The EVE Online Forums: a WTF on a WTF on a WTF on a WTF Sandwich



  • This is an excerpt of an email I sent to the web developer after he asked me to document a "few" of the bugs on the forums.  No pictures or code is necessary to realize how WTFy this is.  By the way, their forums are made entirely in-house and lack tons of the most basic features, not surprisingly.  But some of the bugs are incredibly hilarious, so I've excerpted the best ones from the email.

     

    AGH--the forum apparently totally broke when I posted it here, so will get it back in a second. 

     
     




  • 1.  When you edit a post, it decides what page of the thread to send
    you back to by dividing the number of the post you were editing by 30,
    the number of posts per page.  However, it rounds, which means that if
    you're editing post number 46 in a 50-post thread, you get sent to
    page 3, which doesn't exist.


    2.  The links on the side, to the chronicles and the like, are often
    broken.  The reason for this is because when on the
    myeve.eve-online.com section of the site, the images for the
    chronicles and often the links are MIRRORED from the main site (thus
    they go to myeve.eve-online.com, even when they're supposed to be on
    www.eve-online.com), which is absurd; why copy a whole section of the
    site to a different subdomain?  The only plus of this is it makes it
    easier for me to adblock them.

    It seems from a quick search that ALL images on the myeve subdomain
    are copied from the main page, which makes no sense and probably makes
    maintenance a lot harder.

    I got up to about number 24 when writing this and just realized that
    EVERY SUBDOMAIN HAS ALL THE IMAGES MIRRORED FOR IT!  Even
    bugs.eve-online.com and store.eve-online.com have their own mirrored
    images! 
    This is nuts!  Oh, and why do you use a seperate domain,
    www.eve.is, for the hosting of the backstory articles and chronicles?
    That doesn't seem to make sense either.  Keep it all on one site!

    3.  When you click a smilie and the smilie is inserted into a post,
    the cursor stays before the code, not after, so your smilies end up
    going backwards
    if you keep inserting more.

    4.  The curse filter applies to words-within-words, so Sniggerdly, etc
    get nerfed.

    5.  The server graph on the main page always shows zero at the 1 hour
    mark
    , but an hour later, the 2 hour mark shows the correct amount.

    9.  Under Patches, the drop-down menu is almost never up to date and
    shows "current" as one that isn't current.  What is quite funny is the
    "current client version" number right below the menu is different from
    the one in the menu itself.

    Additionally, the menu is not entirely sorted properly, the 25245
    number is out of place.

    11.  When logged out with "remember me" turned on and clicking on
    something that requires a login, such as posting a thread or going to
    My Character, one of the following things happens.  This is not
    predictable.


    a) You are logged in, but you go back to where you were before.  If
    you clicked reply to a thread, you don't end up replying.  That is,
    when the login page authenticates you, it redirects you to where you
    were, rather than where you wanted to go.

    b) You don't log in, but something like &sid=144797075 is added to
    your URL.  If you fail 4 times in a row, yes, your URL will look like:
    http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=509128&sid=144797075&sid=144797075&sid=144797075&sid=144797075&sid=144797075

    c) You end up on the Player News area, the front page of
    myeve.eve-online.com.  This only happens when logging into areas other
    than the forums, such as My Character.

    13.  Whenever you go to edit your signature, any line breaks put
    before the signature are automatically deleted.


    15.  If you click reply before a thread is locked, you can post after
    it is locked.
      So if you open 50 reply windows before a thread is
    locked, you could theoretically bump a locked thread over and over!
    Really silly, I think.

    17.  When you try view a thread that has been moved into a moderator
    area (i.e. a deleted thread), it says "you are trying to post to a
    locked thread".  But you aren't posting, and the thread isn't locked,
    its moved.

    21.  The way the size tags work is very nonstandard.  [size=6] has to
    be ended by [/size=6]
    , even though syntax would suggest [/size] should
    end it.

    31.  Dictionary section, "SOON ™" shows as "Undocumented".  I'm
    guessing someone didn't fill in the box...

    39.  Want to have some fun?  Go to
    http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=channel&channelID=1 or
    any other channel that doesn't exist.  It says "Post the first topic
    here".  Click "here".  Click new topic.  Bam, 500 - Internal Error.

    41.  The curse filter does not apply to forum topic names.

     

     

    Imagine what the code behind this site must be like.  Oh, and many of these bugs have been known and not fixed for over 4 years. 



  • Works pretty nicely.

    You can even see how far your skill is coming online.

    Haven't played in awhile though, I guess I don't have the patience for MMORPG's.



  • @Ice^^Heat said:

    Works pretty nicely.

    You can even see how far your skill is coming online.

    Haven't played in awhile though, I guess I don't have the patience for MMOacRPG's.

    I guess you posted before you saw my actual post.  Would have edited it in the top post but the edit timer ran out.

    My favorite bug is the "http://myeve.eve-online.com/ingameboard.asp?a=topic&threadID=509128&sid=144797075&sid=144797075&sid=144797075&sid=144797075&sid=144797075" one.

     Also, 21 is supposed to say that the tag [ size=6 ] has to be ended by [/size=6].  The BBcode interpreter here got it.



  • 2.  Mirroring images is not a WTF.  CNN actually has all their images mirrored by a company with thousands of servers so that they can distribute the load dynamically for the large content.  If the mirrors are down then that is just tough luck.  This is NOT a bug.

    4.  Curse filters are often overly protective.

    11.  I think it is predictable as you have described what happens in various cases. Also, You can't really say that changing the URL is a "bug".  It might be a WTF, or stupid, but if it doesn't break the user experience then it isn't a bug. 

    13.  Perhaps they don't want 10 line breaks before someone's signature.  I wouldn't mind if they removed ALL line breaks!

     



  • @tster said:

    2.  Mirroring images is not a WTF.  CNN actually has all their images mirrored by a company with thousands of servers so that they can distribute the load dynamically for the large content.  If the mirrors are down then that is just tough luck.  This is NOT a bug

    Not what I'm talking about.

     Each subdomain has only one place to get its images; there are no "mirrors" per say.

    Each subdomain has all the images copied to a duplicate directory, so that if they want to change a single part of the interface, they have to duplicate it to all parts of the site by hand.

     This means even the most obscure subdomains of the site, from the shop to the bug report tool to the support section, all have the entire menu interface copied to them.  But each section can only see its own images, so there is no extra reliability given by this, unlike Akamai/etc.


     



  • @Dark Shikari said:

    Each subdomain has only one place to get its images; there are no "mirrors" per say.

    Each subdomain has all the images copied to a duplicate directory, so that if they want to change a single part of the interface, they have to duplicate it to all parts of the site by hand.

    How do you know that the same image is actually fetched from physically distinct files for different subdomains?

    If, for the sake of the argument, image files indeed had to be physically copied to different places (or perhaps even different machines) for every one of the subdomains, how do you know this has to be done by hand after every change?

    (That said, most of your other points seem valid.)



  • @Dark Shikari said:

    15.  If you click reply before a thread is locked, you can post after
    it is locked.
      So if you open 50 reply windows before a thread is
    locked, you could theoretically bump a locked thread over and over!
    Really silly, I think.

    I'm betting that you can post to any locked thread by manually constructing a suitable http POST.



  • @Ice^^Heat said:

    I guess I don't have the patience for MMORPG's.

    I don't have the patience for any game in which (a) your progress in the game is basically determined by the amount of time you expend on the game, and (b) you are charged based on the amount of time you expend on the game. It's a recipe for disastrous decisions.



  • @Michael Buschbeck said:

    @Dark Shikari said:
    Each subdomain has only one place to get its images; there are no "mirrors" per say.

    Each subdomain has all the images copied to a duplicate directory, so that if they want to change a single part of the interface, they have to duplicate it to all parts of the site by hand.

    How do you know that the same image is actually fetched from physically distinct files for different subdomains?

    If, for the sake of the argument, image files indeed had to be physically copied to different places (or perhaps even different machines) for every one of the subdomains, how do you know this has to be done by hand after every change?

    (That said, most of your other points seem valid.)

    I talked with the web admin, who apparently was just hired to deal with this total mess.

     Apparently the dev process was basically that there was no actual web admin--the other devs just hacked things onto the site when necessary, and nobody was in charge of the entire thing, resulting in a total mess of code.

    They're considering rewriting the whole thing from scratch.


     



  • @asuffield said:

    @Ice^^Heat said:

    I guess I don't have the patience for MMORPG's.

    I don't have the patience for any game in which (a) your progress in the game is basically determined by the amount of time you expend on the game, and (b) you are charged based on the amount of time you expend on the game. It's a recipe for disastrous decisions.

     

    Is it?

    Look at Blizzard, they make millions out of World of Warcraft.

    And ofcourse destroyed the lives of many people. No joke, people do not get their degrees because of this.



  • @asuffield said:

    @Dark Shikari said:

    15.  If you click reply before a thread is locked, you can post after
    it is locked.
      So if you open 50 reply windows before a thread is
    locked, you could theoretically bump a locked thread over and over!
    Really silly, I think.

    I'm betting that you can post to any locked thread by manually constructing a suitable http POST.


    I was thinking the exact same thing...



  • @Daniel15 said:

    @asuffield said:
    @Dark Shikari said:

    15. If you click reply before a thread is locked, you can post after
    it is locked.
    So if you open 50 reply windows before a thread is
    locked, you could theoretically bump a locked thread over and over!
    Really silly, I think.

    I'm betting that you can post to any locked thread by manually constructing a suitable http POST.


    I was thinking the exact same thing...

    Yeah, the abuse possibilities are endless -.- 



  • @asuffield said:

    I'm betting that you can post to any locked thread by manually constructing a suitable http POST.


    IS_ADMIN=TRUE



  • @Ice^^Heat said:

    @asuffield said:

    @Ice^^Heat said:

    I guess I don't have the patience for MMORPG's.

    I don't have the patience for any game in which (a) your progress in the game is basically determined by the amount of time you expend on the game, and (b) you are charged based on the amount of time you expend on the game. It's a recipe for disastrous decisions.

     

    Is it?

    Look at Blizzard, they make millions out of World of Warcraft.

    And ofcourse destroyed the lives of many people. No joke, people do not get their degrees because of this.

    I'd say you managed to answer your own question right there. 



  • IBDS!

     
    Been reading this site for quite a while now, but decided to unlurk for this one. Don't have any comments on the content of the post though. Well, except maybe that the images are mirrored between sites so we f.ex don't break all images on the www.eve-online.com if myeve goes down or something of that sort.


  • @Valar said:

    IBDS!
    Valar lurks here?  OMG, hi :) 

     @Valar said:
    Been reading this site for quite a while now, but decided to unlurk for this one. Don't have any comments on the content of the post though. Well, except maybe that the images are mirrored between sites so we f.ex don't break all images on the www.eve-online.com if myeve goes down or something of that sort.

    What about the bugs.eve-online.com section and so forth?  I think every single subdomain, even the ones hosted on the same servers as another domain, has its own mirrored images. 



  • Looks like they heard you!

    
    
    reported by CCP Arkanon | 2007.05.26 21:35:26 | <font color="gold">NEW</font>
    Dear players.

    Forgive us for being brief, but there has not been much time to prepare this statement.

    Our forums have now been taken down due to the load generated by player response to allegations of developer misconduct. We urge people to wait until the facts are out, rather than taking sensationalist statements at face value.


  • @Dark Shikari said:

    What about the bugs.eve-online.com section and so forth?  I think every single subdomain, even the ones hosted on the same servers as another domain, has its own mirrored images. 
     
    The bugs and store websites each run on separate dedicated servers on the other side of the atlantic ocean from the other websites.
     
    BUT THE REAL WTF that you have time for other forums then the EVE-Online ones :)


  • @Valar said:

    @Dark Shikari said:

    What about the bugs.eve-online.com section and so forth?  I think every single subdomain, even the ones hosted on the same servers as another domain, has its own mirrored images. 
     
    The bugs and store websites each run on separate dedicated servers on the other side of the atlantic ocean from the other websites.
     
    BUT THE REAL WTF that you have time for other forums then the EVE-Online ones :)

    Haha ;)

     For the above poster, the forums were down for about 2 hours due to a DDOS attack.  They were back up not long after.
     



    1. Applies to Blizzard as well.  If even they can't get it right...

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