August 30th, 2004

smallville //by??

FAQ #162 ( - Why can't I stay logged in?

Inspired by a recent lj_dev discussion this entry discusses FAQ #162 - Why can't I stay logged into LiveJournal, and what can I do to solve this problem?
The nature of this FAQ is that it discusses technical issues - cookies, session expiration etc. For several areas, choosing what's going to ultimately be the best text will depend on how those things do actually work. I'm not really confident I understand all of this (!) so input from others is appreciated.

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  • alsatia

[troubleshooting] #36 - validation errors

There have been changes to the validation system since this FAQ was written, and some of the content is no longer accurate, so I pretty much wiped it out and started over.

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  • The FAQ previously addressed the incomplete URL issue but listed an error message that no longer exists. Also, I removed the example validation URL because it didn't fit in well and it seems more likely to cause confusion than to actually help someone recognize their own validation URL. I've seen support requests where people tried to use the one from the FAQ, but I've never seen a request where someone asked "Hey, which link in this e-mail is the validation URL?"

  • The FAQ also previously mentioned that validation URLs expire after a week. The error message is now the same for an expired URL as it is for a partial URL, but I chose to put the error message with the paragraph about expiration for two reasons. First, the error message itself implies expiration. Second, an incomplete URL will not always result in that error message. Some other possibilities:

    • In the validation e-mail, the URL starts with Visiting that partial URL gives this error: "The requested URL was not found on this server. You may be receiving this error as a result from maintenance or other site problems; please refer to to keep updated on the status of the site." Obviously because said URL does not exist. ;)

    • Visiting the validation link redirects the browser to a URL beginning with Visiting that partial URL leads to the page which allows you to select a journal (personal or a community you maintain) and request a new validation e-mail.

    It seemed more muddled and confusing to try explaining these possibilities, when users who visit partial URLs will probably get at least a bit of the unique URL part in there and thus receive the other error message. I think putting that paragraph first means that no matter which error occurs, the user is encouraged to check that they've visited the full URL before trying anything else, so mentioning alternate errors isn't necessary.

  • I've added in a section about blank validation e-mails, as this seemed to be the best FAQ for that ("I received a validation e-mail but still can't validate!" as opposed to "I didn't receive a validation e-mail!"). Support requests about blank validation e-mails are fairly common, so I wanted to fit that in somewhere.

  • I didn't put Why am I unable to receive e-mail from LiveJournal? in the Further Reading because it's not directly related and isn't mentioned anywhere in the body of the FAQ. However, I could be persuaded to add it in if people think it might be relevant to users who end up switching e-mail addresses to work around UTF-8 problems.

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  • burr86

FAQ update

Okay, quick update to FAQ208.

It's been renamed to "How do I add my journal to my IM profile?" which still contains IM but doesn't contain a specific product name. Probably the best compromise.

Moved it to the "Working with Other Sites" category (all the way at the end) as the first FAQ in that category.

Put in a bit more clearly-worded "LJ Support won't help you with this" and set apart the embedding section with a header, to emphasize the first section in itself.

faq 156 ( - comment times

this is a repost of this. there is a handful of comments over there that you may wish to read.
now that the first paragraph has been redone in faq 156, the second paragraph seems out of place to me.

you guys might want to include something like "the times vary, but most of the s1 pages are in pacific time and most of the s2 pages are in gmt."

this would help tie in the second paragraph, otherwise it seems kinda funky.