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View FIXED - Users still reporting trouble forwarding attachmentsBugs

From: Email Guy
Subject:       FIXED - Users still reporting trouble forwarding attachments
Date: March 29, 2007 9:43 PM
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We have gotten some reports after the fixes that were released Wednesday, that sometimes when forwarding a message with an attachment, the attached files don't reach the recipient.

In our own testing we are not seeing this problem occur. So we need some help tracking down why this is still happening. If this has happened to you after Wednesday 3/28, please comment here under this article, and please provide your operating system and browser version. To get your exact browser version click on Help / About in your browser and let me know the full number shown there. If you can, also please provide an exact file name of an attachment that was not received by the recipient. This is shown in the header area when you view the original message, on the line that says "Attachments:".

Lastly, please indicate if the original message was plain text or HTML. If you aren't sure, you can tell this by looking at the state of the "Plain | Color and Graphics" selector above the message after you click Forward to open the compose view. It will be set to the type of message you are forwarding, with the current type in black and the other option in blue. I want to know the one in black. If you have other details that you think will be helpful in tracking this down, please provide those too. One thing that would be helpful if you happen to know, is what email program the recipient is using to view your message.

Questions about this issue that have come in on the Ask Email guy page so far have not included the details, and since I don't have an answer for you yet they haven't been published.

Thanks for your help. We will try to get this fixed as soon as possible.

UPDATE: after more feedback and much testing, it appears that this problem is mostly confined to forwarding messages that you received as an attachment in the first place. That is, the original sender sends an earthlink user a message with attachments, but sends the whole message as an attached file with nested attachments. You can successfully forward these messages on to others if you choose "As Attachment" when you forward it.

View Web Mail 5.13.2 released March 28Releases

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Web Mail 5.13.2 released March 28
Date: March 28, 2007 4:04 AM
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The maintenance release that I've been promising was put into production at about 3AM EDT today. The release is to fix the several issues that were introduced on 3/7. Thanks for your patience over the past 3 weeks waiting for these problems to be fixed.

The fixes in this release are:

  • Sending attached files with spaces in the filename was failing. That is now fixed.

  • When using Mozilla-based browsers including Firefox 1.x versions, Netscape 7 or 8, and Mozilla 1.x, users encountered problems with the message listing where lines disappeared, some subjects couldn't be clicked, and the page contained a lot of blank space. This is fixed.

  • When using the Preview pane, deleting messages in the middle of the list would cause unread messages higher up in the list to be hidden until the user got a fresh listing by changing folders and back, or logging out and back. This is now fixed.

  • Support for image map tags in HTML messages is now restored.

Thanks again for your patience while we resolved these problems.

View Review of "Ask Email Guy" publishing criteriaGeneral

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Review of "Ask Email Guy" publishing criteria
Date: March 18, 2007 11:53 AM
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I've just come back from a few days of traveling when I didn't have much time to maintain the blog, and I have a pretty large backlog of user comments and questions to go through. Generally that's a good thing. The blog is becoming steadily more popular now and I appreciate all the participation and feedback. It is very valuable for me to have this interaction with end users, and helpful for you to find answers to your questions and learn more about using Web Mail. So thanks for the great participation.

But one result of this increased activity is the number of new comments that I have to review and publish. I have to follow my own rules more strictly than I may have before the blog became as popular as it is now. So quite a few of the new comments and questions never get published because they don't follow the few simple rules I've established in order to keep this blog on-topic. This is a focused blog and it can't become a catch-all for every question a user might have about anything in the world. So before posting, please read the Ground Rules and your comments will be published if you simply follow those. If your comment doesn't get published it will be because it didn't meet the requirements.

Here are the most common reasons your comment might not get published:

  • You asked a question that is in the FAQ page (frequently asked questions) already. Once a particular question has been asked and answered a lot, I add it to that list and stop posting new questions that are essentially the same.

  • You asked a question or posted a comment that isn't about using EarthLink Web Mail. See the definition in the Ground Rules.

  • You asked a general support question that isn't specific to Web Mail. You'll have to use normal support channels to solve those problems. They include your login not working, your connection failing or disconnecting, errors or crashes on your computer, using other email software besides Web Mail, etc. etc. Please contact Customer Support.

So please be considerate and check the rules before posting, and that way I'll be able to get everyone's Web Mail questions answered much faster.

The backlog will be caught up today. Thanks for your cooperation.

View Status update for current issues, Tuesday 3/13General

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Status update for current issues, Tuesday 3/13
Date: March 14, 2007 12:30 AM
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A number of questions submitted to Ask Email Guy today were due to one of the issues below, so I've responded here rather than publish each individual comment.

For a few hours this morning, some users received a warning message when logging in to Web Mail that the site security certificate was expired. This was fixed within a few hours, and was due to a network change that inadvertently made the wrong security certificate active on a few of the servers. It was corrected this afternoon. During that same time period, Web Mail was unavailable to some users and displayed the "Down for Maintenance" page. Both issues were corrected this afternoon, and I apologize for the inconvenience.

On the previously-discussed issue of disappearing subject lines on Mozilla-based browsers (Netscape, Firefox, Mozilla), we are currently testing a fix and hope to deploy it to production in a few days. In the meantime, please try the suggestions here. This problem also appears to cause an HTTP Status 500 error to occur in Netscape browsers under certain circumstances. That should also be resolved with the fix.

Another problem in the recent 5.13 release that has been reported by some users is that if they delete a message while using the Preview window, then after the list refreshed some unread messages above that one would not show up until the user logged out and back in. We are also currently testing a fix for this, to be released at the same time as the issue above.

Lastly, some users report that when forwarding messages with attached files, the attachment isn't being sent to the recipients. This seems to occur only when the filename contains spaces, and it is also fixed and waiting to be deployed to production.

Hopefully in a few days these three new bugs that were introduced in the 5.13 release will be fixed for good. Thanks for your patience in the meantime.

View Outage this morning 3/7, and patch to 5.13 releaseGeneral

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Outage this morning 3/7, and patch to 5.13 release
Date: March 7, 2007 7:00 PM
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As I'm sure many of you know, early this morning there was an outage that kept Web Mail unavailable for several hours. Service was fully restored by about 9:00 AM EST. There were some backend services that Web Mail depends on that went down and took a while to restore. I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to our users, especially since this is the second time this happened within the past month. We will do better.

As a result of the outage, the patches that I promised would be in place first thing this morning, didn't get released until late this afternoon, and were completed at around 5:00 PM EST. The two fixes were the ones described in the release notes here. But here are the descriptions again:

(FIXED) When using the message Preview, unread messages in the Sent folder and other folders could not be viewed.

(FIXED) The behavior of the "Delete All NN Messages" button in the Suspect Email folder had been changed, and now it is put back like it was before.

We also fixed a problem that had caused the 5.13 release to run slightly slower than before, and you may notice better responsiveness now. I can tell the difference.

A number of users commented this morning in Ask Email Guy basically asking about the same thing, which was why they couldn't access Web Mail this morning. Rather than publish each of those questions and individual responses, I addressed it here for everyone.

One last note: on the issue I wrote about two days ago where Firefox 1.0.x and Mozilla 1.0.x users, and occasionally a Firefox 1.5 user, could not click on their subject lines in Web Mail release 5.13, numerous users have confirmed that the Firefox 2.0 upgrade fixes this. You can get it here: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Please report any new trouble you find in Web Mail if you don't find it already mentioned on the blog, and I'll investigate it. Use the Search and the FAQ page to check for an answer first.

PS - I was up all night with the team fixing Web Mail, so I'll catch up the Ask Email Guy questions tomorrow.

View FIXED - Disappearing subject lines on old Mozilla / FirefoxBugs

From: Email Guy
Subject:       FIXED - Disappearing subject lines on old Mozilla / Firefox
Date: March 6, 2007 4:43 PM
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(Ed. note - several users have asked about this problem in Ask Email Guy, so I posted the answer here rather than publish the individual questions)

After the release of Web Mail 5.13 on Monday 3/5, a few users reported that the subject lines in Web Mail would disappear or not be clickable. As far as we have been able to determine, this problem is confined to old versions of Mozilla browsers and old versions of Firefox browsers. In every case the issue is fixed by updating to a newer version.

Update Firefox here:

The problem never occurs on Firefox 2.0. We have a few rare reports of it on Firefox 1.5 if the user has a lot of messages in the Inbox. But if you still have a really old 1.0.x version of Firefox or Mozilla, we can no longer support it, and unfortunately you'll need to get a newer version. We do still fix bugs related to Firefox 1.5, and we will continue to test on it for a while. But we recommend that you update to version 2.0 at the web site above.

View Web Mail 5.13 released March 5Releases

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Web Mail 5.13 released March 5
Date: March 5, 2007 10:06 AM
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This morning we launched a minor Web Mail update to fix a number of bugs and issues reported by users. There are a couple of small enhancements to existing functionality in this release (we're still working on some exciting new stuff), but there are a lot of helpful bug fixes.

If you have trouble with the new release using the same browser that worked fine for you before, please try deleting the cached files in your browser, close the browser, and try again. In some browser this is called Temporary Internet Files or Cache.

First, we know about two new problems that were inadvertently introduced in this release, and hope to have them fixed late tomorrow night (3/6) and be working again on Wednesday 3/7. They are:

  1. (FIXED)   When using the message Preview, unread messages in the Sent folder and other folders cannot be viewed. This doesn't affect the Inbox. The workaround until we fix it is to toggle the "Hide Message Preview" at the upper right. Messages that are already read (not bold) are not affected either way.
  2. (FIXED)   The behavior of the "Delete All NN Messages" button in the Suspect Email folder was changed, and is being put back like it was.

Here are some of the main fixes that are already in the new release in production:

  • Fixed some problems with exporting the Address Book, including the handling of special characters like quotes and commas, and including some fields that had been missing.
  • Fixed some problems with importing Address Book data from a CSV file.
  • Changed the handling of text file attachments including .txt and .html. to allow saving those files or opening them independently of Web Mail. Previously they could only be opened like messages, within Web Mail. Now they are handled just like other file attachments.
  • Fixed a number of file attachment bugs, especially on Firefox, including the "null" prefix bug.
  • Fixed the handling of special characters in email addresses for outgoing messages, so you can now send to someone with an address like !#$%&'*-/=?^_`{|}~@test.com (or one containing any of those characters).
  • Fixed some minor display issues where fonts and font sizes weren't correct while composing (didn't display exactly what your recipient would see).
  • Fixed the spacing of the Inbox listing to be closer together and show more messages on the page; this is back to the way it used to be before it was inadvertently changed sometime last year.
  • Fixed pasting of formatted text from other programs like Word so that hidden formatting characters aren't displayed.
  • Changed the feature that auto-adds contacts on sending, to be always-on when using spamBlocker on High, so that you can always receive the reply.
  • Fixed the folder count for the Known Spam folder that appears beside the folder name.
  • Fixed cursor placement when Replying to an HTML message.
  • Fixed this bug, where certain characters could break the display of the folder tree.
  • Fixed the sending of messages by just typing the nickname in the address line.
  • The auto-add prompt for Address Book on outgoing messages is no longer case-sensitive.
  • Fixed a number of issues for handling foreign characters in various features.
  • Added a new feature to display all file attachments when you Forward a message, and allow unselecting them individually before sending.

We have just about completely fixed the issue described here, where users would get timed-out before their session setting, and have to log in again.

Please continue to send feedback and report any new issues you find. I'll have some news soon on the great new features we are working on.

Email Guy