Quirk That Means Nothing To Anyone But Me


January 5, 2003, 12:55 PM
OK. To browse TFL, I used to keep a button in the 'links' bar of my Internet Explorer window that was a link to the results of a 'show all new posts' search. I could just hit the button and I'd get a list of all the new posts since my last visit. It worked great...for about a week or so, then I would get this:vBulletin Message
Invalid search specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the webmaster My 'show new posts' button seemed to expire after about a week.

If I 'remade' the button (nuked the existing button, did another 'show new posts' search and made a button out of the results page, it would work again for about a week. I never said anything, I just kept remaking the buttons as they expired.

Then, out of the blue, it stopped expiring. I had a button that worked for months and months, and kept working all the way to the end.

I've been using a button like this to browse THR for the last week or so, and then just today, it up and croaked and I got the 'invalid search' error.

It's not a big deal, but I'm curious: Any ideas why a link to the 'show new posts' page would expire in time? And what happened at TFL to change the behavior?

Does any of this make any sense? Where are my car keys?!

- Gabe

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Mal H
January 5, 2003, 02:49 PM
It makes perfect sense Gabe. Your keys are on the kitchen counter just where you left them, but they are hidden under an envelope. HTH

Seriously, I don't have the definitive answer for you, but I have some speculations that might answer your question.

First of all when you ask to View New Posts, you are simply creating a search which is structured like any other search except that it is disquised somewhat and the results page is in a different format. You'll notice that the URL has a 'searchid' just like any other search. That ID is stored on the server. The key is how long is it stored? Here is my speculation - the searchid's may be deleted whenever a certain admin action is taken. They might be cleared when performing a re-index of the DB, or when compacting the DB, or when the DB is backed up. Some of those actions happen on a fairly regular basis which would explain why your searchid disappeared on an equally regular basis.

January 5, 2003, 02:58 PM
Veeeery EEEnteresting! Just the kind of info I was looking for and a good hypothesis. So now all we need to do is identify which important administrative function is hosing my link and get you guys to cut it out!

:D ;)

- Gabe

PS: Thanks about the keys! I thought I was going to be stuck here all day.

January 5, 2003, 03:47 PM
GRD here is a trick to try that may work depending on which browser you have.

The results page is keyed to an ID as has been previously posted. However, the "View New Posts" link on the main forum page is a simple URL.

In Mozilla/Netscape you can right click a link and chose to save it as a bookmark. After doing that I click the bookmark and get the "your search is in progress window" followed immediately by new posts.

In Internet explorer you would right click and add to favorites.

In both cases it gives the link the default name "view new posts" so you will have to rename if you create for more than one forum.

This should solve your problem and not require you to recreate every time the admins do their thing.

January 5, 2003, 05:35 PM
Thanks, Garrett. I've replaced the button's URL with the raw 'view new posts' link and it (of course) works fine. I think you're right, this one should be bulletproof. Thanks for the tip!

- Gabe

January 5, 2003, 05:52 PM
Your quite welcome. And thanks to you for the idea. I had bookmarked the main page and would dutifully click that followed by the "view new posts link" every day.

I never thought of bookmarking the search link until you asked about it.:cool:

January 5, 2003, 06:06 PM
you need to have your button point to http://www.thehighroad.org/search.php?s=&action=getnew

I had this problem with TFL, and that's how I fixed it. I bookmarked the "please wait" page, not the results page.

January 5, 2003, 06:23 PM
voilsb that is exactly what I was describing in different terms. The 'view new posts' link points to the URL you listed. Right clicking and/or copy paste just saves all that typing.

Different routes to the same High Road;)

January 6, 2003, 03:37 AM
you posted after I'd loaded the page, and before I'd posted, so I didn't even see your post.

but yes, there "view new posts" link isn't the URL you get when it shows you the new posts, so you want to bookmark/button the link, not the results, if you want it to always work.

man ... maybe I *am* addicted to the High Road

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