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

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:03 pm UTC
by Madge
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?

Re: Topic Reply Notifications / PM Notifications not coming via email

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:17 am UTC
by plytho
I have the same issue.

Re: Topic Reply Notifications / PM Notifications not coming via email

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:12 pm UTC
by bessie
I am also having the same issue.

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

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:20 am UTC
by Madge
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?

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

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:48 am UTC
by ObsessoMom
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.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:50 pm UTC
by plytho
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?

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

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:46 pm UTC
by Peaceful Whale
I joined last month, and I haven't had the issue. Maybe if everyone quit, then made a new account? :P

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

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:56 am UTC
by Madge
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

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

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:55 am UTC
by Angua
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.

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

Posted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:29 pm UTC
by Madge
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 :)

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:44 am UTC
by Madge
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.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:46 am UTC
by Peaceful Whale
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?

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:48 am UTC
by Second Talon
Checking for replication of the problem.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:57 am UTC
by SecondTalon
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.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:55 am UTC
by gmalivuk
Peaceful Whale wrote:
Yep, sure am. All my notifications work fine.
You mean you receive email notifications at your gmail address or wherever?

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:46 am UTC
by Madge
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?

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:43 am UTC
by Peaceful Whale
I mean I get little lie numbers at my bell icon.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:52 am UTC
by gmalivuk
Yeah those work fine. This thread is about email.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:08 pm UTC
by Madge
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 :(

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:13 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
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.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:21 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
He claims to have set up an alert for when people misspell it with the capital.

But of course, no emails right now.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:55 pm UTC
by Peaceful Whale
Void I try emailing him?

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:07 pm UTC
by plytho
Peaceful Whale wrote:Void I try emailing him?

I don't think that's necessary, since SecondTalon already did that.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:02 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
(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.

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

Posted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:20 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
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.

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

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:36 am UTC
by Madge
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!

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:04 pm UTC
by plytho
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?

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:10 pm UTC
by SecondTalon
The status is unchanged.

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:28 pm UTC
by plytho
Thanks for the quick response.

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:10 pm UTC
by Peaceful Whale
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.

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:17 pm UTC
by flicky1991
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.

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:22 pm UTC
by Peaceful Whale
Hmm, sorry, notifications work still right?

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

Posted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:26 pm UTC
by flicky1991
Yes, it's only e-mails that aren't sending. The notifications at the top of the page work for everyone.

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

Posted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:06 pm UTC
by gmalivuk
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.