Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #387: I am having problems loading puzzles
By Amanda Raisor (babiesmama08)

#1: Amanda Raisor (babiesmama08) on May 18, 2013

For the last few days everytime I have tried to log into my account and do some puzzles they will not load. They will open up and say drawing puzzle, but then they will not load. I can do them if I do random puzzles without logging in but as soon as I login they don't work!
#2: Norma Dee (norm0908) on May 18, 2013
You may have to use a different browser.
#3: Jan Wolter (jan) on May 22, 2013
Oh, Oh.

Recently I started getting complaints that puzzles weren't loading for IE-10 users. The bug turned out to be in a compatibility library that is supposed to make all browsers work alike when fetching data (like puzzles) from the server. This is one of the few chunks of code used by webpbn that I didn't write myself.

The version of the code that wasn't working for IE-10 was three years old, so I got myself the newest version, and found that it did, in fact, work correctly with IE-10. Hurray!

But after I installed that I found out all IE-9 users were unable to load puzzles. I emailed the author, who is Dutch, but it seems he was off on vacation in South Africa and wouldn't be able to do a fix right away, so I spent some time and created my own version which worked for both IE-9 and IE-10, which is what we are currently using.

Now it sounds like you are having the same problem, and from my log files it looks like you are running IE-7. I haven't been able to test on IE-7 because I don't have any computers that still run IE-7 (it is virtually impossible to run two different versions of IE on the same computer, so maintaining test versions of all old IE versions is difficult).

Newer versions of IE have a "compatibility mode" which is supposed to make them work just like older, buggier versions of IE. I'll have to try to see if I can reproduce your bug with that. If I can, I'll take a stab at fixing it. But the "compatibility modes" don't always reproduce all the old bugs of old IE exactly, so I'm not sure if this will work.

I'll try. I'd like to support all reasonable older browsers, but it's difficult to do.
#4: Jan Wolter (jan) on May 22, 2013
Huh. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree.

Your browser identifies itself as:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0; Trident/4.0; GTB7.4; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; .NET CLR 3.5.30729)

In the last few days, I see quite a few other people with IE-7 who are saving completed puzzles, which strongly suggests that they were able to load the puzzle. This one, for example seems pretty similar, if anything older:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; CMDTDF; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E; IPH

So things seem to be working for some IE-7 browsers, but not all. Very strange.
#5: Jan Wolter (jan) on May 22, 2013
I tried it in compatibility mode, and it worked fine for me, which means I have no way to debug this myself.

If you could hit the following two URLs with your browser, it would help me narrow things down:



Each page will pop up a little box with some boring junk in it. The last line of the box will say either:

XML Response: NULL


XML Response: not NULL

I'm curious as to which of these your browser reports.
#6: Amanda Raisor (babiesmama08) on May 23, 2013
They both say not NULL
#7: Amanda Raisor (babiesmama08) on May 23, 2013
My mozilla has not worked for a while so I dont use it.
#8: Jan Wolter (jan) on May 24, 2013
Thanks for the test results. That means that the particular thing I thought might be broken isn't broken.

Which is actually bad news for you, because it means that I have no idea what is causing your problem. I've had no other reports from people with the same problem, I can't make the problem happen on any of my computers, and from the log files it appears that other people with similar browsers/computers to yours are still able to load things.

I thought it might be because the XMLHttpRequest library was not working for your computer, because that is the only part of webpbn that has anything to do with puzzle loading that has changed recently. And I guess that that is still the most likely culprit. The test I asked you to run is not a comprehensive test of the library, it just tests a specific aspect that was giving other users problems.

(1) I try to figure out the bug based on your reports of what is happening. This is difficult for both of us and not too likely to succeed. For starters I'd need to know in detail what does happen when you try to load a puzzle, and especially I'd need to know any Javascript error messages that appear. If I recall correctly (and I'm not sure I do) IE7 didn't display javascript error messages by default. You had to turn on an option to make it do that. A web search suggests that the option might be "Internet Options > Advanced > uncheck Disable Script Debugging (Internet Explorer)". Once that is unchecked it is supposed to pop up a box when a Javascript error occurs, and that box is supposed to contain some information that might help me figure this out. Or it might not. One of the many bad things about IE 7 was the uselessness of it's error messages.

(2) Get another browser. You might try uninstalling your current broken Mozilla, and install a current firefox release instead. You might try Chrome. I admit that I don't really know how well these work on old operating systems, but there are tons of free browsers available, and at least one of them might work. Opera and Maxthon are also alternatives likely to work.

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