Last modified: 2005-05-14 06:12:06 UTC

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Bug 26 - anons receive bogus "new messages" indicators for different anons
anons receive bogus "new messages" indicators for different anons
Status: RESOLVED FIXED
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
General/Unknown (Other open bugs)
unspecified
All All
: High normal (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
:
: 334 842 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks:
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2004-08-14 06:10 UTC by Timwi
Modified: 2005-05-14 06:12 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Attachments

Description Timwi 2004-08-14 06:10:38 UTC
BUG MIGRATED FROM SOURCEFORGE
    http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?func=detail&aid=1007164&group_id=34373&atid=411192
    Originally submitted by Finlay McWalter (wfmcwalter)  2004-08-11 12:44


    There have been several reports on en.wikipedia of anon
users complaining they've received the "you have new
messages" indicator (even though their talk page is
non-existent).  When they click the link in the
indicator they're sent to the talk page of some
entirely different anon.

For example, [[User 132.205.47.183]] is being
repeatedly sent to [[User talk:195.93.34.7]]

This may be happening quite a lot (I suspect lots of
anons ignore it due to confusion, or just leave in the
huff).

Contacts:
* User:RickK
* User:Ilyanep

    ------------------------- Additional comments ------------------------
    Date: 2004-08-14 08:09
Sender: SF user timwi

This bug has been migrated to MediaZilla:
    http://bugzilla.wikipedia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=25
    Please leave additional comments or attachments there.
Comment 1 SJ 2004-08-18 21:55:06 UTC
This can be a terrible annoyance.  I edited for a little bit as an anon the
other day while on a machine using AOL, and continually got "you have new
messages" alerts, which inevitably were of the form "please stop vandalizing WP"
or "Thanks for your test.  It worked and has been removed.  Please read the
editing guidelines..."  It felt as though the entire system were broken, and
made it uncomfortable to edit.

Upgrading severity to critical; affects a significant portion of users in a very
visible and frustrating way (cf. the many anon talk pages recently full of "I'm
not vandalizing!"  "This isn't my IP!"  "What edits are you talking about?").
Comment 2 Timwi 2004-08-19 09:26:09 UTC
This is not a "critical" bug because it does not impair the use of the MediaWiki
system for anyone.  Allow me instead to set the priority to "high".
Comment 3 Jack Porter 2004-08-23 11:39:32 UTC
I've been noticing this regularly for the last month or so.  In that time, the IP I post with is 
always recorded correctly by Wikipedia.  But I regularly get new message notifications for random 
IP addresses.  In those threads there are invariably a lot of confused anon users shocked they've 
been accused of vandalism they did not do.

This is not a proxy server issue - as I said the IP address detected by Wikipedia is correct and 
never changes.  In some of the threads, users post that they're in internet cafes in Europe, or 
they're AOL users in America.  I'm a DSL user in Seoul, Korea.  I find it highly unlikey we'd be 
sharing common proxy servers to access Wikipedia.

I agree this is a critical problem because some of the accusations that a new user might receive 
would be enough to scare them away from Wikipedia completely.
Comment 4 Brion Vibber 2004-08-23 17:50:49 UTC
If they're unrelated IP addresses, the most likely problem is that pages with new message notifications are being cached by the squids at our 
end, and then get served out to other users. That's not supposed to happen, though...
Comment 5 Jack Porter 2004-08-24 07:03:30 UTC
(In reply to comment #4)
> If they're unrelated IP addresses, the most likely problem is that pages with new message 
notifications are being cached by the squids at our 
> end, and then get served out to other users. That's not supposed to happen, though...

I just got a New Message notification for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:198.81.26.73 . When 
I went to that talk page, the only message in that user talk page was a "{{test}}" created 22 Jul 
2004 (UTC).  That's over a month ago, so it seems unlikley that Squid would have a page cached from 
that long ago.
Comment 6 JeLuF 2004-08-24 07:10:05 UTC
Jack, which page was having the new talk notification? There is a possibility to
have pages in cache for one month, I'd like to check the store logs.
Comment 7 Brion Vibber 2004-08-24 07:10:54 UTC
(In reply to comment #5)
> I just got a New Message notification for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:198.81.26.73 . When 
> I went to that talk page, the only message in that user talk page was a "{{test}}" created 22 Jul 
> 2004 (UTC).  That's over a month ago, so it seems unlikley that Squid would have a page cached from 
> that long ago.

That's an AOL web proxy, with plenty of hits logged in just the last few hours. It doesn't matter how long ago 
the talk page was edited; if the flag was never cleared it will continue to show up in hits by that IP.

Do you see the notification only on certain pages, or does it appear consistently?
Comment 8 Jack Porter 2004-08-24 08:19:26 UTC
(In reply to comment #7)
> That's an AOL web proxy, with plenty of hits logged in just the last few hours. It doesn't matter 
how long ago 
> the talk page was edited; if the flag was never cleared it will continue to show up in hits by that 
IP.
> Do you see the notification only on certain pages, or does it appear consistently?

Sometimes I see it on the Main Page but more often than not it appears randomly when I'm surfing 
between articles.  I believe that if I ignore it, the next article I surf to will also display the 
New Messages notification.  I'll check next time and post back here.
Comment 9 Jack Porter 2004-08-24 08:23:37 UTC
(In reply to comment #6)
> Jack, which page was having the new talk notification? There is a possibility to
> have pages in cache for one month, I'd like to check the store logs.

I believe I saw it on either the article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astroturfing or 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grassroots_democracy .  Sorry, not 100% sure.  I'll pay more attention 
next time and post exactly where I see it. 
Comment 10 Jack Porter 2004-08-25 12:01:05 UTC
OK, I have some more information.  Just now I was clicking "Random Page" and came upon 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X_%28movie%29 which had a link to the 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:195.93.33.9 user talk page.  I browsed to another page 
(clicking) "Denzel Washington" and the new message notification disappeared.  Returning to 
Malcolm X (movie) via a search and the notification was there again, and the same after a 
Refresh and shift-Refresh.

I loaded the same page in IE on a different computer connected to my same local NAT router, and 
the notification also appeared.  Although I guess it's possible that this is caused by the page 
being cached at /my/ ISP.

I then tried with Mozilla on both machines (I use IE by default) and the notification was not 
there.  Hope this helps.
Comment 11 xmlizer 2004-08-26 21:27:42 UTC
It appear to happen in search engine archives like in the french part of google
http://www.google.fr/search?q=cache:8N4LeppMuCcJ:fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accueil+wikipedia&hl=fr
and google got contributions
http://fr.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Contributions&target=206.162.138.4
Comment 12 Jack Porter 2004-08-27 06:47:50 UTC
Right, to see this problem try searching google for:
site:en.wikipedia.org "you have new messages"  http://www.google.com/search?q=site:en.wikipedia.org+%
22you+have+new+messages%22

Then view Google's cache of some of the pages.  The user pages the new message notification links to 
contain requests not to vandalize, etc.  That googlebot's vandalizing Wikipedia again :-)
Comment 13 Jack Porter 2004-09-02 05:01:27 UTC
Hi,

Just now I got the New Message alert for 64.12.117.10 (not my IP) on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page !  

Surely this bug is serious enough to warrant some more attention?

A quick google search for '"You have new messages" site:en.wikipedia.org' and then viewing the cached pages 
will show you that anons regularly see New Message alerts for a whole bunch of incorrect IPs.
Comment 14 JeLuF 2004-09-02 06:25:54 UTC
Applied some fix for this. The number of "new messages" headers sent to anons
should now start reducing. As long as there are still cached pages having this
header, it will not become zero.
I'll probably purge the caches during low-traffic times at the weekend.
Comment 15 Jack Porter 2004-09-06 04:15:01 UTC
(In reply to comment #14)
> Applied some fix for this. The number of "new messages" headers sent to anons
> should now start reducing. As long as there are still cached pages having this
> header, it will not become zero.
> I'll probably purge the caches during low-traffic times at the weekend.

Hi, I'm not sure the fix is working: just now I got another New Messages notification for User_talk:64.12.117.10 
on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page .  That User Talk page was updated yesterday (or today depending on 
your time zone) so it seems pages with the header are still being cached.
Comment 16 Brion Vibber 2004-11-08 18:01:03 UTC
*** Bug 842 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 17 Jack Porter 2004-11-11 07:26:42 UTC
This bug appears to have returned.  Seen it several times in the last few days, including on Main_Page.
Comment 18 Brion Vibber 2004-11-12 09:52:51 UTC
I think I've got this cleared up; JeLuF's earlier fix was being blocked because
the cache headers were already sent by the time this code is executed. I've now
got it buffering output, and sending the cache headers after the skin code runs
so it has a chance to declare the page uncacheable.

There may still be broken pages in the squid caches, so run a purge and test if
possible if you find any more in the short term.
Comment 19 Antoine "hashar" Musso (WMF) 2004-11-12 14:19:37 UTC
*** Bug 334 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

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