

      by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @03:53AM (#28593) Journal

      The inconvenience was for people who were and may be affected by this bug. Found out it the same issue also breaks some slashboxes as they do not show up in the edit page and thus once the prefs are set you no longer see them.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
  • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday April 09 2014, @04:48AM

    by edIII (791) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @04:48AM (#28611)

    We've applied a workaround for now, but this entire bit of logic needs to be rewritten to be less crap

    That's said everywhere about a million times a day now.

    --
    Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 1) by petecox on Wednesday April 09 2014, @05:55AM

    by petecox (3228) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @05:55AM (#28627)

    Sorry if this is the wrong place to report a bug but...

    Pretty much every time I access the site (every 2nd day or so), I have to log in again.

    FF 28, kubuntu 14.04

    • (Score: 1) by paulej72 on Wednesday April 09 2014, @11:59AM

      by paulej72 (58) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @11:59AM (#28718) Journal

      Our site requires frequent fixes at this point. Many of these require apache to be restarted. Unfortunately this invalilidates current login cookies, and requires users to log in again.

      --
      Team Leader for SN Development
      • (Score: 1) by petecox on Thursday April 10 2014, @02:10AM

        by petecox (3228) on Thursday April 10 2014, @02:10AM (#29205)

        Okay, thanks.

        It's an annoyance but I can sleep easier knowing there's a technical reason and not just something 'broken'!

  • (Score: 1) by datapharmer on Wednesday April 09 2014, @12:51PM

    by datapharmer (2702) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @12:51PM (#28741)

    Not sure where the best place is to be reporting bugs (since I'm assuming this is a fork from the original slashcode which has been ignored for the last century) but there are two real annoyances I have and I know at least 1 is still true on soylent news:

    1. slashcode apparently does some sort of port scanning as an anti-spam tool. That's awesome and all except when you run a port scanner against my network it looks like an attack and your IP is then blocked for a few days or until I manually remove it. Who thought that was acceptable behavior for a tech site? PLEASE stop running port scanners on your users!

    2. I haven't seen this happen yet on soylent news thankfully but it has infuriated me to no end on the other site - there appears to be a bug with the comment system that leaves you with a comment reply notification that simply can't be deleted or viewed. Clicking on it says it doesn't exist and deleting it makes it go away until you reload the page, then it is back again. There must have been at least a dozen bug reports of this on slashcode from various users over the years and they've all been deleted from the bug report database... more get filed and more get deleted. There is no interest in fixing it for whatever reason.

    • (Score: 1) by datapharmer on Wednesday April 09 2014, @01:30PM

      by datapharmer (2702) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @01:30PM (#28762)

      Ok, I apparently missed the giant "Bug List" button on the upper left... I'll go ahead and submit the first one and hope the 2nd doesn't ever show up!

    • (Score: 2) by NCommander on Wednesday April 09 2014, @02:16PM

      by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <michael@casadevall.pro> on Wednesday April 09 2014, @02:16PM (#28788) Homepage Journal

      On 1, there is proxy scanning code in slash, but to my knowledge, it is disabled. If you're seeing scans, can you provide a log from snort or whatever you are using so I can try and hunt the issue down.

      2. Obviously I can't debug what isn't broken :-)

      --
      Still always moving
  • (Score: 1) by bziman on Wednesday April 09 2014, @11:22PM

    by bziman (3577) on Wednesday April 09 2014, @11:22PM (#29142)

    Thank you. Not for the fix, so much, as for the post mortem. I like the reminders that the site is run by geeks, for ourselves, and not by CYA corporate types.