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A Couple of Netfirms Migration Glitches - Fri, 2 Sep 2011

I had said earlier that my Netfirms site moves went fairly well. But a couple of other glitches have showed up since then that are important.

First, and I just discovered this yesterday, and it’s being worked on: If you go to the Behold download page and enter your name and email address and press the “Send Key” button, nothing will appear to happen for about 5 seconds. Then the webpage goes blank.

Ouch! That’s horrible. First, a confirmation page is supposed to appear, and second, it should happen quickly, in less than a second. It does send out the key, but I’ve had people click the button 3 or 4 times when no response was forthcoming. This is horrible, and I’m working on it and I’ve got the Netfirms people researching it as well. In the meantime I’ll have to be a little redfaced and put “Yes it is working” message below the “Send Key” button.

The second problem was more involved, and I finally resolved it, but not in the way I wanted.

When I send out the Behold newsletters, there are often a number of people who no longer are at the email address they registered with. When an email goes to a address that is not valid, the web server will bounce it back with a special message that tells you that the email didn’t go through and the reason why.

It is not good to keep sending emails to invalid addresses. If you do it over and over, the automated software on the server may decide to blacklist you. If that happens, then none of the emails to valid email addresses at that domain will get through. And all my personal email to there may get blocked as well. So I want to keep weeding out bad email addresses from my list when I encounter them.

What I do is put in the newsletter header a “return-path” line that tells the server to send bounces to my special email box: bounces-at-beholdgenealogy.com. This worked fine until migration. But after migration, I sent my August Newsletter and I didn’t get any bounces. It took a couple of weeks to isolate the reason. Since I’m using a 3rd party bulk mailing service for my newsletters, the newsletters were not being sent out by Netfirms. And Netfirms new servers block bounces coming from emails originating from other servers to prevent spam. I did point out this was a legitimate thing I was doing, but they would not allow an exception here.

So what I had to do was open up an email account with my bulk emailing service. Now the bounces will now go to: beholdbounces-at-luxsci.net and that should work just as well as before, albeit after a painful investigation and multi-attempts to figure out what was going on.

I’m just glad these things happened prior to the Version 1 release.

Meanwhile, I am finishing off all the documentation, which is the last thing left prior to Version 1. The above two items did take some time away from this work, as did my tearing of my achilles tendon playing squash two weeks ago. But with cast and crutches, I am again making progress on all fronts.

3 Comments           comments Leave a Comment

1. Brett (brett)
Australia flag
Joined: Mon, 12 Jan 2009
36 blog comments, 59 forum posts
Posted: Fri, 2 Sep 2011  Permalink

With the crutches, you can sit back in comfortable chair and use them to do the typing. Keep up the good work. The weather there must be making the change towards cooler temperatures, as ours in Australia has started warming up. I love the days you show -30C and we show + 30C.
Brett

2. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
Canada flag
Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
148 blog comments, 200 forum posts
Posted: Fri, 2 Sep 2011  Permalink

I’m lucky. Being in shorts and on crutches in +30 weather is much easier than being in a long underwear and a parka and boots in the snow and ice in -30 weather. p.s. As I write this, at the South Pole it is currently -66 degrees C., -88 with wind chill.

3. Louis Kessler (lkessler)
Canada flag
Joined: Sun, 9 Mar 2003
148 blog comments, 200 forum posts
Posted: Mon, 5 Sep 2011  Permalink

The confirmation page problem is now fixed. At the new Netfirms, cURL seems to work sometimes, and seems to not work other times. I replaced the cURL code with a hidden form that auto-executes using JavaScript to bring up the confirmation page. For those without Javascript, they’ll simply have to hit a “Continue” button to get there.

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