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Status update for current issues, Tuesday 3/13 - 03/14/07

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.


Posted by: RSLitman   |   March 14, 2007 8:53 PM    |   (1)

You wrote (in Status update for current issues, Tuesday 3/13 - 03/14/07):

"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."

I think this may be how you have classified a message I sent a couple of days ago, calling myself a "human", but which has not shown up here. A few comments about my situation:

I never use the Preview pane/window in Web Mail. When I have had this problem, it's occurred when I've actually opened the particular message and then chose either "Delete" or "This is spam" from within the message. Or it's happened when I've clicked in the check box next to the message in the Inbox's list of messages.

Also, the problem is not new, so it was either not introduced with 5.13 or it had been fixed before but is back with the release of 5.13. It could quite possibly be the latter situation because now that I think about it, I did not have this problem for a while.

Finally, I am using Internet Explorer 6.0. Although no longer the latest version of the most popular browser, it's not a Mozilla/Firefox/Netscape variety of browser.

Posted by: MATT   |   March 14, 2007 9:18 PM    |   (2)

Why is it that you must put @earthlink.com as part of you email address when signing on to use you earthlink email account. If it wasn't @earthlink.net you could not use the site anyway. Also the computers I use refuse to remember my address/password when I go to log in on your sight no mtter how many thousands of times I check the box for the computer to remember it.

On having to enter the domain, see where others have asked that here and here (among others).

For the Remember Me checkbox, if that isn't working it means you are either deleting or blocking cookies. Check your browser settings or any other security software you may be using to block cookies.

Email Guy

Posted by: Al   |   March 15, 2007 10:04 AM    |   (3)

Regarding the forwarding problem with filename spaces, for a few months now I have been unable to successfully download attachments (mostly .doc files) which had spaces in their filenames. The filename is truncated at the first space and considered a .bin file which my system does not handle well. My OS is MAC 10.1.5 with old tools which seem to work otherwise. Could this be related to the forwarding problem? I am not computer-savy enough to dig any deeper into the problem and I was able to come up with workarounds for the attachment files.

That problem should be fixed now, and isn't related to the forwarding problem. If it happens again, let me know.

Email Guy

Posted by: Lee   |   March 16, 2007 8:34 PM    |   (4)

Still having problems with the forwarding of attachments on e-mails
Has this problem caused by 5.13 been corrected yet?

Posted by: Bob   |   March 17, 2007 7:12 PM    |   (5)

Email Guy,

Al, who uses Mac OS 10.1.5, commented above on the problem of spaces in filenames, and you replied that it's been fixed. That may be true, but I've done a bit of testing, as you may not be aware just how old a version of OS X that is (I don't have that old an OS X version myself, but I checked some possibly relevant browsers). Before commenting more specifically on OS X 10.1.5, I'll mention two striking results of my tests:

1) While you've fixed the filename space problem for Firefox (and probably some related browsers), you haven't changed anything for IE. As explained in my original description on January 18 at http://blogs.earthlink.net/webmail/2006/11/ask_email_guy.php?page_section=117218#comment-117218 when attachments with filename spaces are received using IE, it replaces the spaces with plus signs. This isn't as serious as the original Firefox problem; still, it fails to preserve the original filenames. Moreover, this is happening not just in IE for Windows, but also in the old IE5 Mac browser.

2) While checking a number of Mozilla browsers, I found a very recent Mozilla browser where the current webmail is broken, namely, the latest (1.0.4) version of Camino, the Mozilla browser built specifically for Mac OS X (see http://www.mozilla.org/products/camino/ ). The problem seems to be a variant of the disappearing subject line issue. The subject lines are visible, but nothing happens when you click them.

As for Mac OS 10.1.x, that's three major versions before the current Mac OS. In Apple's cat terminology, that was the "Puma" release; since then, they've had Jaguar, Panther, now Tiger (with Leopard waiting in the wings). None of the "top 4" browsers mentioned in your reply to Andrew at http://blogs.earthlink.net/webmail/2007/03/disappearing_subject_lines_on_old_mozill.php?page_section=158913#comment-158913 (IE6, IE7, Firefox 2.0, Safari 2.0) can run in such an old Mac OS. The first two, of course, are Windows-only. Firefox 1.5 and Firefox 2.0 both require at least a 10.2.x version of Mac OS. And no version of Safari can run in OS 10.1.x.

What browser might Al be using? IE5 is a possibility (that's the only browser included with OS 10.1.x) but in that case, the replacement of spaces with plus signs wouldn't have caused the problem he described. He might be running an early (e.g., 1.0.x) Firefox, or another old Mozilla or Netscape browser. In those cases, maybe your recent fix for Firefox fixed those browsers too. Or maybe he's using some entirely different browser.

Bob - we're aware that the problem of converting spaces to plus signs in file names still exists. Unlike the other issues, this one is relatively harmless, but it will be fixed soon.

I believe we have fixed (but not yet released) the issue of being able to view and click on long subject lines in browsers using the Mozilla engine. That should be released in a week. Incidentally, the issue stems from a change made to the Mozilla code, where they were supporting a method we used for truncating long subject lines with an ellipsis, and they no longer support it.

As for Mac OSX versions, we test on 10.2 thru 10.4 and the browsers that will run on them. We no longer support IE5 on any operating system, and we no longer test Firefox 1.0 so I can't really speak to any problems that might be encountered on those. Users of those systems are somewhat on their own, unfortunately.

As always, your comments are informative.

Email Guy

Posted by: Paula Owensby   |   March 18, 2007 1:38 PM    |   (6)

I have been experiencing disappearing attachment lines on any emails I choose to forward. The attachments are all dropped as soon as I send them even though I receive and view them without incident. I haven't had any success with the help I got and so am waiting for the powers that be to remedy my problem further up the line. I appreciate the fact that updates etc. are coming our way that are supposed to be a good thing, but I can't use what I already had while those updates are being bestowed upon us. When will this all be in place? Thanks for any words of encouragement you might have for us "humans"

This is happening with filenames that contain spaces in the names, and the fix should be deployed in about one week. I apologize for the delay and inconvenience.

Email Guy

Posted by: Bob   |   March 19, 2007 2:22 PM    |   (7)

Email Guy,

I mentioned above that in Camino (the Mozilla browser specifically for Mac OSX), subject lines aren't clickable. You replied on "the issue of being able to view and click on long subject lines in browsers using the Mozilla engine." These are probably different issues. The problem I found seems very specific to Camino (I haven't seen it in any other Mozilla browser). It happens even for very short subject lines, and even if there are only one or two messages in the folder. The subject lines are visible, and highlighted exactly the same as in other browsers, but nothing happens when you click them. Thus, the messages aren't readable. Actually, if you turn on Preview pane, you can read the uppermost message in the list, but you still can't read the others if the folder contains two or more messages.

I've found this problem with current webmail in both Camino 1.0.3 and the latest 1.0.4 version (checked 1.0.4 on both Intel and PowerPC Macs). I've checked a bunch of other Mozilla browsers including Firefox, Firefox, SeaMonkey 1.1.1 (latest version of integrated Mozilla suite) and an old Netscape 7.2 browser - and the problem doesn't occur in any of them.

I suggest you try actually running Camino to see what's happening there.

Incidentally, in your reply to my previous message, the reply looks like a continuation of the original message with no graphical separation. I believe this happened in some of your recent replies to other people as well.

I think the blog formatting issue was just a need to refresh the browser since I updated the style sheet.

On the problem with Camino, I've asked our QA folks to check that out. It is not a browser we have ever tested due to having such a low (almost zero) usage among our users. Maybe that's because we never supported it, but looking at overall Internet stats, it doesn't even register there either. It is even less than Opera, which we also don't routinely test. We usually test the top seven, which in order are IE6, IE7, FF2, Saf.2, NS8, FF1.5, and Saf.1.3. Those make up over 98% of our users (and probably the same for the whole Internet), and the hope is that they represent the behavior of all modern browsers. We only test on others when specific issues are reported (like this case). If other browsers don't work like any of those listed, they probably are not doing things in a standard way (to the extent that browser standards even exist). But now that you have reported a specific issue on it, we're going to check that out and see what it would take to fix it.

Email Guy

Posted by: Bradley Warner Tompkins   |   March 27, 2007 12:41 PM    |   (8)


I'm NOT here to bash universal binary (ub) Mac-only Camino, though it may sound like I am. I genuinely wish it worked as advertised. If it did, I would be using it. It is no surprise at all to me that "looking at overall Internet stats, it doesn't even register there either". The real facts are:

On MY Macs running either Panther, Jaguar, or Tiger (I've used all of them, always updated to the latest versions) all versions of Camino through 1.0.3 crash frequently.

I haven't tried Camino 1.0.4 ub because Firefox 1.5.x ub and 2.0.x ub are both more Mac friendly (they don't crash) than the so-called Mac-only Mac-specific Camino, providing everything I need in a cross-platform environment. Cross-platform support is valuable since almost everyone I deal with use PCs.

Camino had not been updated for a very long time until the 2007/02/28 release of version 1.0.4. In the same time Firefox and SeaMonkey (formerly called "Mozilla Suite") have received a multitude of security fixes (which is of extreme importance to me). If a person is inclined to try Camino, be very sure you are using 1.0.4. Earlier versions have serious security holes, which are now published and therefore ripe for attack.

Unless they fix the crashes and aggressively keep the newly discovered security leaks patched (something I feel IMHO that they have NOT done in the past, although they say they have), it is doomed. (Perception can be more important than reality when trust is at stake.)

I also note with interest that on the Version Tracker website, Camino's star rating has been declining...


Posted by: Judi Oser   |   April 24, 2007 10:32 AM    |   (9)

I need larger type in webmail. I'm tired of having to read messages with a magnifying glass. Tell me how to make messages sent, readable.

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