I totally did not click post twice. October 2, 2001 8:41 AM   Subscribe

Why is it, even if you click only once on "post" and then remove all digits from the keyboard until some error message appears, resist temptation to click again and in fact close MeFi just to avoid posting at all, you are still rewarded, minutes later with a double post?
Double posts imply frenetic clicking but this is just true...
posted by MiguelCardoso to Bugs at 8:41 AM (7 comments total)

just not true, I meant.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:42 AM on October 2, 2001

The web page that handles the post information isn't actually the page that displays the thread.

To avoid double posts when you hit refresh, Matt arranged things so that you submit the post information to another page, which processes the post and then sends you back to the thread you posted in.

If a time out happens between the time the post page adds your post to the database but before the redirect to the original thread page happens, then your post is already in the database.

If the page is somehow refreshed after the error message appears the post information could be resubmitted to the database.

I don't offhand know how form data (your post) would get resent if you aren't pressing refresh.

For Matt's ease of debugging, what browser and what operating system are you using?
posted by cCranium at 8:53 AM on October 2, 2001

Thanks cCranium. It's the refreshing - or the very attempt - that does it then. What happens is:
1)I press "post"
2)A blank page appears
3)I try to press "back"
4)The whole caboodle freezes
5)I try to press "refresh"
6)Nothing happens so I close MeFi and then re-enter.

My browser is I.E. 4.0 and the OS is Windows 98. This is pretty much the standard here in Portugal but I guess I should change to something less restrictive and *recoils in terror* more difficult.

Thank you so much for your trouble. From now on I'll just press "post" and, WHATEVER happens, wait about five minutes. Then I'll shut the MeFi link and log back on.

I'm sure it's the greedy impulse to "refresh" that's doing it. Who would have thought, eh? I'll stop doing it and think of the Planet, I promise!

posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:56 AM on October 2, 2001

My browser is I.E. 4.0 and the OS is Windows 98.

You should be able to visit MeFi fine. I highly doubt the timing out is your fault, I was catching up here when 12:00 EST hit and suddenly the site crumpled to its knees under the load, it's likely just unfortunate timing when your posts don't make it through.

You don't have to shut down your browser though, you can just go back to metafilter.com.
posted by cCranium at 12:25 PM on October 2, 2001

you can just go back to metafilter.com

Uh-oh. You should never say that to a newbie overposting zealot like me...
To go off on a tangent, though, to thank you for your help, I noticed on your profile the brotherly reason for your monicker: both of us have craniums that are far larger than normal.
Tell me about it, Rob! Ever since I was 18 and walked into a hat shop, going for the Edward G.Robinson look, I've had the same problem. The guy looks at me and assures me theu have all sizes, "even for elephants". But not one of them fits.

So eight years pass; it's my first time in New York, I head straight for Stetson, aching for one of those ten-gallon hats. What happens? They apologize. Twice they come with the tape-measure and make compassionate noises with their lips.

My brother, even more big-headed than I am(I hope no one else is reading this)has the same problem. Plus he's a devout soccer fan, so it really cramps his style on Sunday afternoons at the Benfica stadium.

To make things worse, the epithet "hidrocéfalo" is much loved by us Portuguese. We do keep pulling out the same dog-eared 50's paperback about how it's a sign of intelligence, save the whales and all that, but to no avail.

And yet...and yet "crânio", in Portuguese, means "genius".
So please feel free - you and your brother - to say that there is at least one country in the world where size is important.

(Not refreshing, or indeed moving, after I hit the "Post" button, promise)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:56 PM on October 2, 2001

A variant problem (using IE 5 for Mac): When I hit the Preview or Post botton, the beachball turns, but nothing (visible) happens. But if I Cancel (Apple +. ) and go to the mainpage, the post will have appeared (if I hit Post before)
posted by ParisParamus at 6:37 AM on October 3, 2001

Once you hit post, it's pretty much committed, competely and wholly.

See, even if you hit post and close your browser, on the web server there's sitting a little message that says, in essence, "Add this information to the database."

At any given time there's a queue of these messages and a whole bunch of other messages, like, "Please send me this web page."

It takes a bit of time to process each message, and when there's thousands of them, the time adds up to a point where not only is it noticeable to us human folk, it becomes frustrating to us, so we close our browser, or hit "back" or do countless other things.

Unfortunately, once we send that message to the server, there's no way to bring it back or cancel it, so it sits there and gets processed while we're getting bored and going elsewhere.

In this particular case (and on most bulletin board type sites) after the server processes the "Please add" message, it sends a message back to your browser saying "Please go to this other web page now."

Your browser gets the message, then sends yet another one to the server that says "Please send me this other web page."

Once you hit post the only message you get back is the "Please ask me for this other webpage" one, your browser doesn't have anything to display because it's busy waiting the the server to respond to the new page request.

Basically, by the time you get to the white screen, your comment has long been added to the database. Probably. I won't get into the exceptions.

The nothing visible happening is mostly unrelated to the posting process. What's happening is that the server has so many other messages to deal with, it isn't able to respond to your "Please send me this other web page" message fast enough, so your browser has nothing to do.

It's not really a bug Matt can do anything about easily. He can theoretically beef up the server's ability to process information (via processor or ram upgrades) but that kind of thing costs money and once you get to a certain level of traffic it starts becomming extremely difficult for one single machine to handle everything.

Personally, if you're able to, I would suggest just not visiting between 12 and 2 eastern time. I haven't got the stats handy to prove it, but that has got to be the site's peak time, and it's definitely the timeframe in which I get the most timeouts.
posted by cCranium at 2:36 PM on October 3, 2001

« Older Can someone educate me?   |   thanks, everyone, who came by #mefi last night. Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments