Internet, Technology

Site problems redux

January 24th, 2007 by Jeff | Dump Core

I was beginning to wonder why there weren’t very many comments lately. Not that I tend to post all that frequently, and I’ll readily admit my recent posts may very well have had little meat to them worth commenting on, but I thought at least the Geeklet Lullaby would have drawn some attention from some GPF forum regulars. Now I think I know why you guys have been so quiet.

I went to post an amendment comment to the recent site problems post to state why I think things were happening a certain way when I noticed that TypeKey was not remembering my login. Naturally, I clicked the link to sign in. I was directed to the TypeKey site, put in my login credentials, told it to remember me for two weeks, and clicked the button. I was redirected back to the blog… where it told me I wasn’t logged in and it politely asked me to sign in again. Some deep, dense Neanderthal-laden DNA entrenched somewhere in my genetic code responded with, “Duh… I’ll try it again.” (Okay, maybe it’s not so much of a dunderhead response; I’ve worked with computers long enough to know that some things are unpredictable–even when they’re coded not to be–and you ought to try it at least a couple times first to make sure the problem is reproducible.) So I clicked the link again. TypeKey dutifully remembered I was logged in and didn’t prompt me for my credentials this time. Instead, I was sent directly back to the blog… where I was told I wasn’t logged in.

I’m hoping that some of you by now are saying this sounds familiar. (If not, then I’ll start feeling very lonely.) Here’s what I think has happened, which in part will include the aforementioned amendment. I’ll assume you’ve already read the previous recent site problems post. (If not, you know where to find it.)

As previously mentioned, my dynamic DNS service is currently set up to forward the domain “www.jeffdarlington.com” to my Linux box on the port 8081 since my ISP has blocked access to port 80. Well, I found out how they make this work. If you try to view the HTML source of the main blog page, you’ll discover that it consists of a frameset with only one frame, whose source attribute points to the raw “IP:port” address. This frameset HTML is served by the dynamic DNS. What you see appears to be the main page of the blog filling the entire browser window; what you get is a page from the dynamic DNS holding a frame that points to the blog page. Inside that frame, the browser thinks everything is referenced by the “IP:port” address, not “www.jeffdarlington.com”. TypeKey is set to respond to the domain name, however, so it doesn’t recognize the raw address. Thus, when you get back to the blog after signing in, TypeKey says your authenticated to post at “www.jeffdarlington.com” but not at “IP:port”, so it continues to insist that you must sign in.

I’m not sure if there’s a workaround for this issue. I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t promise anything. I could see if TypeKey will allow authentication on the IP, but if the ISP changes my IP we’ll be back to square one. I think for the time being that we’ll just have to put up with having no comments until a more permanent solution can be found. That permanent solution may require me to buy Web space somewhere, but I like the flexibility of hosting this site myself. I might be able to convince Keenspot to host the blog, but then I’ll need to include ads to offset their bandwidth. (I’d also have to come up with a way for Keen’s automated ad rotations to work with Movable Type’s static pages.)

The good news, at least, is that it appears that the various RSS and Atom feeds seem to work correctly, at least when I access them directly from Firefox. This should mean that those of you watching this via the feeds should still be getting posts. However, if you need to comment, though, I’m afraid you’ll be stuck with the GPF forum or regular ol’ e-mail for now.

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