Let's document the problems on the Microchip forum

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Let's document the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby ric » Sat Aug 02, 2014 1:23 am

I have finally been contacted by the MCHIP forum admin.
I would like to give them some constructive feedback on the major problems on the forum right now. We need to make a definitive list of the problems that need fixing.
One is that there appear to be multiple different word filters operating in parallel.

The "swear word filter" replaces any combination of letters with ****. This operates at the forum level.
The "firewall" filter operates outside the forum, and blocks any packets containing specific words
There are also some common programming terms that seem to trigger one of the firewalls.

Please contribute more problems, and I'll try to summarise them here.


SWEAR WORD FILTER
ji, kitchen
Update: "ji" has been removed. 2-aug-14

FIREWALL (won't post in "Quick Reply", security error from "Full Editor")
  • ipod
  • cmd.exe
  • /*
  • */
  • char(
OTHER PROBLEMS
  • Cannot browse to this profile: http://www.microchip.com/forums/Profile/22395/
  • Cannot place emoticons in posts.
  • Cannot "embed" gif images which have been attached to posts.
  • "Related topics" feature when reading topics is just annoying. Turn it off

FORUM SPECIFIC PROBLEMS
  • "MPLABX" allows guest posting
  • "PIC24 topics" New posters require moderator approval, which can take several days.
  • Randomly requiring different numbers of spam report clicks to block a post depending on which forum the spam is in.
  • Not having a "Flag as spam" button in some forums.
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby jtemples » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:55 am

In the "Quick Reply", sometimes the "submit post" button doesn't do anything, nor does the "Preview" option. Opening a different browser and going to the same thread gives the same result, so it's not a browser issue. After some period of time, the problem goes away. It will happen on one specific thread while other threads continue working normally.

Getting randomly logged out while you're in the middle of doing something. Usually this results in inexplicable errors until you notice the "Log in" prompt at the top of the page.

Getting an error when trying to make multiple posts "too quickly."

Randomly requiring different numbers of spam report clicks to block a post depending on which forum the spam is in.

Not having a "Flag as spam" button in some forums.
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby jtemples » Sat Aug 02, 2014 2:58 am

If they're interested in making policy changes, I'm sure some of the regular members would be will to block spams, move posts to the appropriate sub-forum, add code tags, etc.
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby ric » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:02 am

jtemples wrote:In the "Quick Reply", sometimes the "submit post" button doesn't do anything, nor does the "Preview" option. Opening a different browser and going to the same thread gives the same result, so it's not a browser issue. After some period of time, the problem goes away. It will happen on one specific thread while other threads continue working normally.

I'm pretty sure that is the server firewall.
If you go to the full editor, and try to submit the same post, you get a:
You don't have permission to access "http://www.microchip.com/forums/post.aspx?" on this server.
message

Getting an error when trying to make multiple posts "too quickly."

and the "you have made too many posts in this forum today" message that really got my goat a few weeks ago!
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby ric » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:10 am

Although I do agree, the board sometimes gets into a state where lots of the javascript seems to stop working.
Swapping to a different browser often (but not always) fixes that problem.
Some users report that clearing cookies for the site can fix that.

When it is happening, the "home page" changes. Rather than displaying two buttons at the top ("Whats going on?", and "View forum list"), you get a third button as well.
(I can't recall right now what the button is)
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby ric » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:27 am

FWIW, I just stumbled on this six year old post where we had a rambling discussion about improving the board :)
http://www.microchip.com/forums/m319764.aspx
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby jtemples » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:01 am

I wonder if he ever found his engineer? And it seems weird to see Dario posting about leaving Italy "six years ago".
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby BobAGI » Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:01 am

In the original Forum Upgrade thread at MC I had identified a few of the problems, but it is gone now. :cry:
Anyway partly from memory:

1) Cannot have /* or */ in a post, submit & preview buttons will not do anything.
If one places a period between these it is Ok to use the buttons. Must be a client side script in action here.
But when I tested it just now in the quick response box of an existing thread it worked as follows:
- Entered the text line above, then tested the preview and submit functions. Nothing at all happened.
- Then modified the text by inserting a space between the characters (this has worked before), and now preview works.
- Hit Submit and was greeted with this pop-up message:
"Either the feature is is disabled or you do not have sufficient permissions."
Then I started a completely new thread in the PIC24 topics forum to continue the testing.


2) Some words embedded in a post will cause the post to just disappear
I added a new post to my thread with the line above as text. Submitted fine.
Then I edited it and added the word antipodean. The result was that I left the thread and was brought to some start page...
http://www.microchip.com/forums/#813008
After going to the PIC24 Topics forum and then opening my new thread I found that my newly entered comment was purged.
The problem words I know of yet are:
ipod (embedded in Antipodean it causes any reply to his posts to be purged immediately)
iphone (tested by using the word ciphone)

These used to trigger purging too, but seem to now be accepted:
apple: Will pineapple be accepted? - yes
ipad: Will skipaddling be accepted? - yes

I will submit this reply now, then have some breakfast. I did test the above...

CONTINUING:
3) Screenshots in PNG format not accepted
This is a stupid limitation! PNG is far more effective than JPG when dealing with screenshots, which i think is the main use for image uploads.
I made a test by making a screenshot of an EmBlocks window at 1500x1000 pixels. The PNG is 119 kb and the JPG is 441 kb.
So the size difference is 1:4.
And top top it off, PNG does not mangle the fine detail as JPG does since it is a lossless encoding.
I think that MC should be told to add PNG to the accepted file formats.
--
Bo B
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Re: Let's list the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby ric » Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:05 am

Turn off the !@#$%^&*!!!!! "Related topics" feature. :evil:
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Re: Let's document the problems on the Microchip forum

Postby jtemples » Mon Aug 04, 2014 2:59 am

And the big "Search for" box that appears at the top of the unread posts list.
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