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Follow-up notes to 5.54 release, 2 bugs - 02/15/08

From: Email Guy
Subject:       Follow-up notes to 5.54 release, 2 bugs
Date: February 15, 2008 6:05 PM
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After a number of user reports, we were able to reproduce two bugs that seem to have been introduced in this latest release. We're working on fixing them now. Both are just minor annoyances so it may be a few weeks before we get the fix out, but I wanted to let you know that we are aware of them already.

Here's the two bugs:

  • ( FIXED ) - When you have checked the box on the login page for "Remember my login" this prefills your username when you navigate to that page. When you use that feature, the input cursor should load in the password box automatically so that you can begin typing, but it isn't. The cursor is coming up in the username box whether you have that saved or not. So you have to click the password box or press the tab key to put the cursor in the right place. It will take that extra step until we get this fixed.

  • ( FIXED ) - When you have changed your Preference setting for the "Signout Destination" and set it to go to the Web Mail login page, that's what you expect to happen. There is one circumstance where this is failing, and the logout is always going to the MyEarthLink page (the other option in Preferences). If you have used the column sorting feature during that session, by clicking on the Sender or Subject column header (or any column) above the message listing, then when you sign out it will go to MyEarthLink regardless of your preference.

I've awarded this second one our "Bizarre Bug of the Year" prize, which began just this year (just today in fact). What does column sorting have to do with the logout preference? I'm sure the developers will figure it out.

Thanks for the reports that helped us find these.


Discussion

Posted by: Sandy   |   February 17, 2008 12:17 PM    |   (1)

How do I change my signature to allow for a different font, different color, and an icon?

When sending from Web Mail, automatic signatures only allow plain text at this time. This may be enhanced in a future release.

Email Guy


Posted by: Gary Powers   |   February 17, 2008 1:12 PM    |   (2)

Since June 2007 you recognized a defect in Earthlink webmail that frequently takes you back to the login screen, sometimes full screen, sometimes embedded in the message preview panel. You posted a supposed fix to reenter your name in the preferences page. This does not resolve the defect, and after more than 8 months and a new release of webmail, the defect persists, and has become very agravating. Please fix this. Thank you. Gary

The problem that was causing premature session timeouts was fixed. So if you are encountering this and you have not exceeded your session time (set in Prefs, default 8 hours) then something on your computer is deleting the session cookie that keeps you logged in to Web Mail. I would check your security software, and make sure you have exclusions in there for EarthLink web sites. You have to allow all cookies from earthlink.net.

Email Guy


Posted by: KC   |   February 18, 2008 4:10 AM    |   (3)

Email Guy wrote, "If you have used the column sorting feature during that session, by clicking on the Sender or Subject column header (or any column) above the message listing, then when you sign out it will go to MyEarthLink regardless of your preference."

I've had this problem happen to me two times now, and at no point did I click on any column header above the message listing during either session. So, there seems to be other circumstances in which the "Signout Destination" bug is triggered.

We're working on finding those other circumstances now. Thanks for the report.

Email Guy


Posted by: Lawrence Joel Schiff   |   February 19, 2008 4:15 AM    |   (4)

This is not a comment about the 2 bugs that you just listed.
It seems that my web email is now having another problem.
It seem that attachments/pics being sent to me are not getting thru.

I have had a friend twice try to send me attachments(he is quite knowledgeable, and has a Mac system, like mine), & while his emails are getting thru(so he isn't in any suspect/spam file), his attachments aren't.

In addition, pics/attachments in the last week that were sent to me, & I received, are now no longer indicated in my Inbox 'line item' for that email, although ones before that are still indicated(whether replied to or not)
For me, possibly not being able to receive attachments, is a serious problem.

By "in the last week" do you mean messages received before 2/13, which was when we last changed Web Mail? If they were received after that, the way they appear could not have changed due to anything we did.

We used to have a bug where attachments sent from Mac Mail wouldn't show up, but we thought it was fixed. I'm going to investigate whether it got broken again somehow.


UPDATE: I ran some tests and I did find one scenario where it will fail. If your sender from Mac Mail attaches the file before they enter the message text, you sometimes won't be able to see the attachment in Web Mail. It seems to only fail on plain text messages, not on HTML text. If they reverse the order and enter their text before they add the file attachment, you will get the attachment. This problem seems to be unique to messages from Mac Mail.

There is a related problem that we already knew about, where if the Mac Mail sender attaches a file, and then enters HTML text then sometimes you will get the attachment but won't see the text. Reversing the order when sending fixes it, and it also doesn't seem to occur with plain text, only formatted text. This problem is NOT unique to viewing messages in Web Mail, but happens in most (or all) non-Mac email programs when viewing these messages from Mac Mail, and this one is definitely a bug in Mac Mail.

Both of these are due to the unique way that Mac Mail constructs multi-part messages, and these don't happen with email from other sources. We will try to get it fixed, at least the attachment problem. The text problem mentioned second is in Mac Mail and we may not be able to do a workaround for it. Apple should fix it.

In the meantime, ask your sender to enter their message text before attaching files, and there shouldn't be any problems.

Thanks for the report.

Email Guy


Posted by: Byron   |   February 19, 2008 5:23 AM    |   (5)

Email Guy wrote: "When you have checked the box on the login page for "Remember my login" this prefills your username when you navigate to that page. When you use that feature, the input cursor should load in the password box automatically so that you can begin typing, but it isn't. The cursor is coming up in the username box whether you have that saved or not. So you have to click the password box or press the tab key to put the cursor in the right place. It will take that extra step until we get this fixed."

I have a related problem though somewhat different than the above scenario. The first time I start a browser the input cursor is nowhere to be found. I must tap the tab key or move the mouse pointer to the input box and left click to get the input cursor to appear. It happened sporadically until I noticed it was only when a browser was first opened. If I have any browser window open and click on the "Home" icon (the Webmail login page is my home page) the input cursor appears in the correct place. This happens with both my default browser, Opera 9.10 and every other browser I regularly use (Opera 9.20, 9.22, 9.23 and 9.25) as well as a couple I use only occasionally, Firefox 1.5.0.12 and 2.0.0.12.

My curiosity got the best of me this morning and I tabbed through the page trying to find where the cursor was hiding when I first start a new browsing session. I noticed the order goes:
* unknown location
* Email Address
* Password
* Sign In
* Forgot Password
* Search text box
* Search button
then back to the unknown location as the cycle starts again.

I do not have "remember my login on this computer" checked. If I have a different version or a different browser already open the problem is reproducable. It only happens when I first start a particular browser and version. As long as I have that browser version open the input cursor is in the Email Address box where it belongs. Not a big problem but certainly an annoyance.

To satisfy my curiosity, where is that "unknown location"?

On Opera it is the "Remember my login" checkbox. For some reason Opera has a different tab order than all other browsers, and it doesn't obey the specified order. But that is not where Opera is putting the cursor on the initial page load, It seems to be actually putting it outside the Web Mail window pane altogether. For some reason the Opera interface is taking the focus itself when loading a new page. I don't know why, and it doesn't happen with all pages.

On Firefox 1.5 (or any version) the page will open correctly. Set your homepage to Web Mail and just click to open your browser and don't touch the mouse again, and it will open with the cursor blinking in the username box. It is when you browse there manually and click in the interface that sometimes, depending on the timing of your clicks and the page load, you might take the focus off the input box yourself. This can happen in any browser.

Email Guy


Posted by: Kyle McQuillen   |   February 19, 2008 12:14 PM    |   (6)

I appreciate the fixed bugs in your latest fix. BUT, I wish you could add to preferences something that would allow me to default to COLOR and GRAPHICS. Every time I start an email, and wish to be in Color and Graphics, I have to go back, copy and paste, or start over again. It surely would not be too difficult to give me a choice of how I want my web mail to look - after all, I just click and it goes to COLOR and GRAPHIC. Are there any plans to add this option to Preferences?

Thanks.

Kyle McQuillren

We'll be doing better than that, we're working on saving your compose preferences inline whenever you modify them, so it will always come back as you left it. I hope to release this in the next 1-2 months.

Email Guy


Posted by: david martin   |   February 19, 2008 10:11 PM    |   (7)

With regard to issue #2, the "When you have changed your Preference setting for the 'Signout Destination'" one: It also resets my login destination preference -- the choice is between (a) inbox or (b) myearthlink brand "news" page -- from the former to the latter. It's happened three times in the past week -- I've assumed it's your marketing people gone wild, but maybe it's another manifestation of the same glitch. In either case, it's annoying and I wish you great success in fixing it. Thx.

Posted by: Jay Bennett   |   February 20, 2008 12:00 AM    |   (8)

I need to whitelist domains. Right now, I can only whitelist an email address. We get (wanted) newsletters from businesses, and some of them send from different addresses each time. So the newsletters keep getting caught up in the spam filter.

There is no personal whitelist against something being caught in Known Spam (addresses or domains) and when you get a false positive you should report it using the "This Is Not Spam" button to get it corrected. The whitelist you refer to works with the Suspect Email folder when using spamBlocker on the High setting. On that setting, anything that was not caught in Known Spam, is then delivered either to the Inbox or to Suspect Email depending on whether or not it is already in your Address Book.

But yes, you can add domains and addresses to your Address Book. Click Address Book, then click Add. You'll see it in the list. If you aren't using the High setting, that option isn't there as it wouldn't have any purpose. Once you do have domains in your Address Book, you click the link at the upper right of that page that says Companies (Domains) to view them.

Email Guy


Posted by: Richard Kerrigan   |   February 20, 2008 1:21 PM    |   (9)

Frequently (in the order of four times this morning) once inside of my webmail if I click on virtually anything (try to open a message or empty trash...) Safari shuts down. I've sent several reports to Mac but have no idea where this problem is stemming from. Is it my hair?

Download the OSX updates from Apple. They fixed some crashing problems that occurred in the first release of Safari 3.0.

Email Guy


Posted by: helene linne   |   February 20, 2008 6:18 PM    |   (10)

Hi, Email guy--

You've been promising increased storage for over a year now. The longer we are customers of Earthlink, the more e-mail we're going to have. I am on the road a lot, and need web mail access. Lots of it. Can you give me a ballpark time parameter for just when that increase will occur? Or is the answer "Until Earthlink stops profiting from charging for extra space." I have resisted using Yahoo or Gmail because I consider them too public, and don't want AOHELL to show up next to my ID. Help us out here--what's the problem?

Many thanks,
decoduchess

The delay isn't really related to charging for extra storage. We have a beta trial going on already with 1GB mailboxes with a small subset of users on it, but the timeline for migration is uncertain right now. I wish I had a better answer for you, but we really are working on it.

Email Guy


Posted by: Hal Fox   |   February 21, 2008 6:36 PM    |   (11)

How can I get ride of the requirement to log in filling in my password. I am the only one using this computer and I strongly desire to not have to log in.

Sincerely, Hal Fox, pres. EEMF, Inc.

Saving passwords is a feature of your browser, not of Web Mail. All browsers have the ability to do this. See this FAQ for help.

Email Guy


Posted by: Vince Henrichs   |   February 24, 2008 10:17 AM    |   (12)

On February 19, I initiated an online chat with Earthlink support about the cursor problem. They adamately said that this was not Earthlink's problem, going the spectrum from, it is a Microsoft problem because they control the screen, to, it is a problem in my setup.
How little does your support staff know about software that they could not realize that this was a problem with Earthlink screen?

Posted by: Sandy Presto   |   February 28, 2008 6:21 PM    |   (13)

I haven't been able to send email messages from my home computer (Earthlink) since late December and I saw something on the on-line help tab about needing a password with outgoing messages to prevent spam.

The correct settings for your email software can be found here:

http://kb.earthlink.net/case.asp?article=4355

For future reference, this is found by clicking Support at the top of any EarthLink page, and then clicking the link there that says "Setting Up Your Email Program."

Yes, authentication is required to send email, and you have to turn that on in your email software. The server name that must be set in your software is smtpauth.earthlink.net. See the link above for more detail.

Email Guy


Posted by: Peter Brooks   |   February 29, 2008 3:53 PM    |   (14)

Following up on the cursor problem (sitting in the username rather than password box), that might benefit from being an option that could be user-set.

The reason I say this is that if (like me) you have your browser remember your login, as it stands now you can hit the tab key and the cursor will move to the empty password box at the same time that the browser fills in the remembered password, allowing the user to just click on the Sign in button (or maybe even hit Enter). Obviously this behavior wouldn't be recommended on a general access machine.

If the cursor is already in the empty password box, extra steps must be taken to get the password entered (either by typing it or going back into the username box and hitting Tab). This can be an irritation if you're trying to get something done as quickly as possible.

Initially the bug was annoying until I discovered that it could actually speed up my login process; now I think it would be useful to be able to choose in Preferences (if that's possible).

Posted by: RuthClaire Weintraub   |   March 4, 2008 8:43 AM    |   (15)

This one seems silly but I find it annoying: As I read the column of messages in IN and click on messages I want to delete, the entire column of messages moves slightly to the left and the radio boxes practically disappear behind an immovable section of the screen. After I've clicked on the delete button, sent the discarded messages to Trash, the column of messages reappears and the radio boxes are once again completely visible.

Posted by: G.   |   March 4, 2008 4:37 PM    |   (16)

I have my webmail options display html and display photos to "OFF"
BUT, when I reply to an e-mail that has either, It trys to display them, thus bypassing your options you choose to protect yourself.

Please fix this soon.
Thanks

This is correct behavior, the suppression isn't supposed to work on a reply and wouldn't serve any purpose. The reason for that feature is solely so that marketers and spammers can't tell when you have viewed a message, as viewing it can trigger loading an image or html snippet that pings their server, and they know you viewed the message. When you reply, you've explicitly told the sender that yourself. So suppressing images there would have no purpose. There isn't any other security reason for the feature, as Web Mail never allows malicious code or any scripts to run in messages no matter what setting you use.

Email Guy


Posted by: Judy Klein   |   March 4, 2008 6:10 PM    |   (17)


Please make it possible to select multiple messages, in the Inbox, and mark them as read. I'm sure you can understand the importance of this option.

Posted by: Gary   |   March 7, 2008 12:01 PM    |   (18)

Is there any chance of being able to resize the columns, such as sender, subject, date and etc.....?

Posted by: Tom   |   March 8, 2008 9:01 AM    |   (19)

The bug regarding clicking "Remember Me" and it bringing you back to the address line rather than the pasword line is really annoying. The extrat mouse click or key press to get the cursor where I need it is aggravating because I check my earthlink mail several times per day.

Any ETA on getting this fixed????

It is fixed in the upcoming release, 2-3 weeks away.

Email Guy


Posted by: John Meese   |   March 12, 2008 9:50 AM    |   (20)

The forward feature is confusing. Not realy sure what is getting forwarded!

See this FAQ.

Email Guy


Posted by: Nancy Blackwell   |   March 12, 2008 10:51 AM    |   (21)

I repeatedly get this message when I log out of webmail using IE:
HTTP Status 500 -
type exception report
message
description The server encountered an internal error () that prevented it from fufilling this request
exception
java.lang.NoPointerException
_______________________________________
Apache Tomcat/4.1.24

The URL of this message that shows in my address bar is:
https://webmail.pas.earthlink.net/wam/logout?x=1395806212

Why am I getting this error?

I don't know, but it isn't something commonly happening for IE users. Try going to Preferences / Web Mail Options and changing the logout setting to go to the Web Mail login page.

Email Guy

Posted by: Lee   |   March 12, 2008 1:57 PM    |   (22)

When will we be able to set preferences for automatic use of HTML rather than text for outgoing mail. If I see Courrier New one more time...

It is high on our list. Know that the Courier font that you see for plain text (non-html) messages, is not necessarily what the recipient sees. Their own email reader will use its own setting for the default font to display plain text messages.

Email Guy


Posted by: Dan   |   March 12, 2008 8:23 PM    |   (23)

The list of messages is not being updated to show that I have read them. Messages in the list remain boldfaced until I refresh the screen. This is a very old bug - sorry I didn't post earlier.

This isn't a bug that we can reproduce. When you have preview Off (button at upper right), the page is always refreshed when you click back to the message list, and the message you just read will always be unbolded. But with preview On, every time you click a line to display a message, it unbolds immediately. The only thing I can think of where what you describe could happen, is that you have preview Off, and you are not using the link to come back to the Inbox list, but are instead using the browser's Back button. In that case, you are going to get a cached page, not a new (refreshed) page, and it will be unchanged depending on how you have your cache settings. Use the link to come back to the list and this won't happen. In general, don't use the Back/Forward buttons in your browser to navigate in Web Mail, as lots of things won't work right since the page can't refresh.

If that is not what you are doing and you do have Preview turned on, then what browser are you using where you see this behavior?

Email Guy

Posted by: Nancy Henderson-James   |   September 9, 2008 1:54 PM    |   (24)

The cursor still does not come up automatically in my password box. I have both an iBook and an iMac and use Safari on both.

Occasionally if I leave Web Mail, go somewhere else on the Internet, and then return to Web Mail, the cursor will behave. Otherwise, I have to click in the box every time.

thanks

9/9/08

We're aware that this sometimes fails with Safari (and it will be fixed). It is working correctly on other browsers.

Email Guy


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