General discussion

Some users unable to open threads

There are two more-or-less recent threads that are reliably generating a 'Page not found' error for several users with both IE and FF. I'm using IE 8.0 and FF 3.6.3 on Win 7 Pro. I was unable to open the threads with IE 6.0 on a different computer with XP Pro or on my wife's computer (IE 7.0 and FF 3.6.3 on Vista Home Premium) or my son's computer (IE 8.0 on XP Pro). My FF install has a number of add-ins that generally do not cause problems. I don't think any of the IE installations have any add-ins other than the usual suspects (Flash, Adobe Reader support, Java stuff ...) One user reported no problems accessing the threads with Chrome, and at least one has been able to access them with an unspecified version of FF. SOMEBODY has been able to get in to one of the threads to make a post recently on one of the threads but I obviously can't say who or comment on what browser was used.

I tried getting in to view the last post rather than clicking the link for the original post but that didn't work either.

The Threads are:
It's a strange, strange world we live in.
Don't you just love religious nuts?

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No problems for me

..... at this point in time. (Safari 4.0 x)

The most recent replies on both threads was on 4/21, except for Jonah noting he had no problem with the first on 4.25)

There are occasions when the annoying "page not found" pops up, and might continue for an even more annoying time.

I do not know if those who reported their problem to you said if they did or did not have the same trouble with any other thread, in or without SE. It appears that you did not.

I hope that now you and your friends can access the threads without difficulty.


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This is different from the other Page Not Found problem

Most of the Page Not Found messages relate to cache issues for very old threads. Reloading the page after a few minutes will usually fix those. These are different. I have not been able to access either of these threads since James reported the problem in the SE forum a few days ago.

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I also tried Chrome on one PC

Chrome on the Win 7 PC didn't work either.

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(NT) Can't see it either but can in Google cached
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Also in the XP form this a.m.
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That one's dead here too...

I can browse the SE threads without issue, but that thread is repeatedly 404ing for me too. Likewise for the Realtime Tracker and a few other pages.

Reporting. Sad

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Hmm that thread seems to be non-existant

I just looked it up on the backend and it doesn't appear either--it is possible that it may have been deleted?

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Shouldn't be the case...

Deleted threads, as with thread IDs that do not exist, should return the 'Message not found' error, not a Cnet 404. In this case, I'm actually getting an HTTP 502 - Bad Gateway in the headers, which I would assume is indeed an upstream error and not part of the engineers' exception handling.


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Did a little investigation on this thread and looks like it

was deleted. This particular message was reported as spam-- "Hello Friends" here's the URL with message ID.

It looks when a person attempts to access a forum URL with thread ID in it after its deletion, it doesn't display the standard "Message xxxxx could not be loaded from the database.", just a CNET 404.

I just test this in the Test forum and was able to reproduce the same thing. I created a thread, copied the URL with thread ID rather than the message ID and then deleted it. Here's the URL with thread ID in it and it doesn't give the standard Message could not be loaded...

This would most likely explain the the 404 for the example Bill gave. I didn't give this URL as an example to the engineers as I didn't want throw them off just in case it was deleted.

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That's curious ...

Now when I try to visit the link in the XP forum, I get the message:
Message 3293382 could not be loaded from the database.
but not the error message you received.

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because the URL with message id and not thread id
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Hmm. I'm still confused.

I've always been able to access the two discussions that Dr Bill and the others cannot. Reading your explanation above I wondered if I was still able to do so because I still had my browser's internet cache.

I've just used CCleaner to clear all my caches and temp files, and I can still access the thread below;;posts

It has a threadID element, and as far as I can see it is not deleted. So I'm still confused; Happy


I blocked out names for privacy.


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That is indeed confusing, with the 'thread not found' error handling being different than the 'post not found' handling, but it does explain away some of the encounters. Unfortunately, though, it doesn't explain all of them.

-> The links that Bill originally posted contain threadIds and are not deleted, but he and some others cannot open them. No problems here.

-> After deleting a reply, I often receive the CNET 404 along with the HTTP 502 instead of the confirmation page. Refreshing a few times usually resolves the issue, but not always. And the URLs contain both messageIds and threadIds.

-> The URL returned from deleting a root post also has both a threadId and a messageId, but almost always returns the CNET 404/HTTP 502 combo. Thus, there must be more to it than just having threadId in the URL.

-> The Realtime Tracker is even more interesting/unpredictable. Initially, I did have issues loading it, but they subsided. I then began seeing the CNET 404 the first 1-4 times I load the page around the same time as when I started receiving the other Cnet 404s. Some days I am completely unable to access the tracker, while other days it loads the first time without issue.

Thus, it seems there is more than just unexpected conditional handling going on; there is a randomly-occurring bug that can affect individual pages for select users over an extended period of time. None of these pages are more than 48 hours old, so they should not be suffering from the 'old page cache syndrome.' Though I do wonder if this might automatically disappear when the new API goes through.


P.S. I'm fine with reverting to the green and yellow if it's a matter of the forum software not approving of the design. Happy

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Currently both links work for me...

Are you still having issue accessing these threads Bill?

Maybe it's time for a forum reboot soon.

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(NT) Still 404 error on both for me.
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This is intermittent--I got a few too.

I'm filing a bug for this. If any of you have any additional examples of threads that 404 (page not found) intermittently, please add the URL to this thread, so I can give the engineers more examples.

Thanks all!

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This is different in one regard ...

In most cases where I see the 404 errors, the errors go away after a few repeat attempts.

In these threads, however, I have been unable to access any of the affected threads since the problem first came up. Some users have been able to access the threads at least some of the time. I don't know if they have intermittent errors. For me (and perhaps for others) there is nothing intermittent about these threads. I am completely unable to access them.

Thanks for passing them along to the engineers.

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(NT) Try the Real Time tracker for the most consistent producer.
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John, I thought this was always a problem since CNET's...

relaunch of the pages and the forums was reskinned with the new color scheme. I almost consistantly hit a 404 when the page is trying to load the first time... but after a page refresh it is fine.

Is this not the case now?

Let me know.

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I'm not John, but this is different ...
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The issue that you have reported, has been filed for our...

engineers to investigate. The issue that was mentioned in the middle of the thread was directly for what Cursorcowboy (Bill Gaston) which was a post that was deleted and not related to the problem you and other are experiencing.

Thanks Bill O. Any more Bills want to chime in? Grin.


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