Seriously, I don't have Javascript turned off... November 17, 2010 7:00 PM   Subscribe

This javascript error page is a bit of overkill, in my humble opinion. None of the sugestions on the page is relavent. My clicking of the [+] failed because my hellish internet connection hadn't loaded the page completely yet. Is this necessary? I'm quite happy for clicking the [+] to just not work, rather than being bumped off the page.
posted by Jimbob to Bugs at 7:00 PM (50 comments total)

Oh man. Spelling. Who am I to complain?
posted by Jimbob at 7:01 PM on November 17, 2010


When we first introduced the favoriting and the javascript stuff, people were forever emailing us about it which I think is when the page came into being. I wonder if we still need it. I am sorry your internet connection is hellish.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:07 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm still a firm believer in nomadicink's suggestion that all Mefi error pages would be improved by adding this image.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:10 PM on November 17, 2010 [41 favorites]


Oh man, I so TOTALLY agree with that.
posted by Stunt at 7:11 PM on November 17, 2010


It'd definitely keep user numbers down...
posted by doublehappy at 7:14 PM on November 17, 2010


Sorry about that, Jimbob. I know it's annoying, but I do think it's better than the alternative: nothing happens and you don't notice. At least in this case you know that your connection is hellish AND the favorite wasn't added. So you can reload/wait or whatever you need to do to get that favorite added. The advice isn't going to be relevant for everyone, but those are common reasons that someone might get to that page.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:16 PM on November 17, 2010


but I do think it's better than the alternative: nothing happens and you don't notice.

You're probably right, but I do like to sit there and watch the AJAXy magic make the "1 favourite" text appear. So I do notice when it doesn't work.
posted by Jimbob at 7:20 PM on November 17, 2010


butts lol
posted by carsonb at 7:22 PM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


all Mefi error pages would be improved by adding this image.

Yes, please.
posted by rtha at 7:34 PM on November 17, 2010


I have no idea why -- since I've seen that picture rather frequently as of late - but Rhaomi-and-Nomadcinik's suggestion above is making me near paralytic with laughter.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:35 PM on November 17, 2010


That page wouldn't be seen much if the links that require JavaScript were added by JavaScript rather than being present in the HTML. That way they'd only be there when JavaScript is active.
posted by scottreynen at 7:36 PM on November 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


That way they'd only be there when JavaScript is active.

Yeah, I agree. But I also think there'd be a contingent that would hate having those pluses pop in after the page loads. I think that could be jarring on every pageview. Seeing the error page should only happen on those rare occasions the whole page doesn't load for some reason.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:41 PM on November 17, 2010


None of the sugestions on the page is ARE relavent.

ARE
relavent.


SUBJECT-VERB AGREEMENT MOTHERFUCKER!!!
posted by slogger at 7:46 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kid because I love.
posted by slogger at 7:46 PM on November 17, 2010


Huh. As I recall, when I once ran into this issue before, an alert popped up that said, "This requires a JavaScript library that hasn't loaded yet". Is it still possible to do that?
posted by Deathalicious at 7:54 PM on November 17, 2010


Oh man. Spelling. Who am I to complain?
YEA!
posted by clavdivs at 7:57 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, we do that Deathalicious. If jQuery hasn't loaded yet you get that message as JavaScript alert. If JavaScript is off completely you get the page we're talking about.

So yeah, huh, with that clarification, I'm not sure why you'd ever see the No JavaScript page unless the page itself had a JavaScript error of some kind that stopped all further scripts from executing.

Jimbob, are you getting this frequently? Are you running any Greasemonkey scripts that could be wreaking havoc with JavaScript on the page?
posted by pb (staff) at 7:57 PM on November 17, 2010


Actually, this is the first time I've had this, which is why I assumed it was something new. Up until now I've had what Deathalicious describes, which is much more tolerable.

I'm happy for a compromise. Just add the text "If you're in the state of Tasmania, this error may occur due to your internet connection arriving over a piece of string and two tin cans."
posted by Jimbob at 8:37 PM on November 17, 2010


heh, I can always check for your user ID and show that message. If it happened between 9am and 10am Pacific Time today there's a reason. We retooled a bunch of JavaScript, so this could be fallout from that.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:43 PM on November 17, 2010


None is/None are.
posted by misha at 8:54 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I get the Java error a lot on my BlackBerry. It's funny - I'll favorite one or two or three things on a long thread just fine, and then, BAM, the site thinks JavaScript is off and no more favorites for a while. Refreshing fixes it, but I'm usually in no mood to refresh a long thread on my BB.
posted by SMPA at 8:57 PM on November 17, 2010


So is this the thread to question why every so often when I click on the + sign, nothing happens? No error message, no alert box, but the plus in progress little thing (the 'adding' dialogue) just kind of stares at me for a while and then fades away having done nothing. Then I click '+' again and it works fine. I'm more mildly curious about it than alarmed, especially since it works fine on the second try.
posted by librarylis at 9:08 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have JavaScript on, and my favorites are working fine, but I've been getting the JavaScript error page when trying to open the pop-out music player in MeFiMusic.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 9:16 PM on November 17, 2010


pb, this might be overkill, but what if you were to have a super tiny bit of JS in the <head> of the page that just swallowed the clicks until the bigger JS loads? People with JS actually disabled would get the same experience, and people who have JS enabled don't get the surprise clickthrough.
posted by potch at 9:27 PM on November 17, 2010


So is this the thread to question why every so often when I click on the + sign, nothing happens?

If it happened this morning that could definitely be because we were updating things behind the scenes. When you click the plus sign the page changes and says "Adding..." and from there requests another page on our server. That request is dependent on the same network speeds as any other page request. So if you're on a slow network it can take some time to get the response back. The page you're requesting is very small, just a little a bit of text. So it shouldn't take nearly as long as requesting a standard MetaFilter page. So this is a difficult problem to troubleshoot because there are lots of factors at work. I haven't personally experienced that, but I'm generally on a fast connection.

I have JavaScript on, and my favorites are working fine, but I've been getting the JavaScript error page when trying to open the pop-out music player in MeFiMusic.

Yep, I can confirm that something is broken there. Thanks, we'll get that fixed up.

...what if you were to have a super tiny bit of JS in the of the page that just swallowed the clicks...

Yeah, but JavaScript needs to be enabled to swallow clicks. There are only two times you should see the "JavaScript Disabled" page: 1.) When you have JavaScript disabled or disabled via extension, or 2.) there's a JavaScript error on the page preventing the click handler from working. In the case of 1, more JavaScript won't help. And in the case of 2, there's something we need to fix—like the pop-out link at Music—or there's a Greasemonkey script causing problems.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:43 PM on November 17, 2010


while we're on the subject, over the past couple of days i haven't been able to favourite things, about 90% of the time. it just hangs on the "adding...."

are you aware of any recent changes that might be causing this? given that jimbob is also down under, that might also be potentially relevant...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:45 PM on November 17, 2010


oh, shoulda previewed.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:46 PM on November 17, 2010


...are you aware of any recent changes that might be causing this?

Not over the last couple days, no. But this morning we updated favorites among a bunch of other things. Are you having the problem right now? If so, check out some ideas to try here.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:49 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Use that photo of the threesome for the 404 page, but photoshop Cortex's shirt to say "Butts 404."

Also, the JS error page should just say "YOU NEED JAVASCRIPT BITCHES."

really I have research to back this up
posted by davejay at 9:50 PM on November 17, 2010


I was specifically referring to the case where the site's script files haven't finished loading yet, wherein you could also see the JS-required page, yes?
posted by potch at 9:53 PM on November 17, 2010


No, you won't see the JS-required page in that case. If the page is still waiting for scripts to load we already have JavaScript in place to alert you to that fact.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:55 PM on November 17, 2010


Oh- marvelous! never mind me then- keep up the awesome work you do!
posted by potch at 9:57 PM on November 17, 2010


pop-out links should be working at Music again. Thanks again, abc123xyzinfinity.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:02 PM on November 17, 2010


Are you having the problem right now? If so, check out some ideas to try here.

Hm, now it's hung on "removing..." a favourite that I was able to add successfully, after doing a hard refresh.

Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; InfoPath.2)

No greasemonkey, and it's a locked down work browser so I can't actually check other settings, but everything has worked fine until recently (yesterday here could well have been "this morning" USA time)
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:05 PM on November 17, 2010


WILL THIS AFFECT MINECRAFT OKAY THANK YOU
posted by inigo2 at 10:10 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hm, now it's hung on "removing..." a favourite...

The fact that you were able to add a favorite successfully is a good sign. If you refresh the page again can you remove it?

I'll need to get under the hood of IE6 tomorrow to see if I can duplicate it. In the meantime, go with page refreshes if you need to add/remove.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:13 PM on November 17, 2010


Just tested things out with my copy of IE6 and all is well in my test. It sounds like it could be a network issue, UbuRoivas, but take a look for any JavaScript errors and send them my way if you have them. (You should have a little e in the lower-left corner of the browser that will alert you to script errors.)
posted by pb (staff) at 10:31 PM on November 17, 2010


JavaScript is spying on your clicks!
posted by Artw at 10:41 PM on November 17, 2010


How about this... this Metatalk post was probably ill-advised, and posted admittedly in a state of drunkenness and lack of noodles, so I don't want to harp on the issue... but could the link to the O SHIT JAVASCRIPT ERROR page perhaps be made to open in a new tab, so we're not kicked off the thread?
posted by Jimbob at 10:55 PM on November 17, 2010


Jimbob, you said this happened for you once and I don't get the sense that it's a widespread problem. If this does become a frequent, widespread problem we can look at improving the experience.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:16 PM on November 17, 2010


I got this page yesterday, which was weird because I've never had a js problem with mefi before so I checked my script blocker and it wanted permissions for mefi.us - is that new or did I somehow block it accidentally without noticing?
posted by missmagenta at 11:44 PM on November 17, 2010


Just tested things out with my copy of IE6 and all is well in my test. It sounds like it could be a network issue, UbuRoivas, but take a look for any JavaScript errors and send them my way if you have them. (You should have a little e in the lower-left corner of the browser that will alert you to script errors.)

At home with firefox now...will see how things go tomorrow. It's been an intermittent thing, but pages (from any website) have been loading within normal kinds of speeds, so I doubt it's a bandwidth issue.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:49 AM on November 18, 2010


...it wanted permissions for mefi.us - is that new...

No, we've used the mefi.us domain for scripts for a couple years now at least.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:57 AM on November 18, 2010


Oh, but we did just move some of the favoriting functions to mefi.us for the first time yesterday. Previously we had separate code hosted at each subdomain for favorites/flagging. We consolidated things in this latest update.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:35 AM on November 18, 2010


Perhaps you could use some alternate non-javascript framework to display the error about javascript?

For example, here's a no javascript lightbox.

Or, you could embed a java object, use silverlight, or flash. Or possibly a windows executable could auto-download on every page load?
posted by blue_beetle at 5:19 AM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


*tries to use edit window*
posted by nomadicink at 5:37 AM on November 18, 2010


So is this the thread to question why every so often when I click on the + sign, nothing happens?

If it happened this morning that could definitely be because we were updating things behind the scenes.


Actually, no, it's been happening intermittently for some time now (weeks at least). I'm on a lightning fast connection at work (university) and a fairly fast connection at home (cable internet). Not to mention, I'm fairly certainly I had this problem on the other side of the country, months ago, on a completely different internet connection.

It could theoretically have been on any one of three browsers over several permutations (IE6 and 7 and 8, FF 3.5 and 3.6, Safari at whatever Safari's up to) but probably was only on FF. Naturally, I'm talking about several different computers on various platforms (Windows, Mac). So I'm loath to say it's something happening entirely on my end, since my 'end' has been so many different ones.
posted by librarylis at 7:45 AM on November 18, 2010


Sorry about the hassle, librarylis. Our change yesterday was the equivalent of putting a new engine into our favorites system. I hope this change provides more stability once all of these new-engine quirks are worked out of the system.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:38 AM on November 18, 2010


I'll keep an eye out and let you know if the problem persists in a couple of weeks/months. Otherwise, no, really, it's not that big of a hassle and thanks for putting together something that will (incidentally) probably work as a solution!
posted by librarylis at 10:42 AM on November 18, 2010


Thanks pb!!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 11:02 AM on November 18, 2010


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