Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

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Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:03 pm UTC

The past week or so I've not been getting topic reply notifications or PM notifications. At least one other person is experiencing this issue.

They're not in my spam folder.

What's up?
Last edited by Madge on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Topic Reply Notifications / PM Notifications not coming via email

Postby plytho » Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:17 am UTC

I have the same issue.
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Re: Topic Reply Notifications / PM Notifications not coming via email

Postby bessie » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:12 pm UTC

I am also having the same issue.

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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:20 am UTC

In light of new users not being able to receive emails that are needed to sign up for the forum, I tried to use the "email topic" link on the bottom left of a forum thread to see if it was a more general email failure. I sent it to an alternate email address and asked to receive a copy to the one I signed up to the forum with. No email was received (will edit this post if one shows up).

This issue has been going for about a month now. Do any admins/etc have any idea what's happening?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby ObsessoMom » Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:48 am UTC

Well, one of them hasn't replied to several PMs from me about something else, about a week ago, but I just assumed that they were ignoring me because I'm annoying. Which, to be fair, I am sometimes.

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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby plytho » Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:50 pm UTC

Maybe they're relying on emails to be notified about things, meaning they're not aware at all until they notice a lack of forum emails themselves?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Peaceful Whale » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:46 pm UTC

I joined last month, and I haven't had the issue. Maybe if everyone quit, then made a new account? :P
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:56 am UTC

New accounts don't seem to be working due to the email issue (can't get confirmation emails).

Peaceful whale, you are saying that you are receiving emails about topic reply notifications, PMs and other such things?

(still no forum emails in my spam box or otherwise - received my last one 20th of July)

Just looked at the user list: there's no new users since the 20th of July: memberlist.php?start=400650
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Angua » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:55 am UTC

This explains why I haven't been disapproving spam for a while. TBH I just thought maybe one of the other mods was being uber efficient.

I have reposted the issue in the mod forum. I don't know how to contact davean other than via the fora and obviously they won't get notified of the PM.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:29 pm UTC

I was part of a far, far smaller forum (like, 20 regular users small) for a number of years and at one point the admin went AWOL and one user ended up finding his phone number from whois or something and phoning him. It got his attention and we were able to fix whichever issue we had!

So... Here's an email address I lifted from xkcd's about page so it's at least a public-facing email and not his home phone number: davean@xkcd.com

I haven't emailed him because I figure it's probably better that one of the mods do so since, you know, you guys have authority; but hopefully that email address can help you get in touch with him.

It has been over a month that this problem has been occurring so it would be nice if it could be looked into. I know this is just a silly little web forum, but I have so much fun playing mafia and not getting forum emails really messes with my play style, which as "silly little web forums" go is pretty important to me!

Thanks in advance and sorry for the long post :)
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:44 am UTC

Has anyone tried emailing Davean with the email address I provided above? I'm considering emailing him myself but won't want to do that if it's already been tried.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Peaceful Whale » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:46 am UTC

Yep, sure am. All my notifications work fine. Could it be something in your notifications settings? Here's what mine look like.

I do use IOS, could that have any effect?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Second Talon » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:48 am UTC

Checking for replication of the problem.

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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:57 am UTC

I both emailed the topic to myself and subscribed before I replied with an alt. So far, no email.

Looks broke to me.

(The email function is platform independent - Forum don't care how you get here - Windows, Mac, iOS, wired tuba, potato - Forum only care what you've set it to do. In this case, I've set it to send me an email every time this thread gets a response. No email. In conclusion, forum's broke)



Poking around the admin panel, I basically see the problem aaaannnndddd - there's nothing I can do without greater access than Admin Rights of the forum. I would need server access.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:55 am UTC

Peaceful Whale wrote:
Yep, sure am. All my notifications work fine.
You mean you receive email notifications at your gmail address or wherever?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:46 am UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Poking around the admin panel, I basically see the problem aaaannnndddd - there's nothing I can do without greater access than Admin Rights of the forum. I would need server access.


So, has someone tried emailing Davean at davean@xkcd.com since he's the webmaster? Or is there some other super secret way to contact him?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Peaceful Whale » Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:43 am UTC

I mean I get little lie numbers at my bell icon.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:52 am UTC

Yeah those work fine. This thread is about email.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:08 pm UTC

Yeah, this is what happens when I search for emails from the fora in my gmail:

Image

As you can see, Peaceful Whale, no emails since the 20 July :(
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:13 pm UTC

Madge wrote:
SecondTalon wrote:Poking around the admin panel, I basically see the problem aaaannnndddd - there's nothing I can do without greater access than Admin Rights of the forum. I would need server access.


So, has someone tried emailing Davean at davean@xkcd.com since he's the webmaster? Or is there some other super secret way to contact him?

I have now sent him an email.

It's davean, by the way. d, not D.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:21 pm UTC

He claims to have set up an alert for when people misspell it with the capital.

But of course, no emails right now.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Peaceful Whale » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:55 pm UTC

Void I try emailing him?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby plytho » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:07 pm UTC

Peaceful Whale wrote:Void I try emailing him?

I don't think that's necessary, since SecondTalon already did that.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:02 pm UTC

(Hour spill-chucker us hot do goof!)

If such an @xkcd.com address is routed via the same failing system, there may be no joy. I don't know if it would affect Randall's own @xkcd.com portal addresses (depends on how/where it's all set up), but one presumes at least a possible shared layer of administratium from those 'hanging off' the domain and those for which an associated MX (however physically and logically separated mail and web services) is filed.

Anyway, there's also the possibility that it stems from a wetware failure, at davean's end, and thus the opportunity to correct a failure or resubscribe to a necessary service was lost. (With all that implies. It'd not be the first time that has happened.)

I've been assuming all along that TPTB have been able to (once they understood the problem) escalate it. Presumably Randall knows at least how to get the keys to all the little periphal toyboxes associated with his IP (however openly licensed), probably knows the snail-mail addresses (if not cell phone numbers). But I wouldn't presume to pester Randall myself.

As a boringly unelevated end-user, I'm just gonna suggest to all my fellow boringly unelevated end-users that the people with the coloured names are probably working their way up through their own levels of deferential enquiring of those they consider more likely. It looks like it took some time to be identified, but that's not surprising. Such a distributed hierarchy of voluntary adminstrators as we see before us are likely not universally up-to-speed with the in-depth details. I don't know who does what, exactly, behind the scenes but some are there as "social herders" rather than technical experts. SecondTalon certainly just outed themselves as being a techy, knowledgeable enough to prod at the innards, though encountering an access-requirement that is (so far) above their (conceptual) pay-grade. That's good enough for me!

To the Colourful Names, I shall just voice my encouragement that it seems that you collectively now have a handle on the problem. And I would presume that there's more behind-the-scenes chatter back in your secret hidden Mod Cave, assuming you even need to chatter about it. ST seems to have taken point but might just be the Alfred in this case, not the Bruce Wayne. Or maybe isn't the Alfred, but (as Bruce) can still publicly attend the society function while the robbery is being foiled by the replacement costumed figure who is Alfred, and thus stretch the analogy much further than Burt Ward's hotpants were ever allowed to.

I had a point. There was one, up there somewhere.

Basically, right now I expect that in the background, Commissioner Gordon has gotten through to the Batcave (or Aunt Harriet has had to be distracted, momentarily, so that everyone else can get to the Batpoles) and/or the strains of the Captain Planet theme tune are dying out, over by the pool of recently dumped toxic sludge. Heart? Well, if you're going to make up your own fifth element, it might as well be Heart. Or Milla Jovovich. And the Centurians only had Land, Sea and Air(/Space). And a dog. And yet they had teleporter technology! Imagine their actual capabilities, given teleporter technology. Where was I..?

Apparently, I've been ninjaed. Possibly by turtles, or maybe it was Samurai Pizza Cats.

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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:20 pm UTC

Yeah, the job on my profile isn't a joke. My occupation deals with primarily Windows servers, workstations, and network devices like printers and access points and all that.

I don't deal much with Linux or Unix administration and I don't do shit with any sort of programming language or web development beyond some basic configuration stuff. Real basic.

Point being that the forum is currently set to send mail through itself. Which means either the server it's on has a mail service that is in a fail state OR the mail configuration got blanked and I'm looking at default settings. See above: I don't know shit about php and php forums doubly so.

In either case, I don't have access to the server to restart the service nor do I know if the current mail settings are even correct.

From what I'm seeing, it appears I could put in any active SMTP settings and it would work. In actuality I don't know enough about what it does on the backend to pull the trigger on that, even if I had some settings I was comfortable routing shit through.

Because ultimately I don't pay for this nor am I contracted and paid to maintain it. That I've given myself the computer permissions to look at the settings and change them does not mean I actually have the social permissions to change shit.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:36 am UTC

Thanks for your explanations and hard work!

I am glad it has now been identified, replicated, seems to have a cause at least vaguely known, and hopefully will be fixed one of these days!
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby plytho » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:04 pm UTC

What is the status on this?

Perhaps it could be useful to make a sticky post to inform people about the issue? That way new people trying to join know why they're unsuccessful and other people know not to change passwords?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:10 pm UTC

The status is unchanged.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby plytho » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:28 pm UTC

Thanks for the quick response.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Peaceful Whale » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:10 pm UTC

So I still get notifications and mail, and the mindy account does too. (I don't know why or how I know this) are other mindy's getting notifications or just me? Mindy should subscribe to a few things to check it out.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:17 pm UTC

Peaceful Whale wrote:So I still get notifications and mail, and the mindy account does too. (I don't know why or how I know this) are other mindy's getting notifications or just me? Mindy should subscribe to a few things to check it out.
We are talking about e-mails. Only the person who owns mindy's email address could know that, and she's not been online a lot recently.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Peaceful Whale » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:22 pm UTC

Hmm, sorry, notifications work still right?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby flicky1991 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:26 pm UTC

Yes, it's only e-mails that aren't sending. The notifications at the top of the page work for everyone.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:06 pm UTC

Peaceful Whale wrote:Hmm, sorry, notifications work still right?
A week and a half ago, gmalivuk wrote:Yeah those work fine. This thread is about email.


Yes, notifications work and we all know notifications work. Email doesn't work and that's why this thread is and always has been about email, not forum notifications.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:23 pm UTC

Are there any updates on this?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:40 pm UTC

Someone will update the thread when there is an update.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:01 am UTC

I understand you're a volunteer and you've got a lot on your plate and you can't fix this problem yourself, but it's been three months and I (and no doubt other users) would really appreciate being kept in the loop about the status. This is a major bug in the forum since it prevents password changes and new user sign ups.

In particular, I'd really love to know if the webmaster is aware of the problem? Is there any sort of timeframe at all on when it might be fixed?
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:36 am UTC

davean was notified via the only contact method I have for him that does not involve the forum on or around August 30th. I don't recall the exact date and while I could look it up for precision I don't see the point.

I have attempted to contact him through other avenues but have been unsuccessful.

Other than my ability to look at the backend of the php forum, you have as much information as I do.
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby Madge » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:53 pm UTC

Man that sucks :(

Could someone, I don't know, tweet at Randall Munroe or something to get attention?

I mean, is there a protocol for what the heck you do if a problem's been ongoing for 3 months and you can't contact the sysadmin? (or are you guys all discussing this and the appropriate contingencies in the modcave and I'm just being an annoying distraction?)

(RE other avenues, in case you didn't find it, I think I found davean's reddit account, but it's only sporadically active so not a sure thing by any means.)
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Re: Emails from the fora not being received [previous title: topic reply & pm notifications not working]

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:17 pm UTC

In order...

Don't think that would work, no, yes to the first part and not really to the second, don't think that'll work but I did it anyway.
heuristically_alone wrote:I want to write a DnD campaign and play it by myself and DM it myself.
heuristically_alone wrote:I have been informed that this is called writing a book.


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