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Outage this morning 3/7, and patch to 5.13 release - 03/07/07

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.


Discussion

Posted by: greg dietz   |   March 8, 2007 10:33 AM    |   (1)

I use Netscape Browser 8.1 as my default browser. Since Monday, I am having lots of trouble logging in to my email through this browser. I can use explore OK.

The message I generally receive when I try and log in is below:

HTTP Status 500 -

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

type Exception report

message

description The server encountered an internal error () that prevented it from fulfilling this request.

exception

java.lang.NullPointerException
at wam.Login.getDomain(Unknown Source)
at wam.Login.handle(Unknown Source)
at wam.Login.doGet(Unknown Source)
at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:740)
at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:853)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.internalDoFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:247)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.doFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:193)
at wam.servletfilter.WmChoiceFilter.doFilter(Unknown Source)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.internalDoFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:213)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.doFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:193)
at wam.servletfilter.SslFilter.doFilter(Unknown Source)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.internalDoFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:213)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.doFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:193)
at net.earthlink.util.filters.ZooFilter.doFilter(Unknown Source)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.internalDoFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:213)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ApplicationFilterChain.doFilter(ApplicationFilterChain.java:193)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardWrapperValve.invoke(StandardWrapperValve.java:256)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:643)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline.invoke(StandardPipeline.java:480)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.invoke(ContainerBase.java:995)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContextValve.invoke(StandardContextValve.java:191)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:643)
at org.apache.catalina.valves.CertificatesValve.invoke(CertificatesValve.java:246)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:641)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline.invoke(StandardPipeline.java:480)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.invoke(ContainerBase.java:995)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardContext.invoke(StandardContext.java:2415)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardHostValve.invoke(StandardHostValve.java:180)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:643)
at org.apache.catalina.valves.ErrorDispatcherValve.invoke(ErrorDispatcherValve.java:171)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:641)
at org.apache.catalina.valves.ErrorReportValve.invoke(ErrorReportValve.java:172)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:641)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline.invoke(StandardPipeline.java:480)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.invoke(ContainerBase.java:995)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardEngineValve.invoke(StandardEngineValve.java:174)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline$StandardPipelineValveContext.invokeNext(StandardPipeline.java:643)
at org.apache.catalina.core.StandardPipeline.invoke(StandardPipeline.java:480)
at org.apache.catalina.core.ContainerBase.invoke(ContainerBase.java:995)
at org.apache.coyote.tomcat4.CoyoteAdapter.service(CoyoteAdapter.java:223)
at org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Processor.process(Http11Processor.java:594)
at org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11Protocol$Http11ConnectionHandler.processConnection(Http11Protocol.java:392)
at org.apache.tomcat.util.net.TcpWorkerThread.runIt(PoolTcpEndpoint.java:565)
at org.apache.tomcat.util.threads.ThreadPool$ControlRunnable.run(ThreadPool.java:619)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Thread.java:595)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Apache Tomcat/4.1.24

Posted by: Bob   |   March 8, 2007 9:03 PM    |   (2)

Regarding the 2nd "FIX", it's true that "Delete All NN Messages" in Suspect Email once again deletes the contents immediately instead of sending them to the Trash folder. However, if items in Suspect Email are reported as spam (using "This is spam"), or deleted individually, they're still going to the Trash. They ought to get deleted immediately, as was true before the 5.13 release.

Your first "FIX" refers to the Preview pane. I notice that Preview isn't available at all in the Suspect Email folder (this was probably also true before the 5.13 release). Is there a reason for this? It seems to me that enabling Preview in Suspect Email would allow reviewing its contents more quickly. I suppose there's a potential problem with Preview if spam emails contain remote images which are "web bugs" and the user's preferences are set to Show images (I always configure mine to Hide images). This can eventually be solved by changing webmail's image handling: Regardless of the user's settings, remote images should never be displayed initially until the user clicks a button to allow their display. The Show/Hide preference option should apply only to attached/included images. With this change in image handling, it should be safe to allow a Preview pane in Suspect Email.

Posted by: Andrew   |   March 10, 2007 11:29 AM    |   (3)

The new version of Web Mail is utter nonsense. I've never seen any web page fail in my Mozilla 1.7.6 browser (released in 2005) so miserably. Out of curiosity, I opened the Web Mail 5.13.1 in the Inbox view in my browser, then selected View Page Source so I could see what the browser was trying to process. It is apalling! The page is filled with an enormous amount of unnecessary white space, even before the initial <html> tag. Having both hand-coded HTML with a text editor and used popular tools such as Dreamweaver and Mozilla Composer, I've never seen such a mess.

Searching further, I decided to save the file to my hard drive as index.jsp.html, and then submit it to the free W3C validator service (http://validator.w3c.org). The W3C Validator reported no fewer than 898 HTML errors in the page, and in a large, red eyecatching banner stated "This page is not Valid".

To release this software on EarthLink's customer base is simply sloppy work. Web Mail release 5.13 should be withdrawn and Web Mail should be rolled back to the previous release that was in use up to March 4, 2007. That release may have had plenty of HTML violations, but at least it worked in some fashion for most EarthLink users. Then, EarthLink's Web Mail team needs to take a close look at their coding practices, and work on the code until the HTML validator reports zero (0) errors.

I'm a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in California. If I did this kind of work, my registration would be yanked, and I'd probably be sent to prison.

Posted by: Meta Schroeter   |   March 12, 2007 5:51 PM    |   (4)

For the last week or so I have had several problems. 1.) I can no longer forward "forwards" from others. The blue underlinded "Forward message" line that I recieve is received by others as just greyed forward message words which do not open. 2.) My type face when sned messages is all greyed in a typewritter face. It used to be a bright black in the typeface that I am now typing to you. 3.) "Known Spam is no longer being counted on the side bar and shows as "0". When I open Kown Spam I get the usual graph ad counts.

I use Safari as my Browser.

Posted by: Michael Gibbons   |   March 13, 2007 10:48 AM    |   (5)

I just wanted to say thanks for telling us all!

Posted by: Stu   |   March 15, 2007 12:45 AM    |   (6)

for last two days (3-13, 3-14) having same problem in web mail as Bob reported on 3-8 with suspect email messages that I've marked as spam going into trash instead of being completely deleted (using IE 7.0); this includes spam with attachments; this had never happened before the 5.13 release

it's disturbing to see the same offensive junk in the suspect folder again -- hope this can really get fixed

Posted by: kas monson   |   March 28, 2007 7:39 PM    |   (7)

I've been on the road for a month. I am unable to access Web mail. The msg tells me to turn off personal firewall. I am using Webroot
SpySweeper along with Earthlink. Have not had a problem before now. When I sign in, with password, it keeps returning me to the
sign in box. Hope I understand your "Ground Rules". Thanks for your help

The message doesn't say to turn it off, it says you are blocking cookies. You cannot block cookies for domain "earthlink.net" and still use Web Mail, and you have never been able to do so, this hasn't changed. You have to allow cookies from this domain, by configuring your security software to allow them. This is going to be true for just about any application you try to use on the web, anywhere. Session cookies are needed to maintain your logged-in state, and they are not stored on your hard drive like persistent cookies are. Some features also require persistent cookies (stored on your drive) like the Remember Me feature on the login page, but that is optional.

Email Guy


Posted by: Dr. Mike   |   March 30, 2010 5:26 PM    |   (8)

3/7/10
"We will do better."

When? It's 3/29 and for 2 days the webmail has gone from slow to non-functioning with the same Apache Tomcat/4.1.24 error. Although the support page mentioned cable issues in NYC (where I am, with no connectivity problem other than the ongoing/always-iffy webmail) the support person (in India) wanted me to empty my cache, and other various things while saying "there is no problem" until he said to wait, a new message said there are issues in NY. Really?

Reading this, and spending months now just waiting and waiting and waiting for the ridiculous number of ads and cookies to load (for a service I pay for!) and once again seeming that only the poor user-end victims of Earthlink webmail are truly aware of the extent and damage of outages and glitches on Webmail....

When oh when will Earthlink finally get webmail right, focusing on the user experience first?!

I say this as long-time user and also company shareholder who continues to be in agony at the continuing lack of customer-friendliness (steadily downhill since Mindspring becames Earthlink!) and most of all the ongoing and ever-worsening, ever-lengthening glitches with webmail.

When exactly are things going to get better, or even be acknowledged as truly problematic?

Hope soon! I have relied on webmail while traveling for many years -- and spend more and more time just waiting on hang time and loading ads and crashed or overburdened servers. Shame...

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