February 2, 2007

Me and my feed.

I got some personal attention from a member of "the Blogger team at Google."
Hi Ann,

We just noticed that your feed, http://althouse.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default - is giving 502 errors - we're looking into why and should have it fixed asap.

Thanks for your patience...

That was 20 hours ago. What does it say about Blogger that when they're actually paying attention to your problem and trying to fix it "asap," it's still not fixed after 20 hours?

UPDATE: I've gotten this response:
[T]he bug was identified yesterday and a fix is being coded as I type this. It's non-trivial, and has to do with the new way feeds are generated in the new version of Blogger. We apologize deeply for this - please understand that Blogger was completely re-built from the ground up, and we're ironing out all the bugs in the new version as fast as we can. Blogs with lots of posts and comments were delayed from migrating precisely to avoid these types of things, and we definitely fixed a bunch of issues in that meantime, but unfortunately we missed this one. Bugs are a reality of software development, and once found they're always fixed ASAP.

Fingers crossed, this fix will be rolled out today or tomorrow at the latest. For the time being, please let your readers know that we're incredibly sorry about this, and that they should visit your blog in their browsers (not their newsreaders) for the next day or two until this is fixed.

Again, you have our deepest apologies for this - thanks for your continued patience.
For now, I'm going to stick with Blogger. It's not blind trust, but I've put a lot of trust in them over the years, and this is a hump that they need to get over, and I want them to succeed. I'm also too busy to do the work of changing (and I'm naturally skeptical of change).

UPDATE: The feed was restored at around 3 pm today.


Dust Bunny Queen said...

What it says is that they are paying attention to YOUR problem. Most likely because you have advertised all over the internet how lame they are. When you have a big voice you get results. Just think what the rest of us little peons are going through trying to get big bad Google to respond. Aaaaargh.

By the way.....keep it up. At least they are paying SOME attention to somebody. Thanks

Anonymous said...

It means that diagnosing, fixing, testing, and installing a technical fix to a problem in a huge datacenter is not nearly as easy as determining how your gut feels about the legal issues in say Bush V. Gore, or warrantless wiretapping or figuring out what channel the reality show is on.

It means on a scale of 1 to a million, not having your feed available ranks about a 19.

It means that the world does not revolve around Ann.

Maxine Weiss said...

Can somebody give us tech-illiterates a definition of "feed" ??????

Let's see if a simpleton like me can figure this out:

Problem: The glitches only happen in the morning.

Solution: Don't do your posts until the afternoon and evening.

Am I brilliant, or what?

---My new career as a tech-engineer!

Peace, Maxine

StephenB said...

The solution to your problem:


kettle said...

"It means that diagnosing, fixing, testing, and installing a technical fix to a problem in a huge datacenter is not nearly as easy as determining how your gut feels about the legal issues in say Bush V. Gore, or warrantless wiretapping or figuring out what channel the reality show is on."

Totally ridiculous, and unwarranted.

It probably has/had much more to do with the unforseen ramifications screwing around with the status quo and adding new features like 'labels'. This particular site should not behave any differently, in theory, from any other site on blogger. The load may be heavier but there is absolutely nothing unique about this particular blog from the point of view of the server side code that runs the entire blogger network.

You have every right to be annoyed at them, and you do everyone else on the network a service by complaining.

(I also am stoked about your decision to return to captcha comment verification!)

seiklaz said...

Just let me know when you want to change to new blogging software. I got fed up with blogger and started a new site http://steeplemedia.com with a few others to avoid the mess.

I am willing to help you create a site of your own and all for the cost of free. webmaster@steeplemedia.com

Simon said...

I wouldn't put it quite as harshly as he does, but I basically agree with Reality Check's first paragraph - I work in the field, and not every problem has an immediate, easy and self-contained solution. I understand the frustration, but I think you should cut them a little slack.

AJ Lynch said...

Simon and Reality Check agree! A true milestone accomplished only with the help of the brainiacs at Google. So quit your bellyaching Ann. :)

Gerald Hibbs said...

Last night I bought a my name for a domain and am moving to WordPress. I've used Wordpress before and was very pleased with the features.

Frankly, Ann, you are a big enough name that it would be worth it to you to just get your own domain. You can get going for less than $100 a year. Heck, I paid $40. And you know Glenn will make sure everyone knows that you are at AnnAlthouse.com immediately so I don't even know how much traffic you would lose.

The downside is then everyone has to change their blogroll and that never happens quickly. Which is why I finally decided to do it now before I have to notify my mother to switch urls.

She says she is gonna add me to her blogroll, but she could be jiving too.

Gerry said...

Similar to a few above, I echo that the timeframe here is not surprising. Finding a problem, developing a solution, testing the solution to ensure it does not break something else, and implementing the solution (which may involve code changes, database updates, server configuration changes, migrations, and any number of other efforts) can easily take that long. It all depends on what the root cause is, and how easy the fix is.

That said, I am appalled at their entire bug reporting system. It is a mess! It is certain to lead to frustration on the part of the end users, have issues get missed, and cause more work for Google in the long term.

Take the fact that this guy is aware of your problem. Why did this not go onto the "Blogger Status" page, or the "Known Issues" page, or both? Either would have provided information to people. They want all reports of an issue to be made to the same "thread", but provide no way for people to find the right thread. They could link to such a thread from the status or issues page, if they would ever put the issue up.

They may have brilliant coders, but if they brought me in to run their IT department, there would be a major change in paradigm or there would be a major change in the people working for me.

Ann Althouse said...

Gerald and everyone else who keeps talking about money: It is absolutely an irrelevant consideration for me here. I am simply resisting the uncertainty and, more important, the trouble of changing.

Gerry said...

"[T]he bug was identified yesterday and a fix is being coded as I type this."

Please reply to your correspondent. Tell him that, if this is the case, that it is the opinion of someone in charge of an IT group that it is absolutely unacceptable that this was not added to the "Known Issues" page and the "Blogger Status" page. What, exactly, do they think those pages are for other than to tell people that there are problems that are being worked on?

vbspurs said...

(and I'm naturally skeptical of change).

My God, you ARE conservative.

I believe! I believe!


vbspurs said...

What, exactly, do they think those pages are for other than to tell people that there are problems that are being worked on?

BTW, Gerry, and everyone else.

Anyone else here having probs with the word verification?

Since Ann switched over, whenever I write the EXACT WV (I check and double-check), it gives me an error report.

The same is true with, on first signing in for the day, the login. Invariably, my password is not accepted.

I too like Blogger, and want Ann here to succeed.

But I want to know if it's just me, or a temporary glitch, or what? Blogger.com didn't respond yet to my email.


Gerald Hibbs said...

I only brought up money to point out that it was indeed a piddling concern.

I'm not pushing you towards it. It is a very personal decision that a blogress should make with her web designer.

For the people who know more: Is there a way to simulpost to Blogger and Wordpress/typepad? IF that was the case then perhaps it possible to open a new blog, encourage people to shift over, and see how it goes while taking little risk.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gerry said...

Yes, Victoria, I am having problems with it too.

It is sort of fun, though. A game! Will it go through this time or not? Joker....joker.... And a triple!!!!

Or is it the Devil this spin?

Let's press the publish your comment button and see! Wheeeee!

Anonymous said...

I, by no means, post as much as Ann, but I have had little problem with Blogger in the three years I've used it. And the problem I did have (of my own making--suffice it to say don't ever, EVER rename your blog if you want to have access to the old URL), was fixed by them with one e-mail.

Maybe I've just had good fortune when I've been surfing/writing.

Mike said...

The password/word-verification step fails for me more often than it works. Often, there is no word verification image present, just an error box.

P. Froward said...

New Blogger is dumb in a number of ways: Making you use your gmail account to log in, for example: If you've got two accounts, why should you have to log out of your email account to post a blog comment? What's the connection between the two, from where the user sits? There isn't one. It's convenient for the programmers to have one account for both, and (I suspect) more importantly, that kind of thing appeals to a programmer's sort of moral/aesthetic sense, to find common denominators and re-use them -- and it really is sound practice, if it's done in the service of a good design. But it's not an end in itself. You don't mount a steel spike on a park bench seat because it'll simplify manufacturing and let you re-use parts.

Another classic and depressingly common error in software design is the urge to junk everything and start over. All things considered, they've done a remarkably good job on this. Sure, I hate it, but they beat the odds by releasing something viable. Remember Netscape? Lotus? WordPerfect? (NT's a thumping great counterexample, if you're hot to find one).

"reality check" -- Relax, Beavis. The developers at Blogger, you see, their lives in large part do revolve around the feeds working. Particularly the guys responsible for making the feed feature work, if you can follow my logic here. People give them stuff called "money" in exchange for their making the code work.

Expecting users not to get pissed off when things break is, how you say... "retarded". Yes, that's the word.

Simon said...

AJ Lynch said...
"Simon and Reality Check agree! A true milestone accomplished "

Yikes! That's one of the signs of impending apocalypse isn't it?

vbspurs said...

Yikes! That's one of the signs of impending apocalypse isn't it?

Or a sign of impending erection.


Mike said...

P. Froward asked: "Remember Netscape? Lotus? WordPerfect?"

As Glenn says, "You can have my WordPerfect when you pry it from my cold, dead hands."

Peter Palladas said...

"Thanks for your patience..."

...That's the line so always fecks me off.

Google/Microsoft/Tesco/any one of my numerous banks has the gall to assume that I have patience with their bumbling ineptitude, when if they took the trouble to ask instead of assuming they would know I don't.

On the contrary I positively reek of impatience like it's some significant personal hygiene issue.

Which is why they don't ask and why I hate their gall and guts.

Peter Palladas said...

"Or a sign of impending erection.


...if you'd care to, would you confirm if you meant a female erection and, if so, precisely its physiological form?

I am, as ever, a keen learner in these matters:)

P. Froward said...


Good for him. He's one of the few survivors, though. 4.x and 5.x were great programs -- great character mode programs. Time marches on. IIRC, DOS WP was written entirely in x86 assembler. And it was stable as hell, too. Impressive.

P.S. I just logged into Blogger with an old Blogger account. It logged me out of GMail. Jesus Christ! WTF? What moron decided that was a good idea? To be fair, it's not the only interface that made me laugh out loud recently, but that hardly gets them off the hook.

hdhouse said...

google believes in google..right or wrong...google is.

better off without them. they have more disclaimers for performance and accuracy than a lawyer can write.

PatCA said...

I don't know if anyone else is having this problem, but it takes multiple attempts at the verification word to post a comment.

Simon said...

Victoria - I don't think Reality Check likes me like that.;)