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Unidentified Forum Error

Discussion in 'Any questions?' started by Bryman, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    When I tried to post a reply within a discussion on this Forum, I had an error displayed . . .

    "The following error occurred:" This was displayed in the centre of the screen with a red border around it and was followed by a second line, under the box, informing me that . . .

    "You must wait at least 59 seconds before performing this action."

    Can anyone explain what the problem was?
  2. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    I think you may have been attempting to post while the site is having it's daily backup.
  3. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Thanks Tim, that could have been so. I normally avoid backup times but the recent clock adjustments has altered the difference between UK and NZ by a couple of hours. It is a pity that the message was not a little more helpful.
  4. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I would if I could remember when they are, although I must be, not by design but sheer luck as I haven't had the issue.
    I know Peter has advised us in newsletters but I think it would be nice if a permanent banner was displayed.
  5. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I think that LC backups are performed at 02:00 am UK time. That means 15:00 pm NZ time now (Winter) and 13:00 pm NZ time (Summer). There is sometimes a variable short period of up to 4 weeks when UK/NZ clock changes do not synchronize and then it would be 14:00 pm NZ time. Best to remember the UK time and work out the NZ time from that, with the help of Google if necessary.

    Backups generally take 20-30 minutes. There is no warning from LC and if you try to do any LC activity during that time, the system will just seem to hang and eventually give a Time-Out. When the backup finishes (no notice given) you would have to repeat your action.
  6. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    That would explain why I had difficulty logging on during the evening a couple of times. Two a.m. U.K. time is 7 p.m. here in Calgary and that was about the time I was trying. I remember that Peter mentioned a while back about backups, but did not know just what time. The second time I tried and could not log on I suspected it was probably backup time. I just continued with other things and tried again later and was able to log on.
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There are features built into the forum software to prevent spam being posted. In practice this isn't a problem because all members are vetted, but it was simpler to leave the checks and balances in place, just in case.

    Backups are only an issue on the main LostCousins site - this is because the database software we use does not allow 'hot backups', but if we switched to software that does allow this it would significantly degrade the performance of the site.
  8. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    My original post was only an enquiry, not a complaint. The message displayed said that there was an error but did not identify what had occurred.
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    My reply explained what had occurred.
  10. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Sorry if I am being rather dim, Peter, but your reply did not explain to me what had occurred. Are you suggesting that I was trying to post spam and that I needed to wait for a minute before it would be accepted? Are you informing members that access to the forum is never affected by back-ups of the main site, as suggested by Tim, and hence was not the cause of the error message?

    In any case, the original message displayed to me was inadequate/incomplete and that is why I asked if anyone could give further insight. Please will you find another way to explain to a dim-wit what the error was and why the message was displayed? Thank you.
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    What I said is that there are controls in the forum software to prevent/mitigate the effects of spam postings, and that although they're not necessary because users have been vetted, it was simper to leave them in place. I cannot give any more detail without seeing screenshots as I have never seen one of the messages myself - I just know that they exist because there are settings that I could adjust.

    The forum is completely independent of the main LostCousins site: not only a different server but a different hosting company in a different county.
  12. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Thank you for confirming that the forum is independent of the main site and hence could not have been affected by the daily backup. However, saying that something is not the cause of the message produced does not really help me. I am unable to ensure that something similar will not happen in future.

    I was not able to get a screen shot of the displayed message so that is why I had to resort to just a description. If you have never seen such a message then I can understand why you are unable to provide any explanation.
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Remember that you can take a screenshot just by pressing the Print Screen key.
  14. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I did and nothing was copied to my clipboard.
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Very strange - I've never known the Print Screen key to fail, and I don't think it can be disabled by an application (though I could be wrong). The only time I've known it not to work was when I was inadvertently trying to post a graphic into a text field.
  16. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    The cause of the issue is simple (as I've received it on several boards before).

    When you add a post to the forum, like I'm doing now, the point of pressing save starts a timer. If you attempt to post a second time before that timer runs out, then you receive the error message, along with a script telling you how much longer you have to wait before the timer ends.
    I don't know how long the timer is, but I've never seen the error message displayed with more than a couple of seconds on it. I would presume this is effective as it stops a bot posting a multitude of posts at once, since a person cannot presumably do so.

    I hope that helps?
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  17. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    Thank you jorghes. That sounds like a reasonable control to have on the forum but I was not aware that I had pressed 'Post Reply' more than once. Perhaps my finger slipped or was touching the wrong part of the touchpad. (I hate these cheap all-in-one pads on recent laptops and much prefer the older 3 part pads with separate left and right 'mouse' buttons.) Presumably, the long wait of 59 seconds is a default/disable value. I will click on the 'Post Reply' button twice for this reply and see if the error gets reproduced. It didn't although I clicked 3 times!!!

    Regardless of my error, I suggest that it would be more help if the message was a little more explicit/complete. Perhaps Peter would be kind enough to check whether the second half of the message was missing and should have been inserted before display.
  18. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If you're worried about it happening again record your actions using a camera or a program such as Loom. You could always try what jorghes has suggested.

    The forum software is written in a high-level language created by Xenforo themselves - there would be no point me trying to debug it, and as this issue has only been reported once in 7 years, and didn't cause any loss of data, it clearly isn't anything to worry about.
  19. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Jorghes is spot on with the diagnosis. Unfortunately there isn't a change that can be made to the message that's built into the forum software. So sadly we are stuck with it, there's nothing Peter can do to "fix" the issue other than repeat he has no control over it :)

    The issue tends to be related to how quick the server processes your messages not how often you click send. What you might notice is periodically it pops up a very light blue (almost invisible) text saying "draft saved" that's a server interaction. If you happen to post within a second of that message you have a chance of triggering the error. It's very difficult to replicate and as Peter has already mentioned in 7 years it's only happened once and it's one of those transitory issues so it would be difficult to get the forum vendors to "fix" an issue we would struggle to replicate.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  20. Bryman

    Bryman LostCousins Megastar

    I am not suggesting that there is anything that Peter can do directly to update the message but I had thought that he might be able to pass the information back to the development team that created that software in the first place. Surely they must take pride in what they have produced and would appreciate being informed of the failings of the message produced. I am unable to contact them myself as I do not know anything about them whereas Peter has had dealings with them in the past.

    I am not expecting anybody to make an immediate update to correct a problem that occurs so infrequently but what is the point of displaying an error message that is meaningless to the user who sees it? It might as well not be part of the product.

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