Dana <:3)~ (alsatia) wrote in lj_userdoc,
Dana <:3)~

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[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.

Why are there errors when I try to validate my e-mail address?

Some e-mail software may separate the validation URL onto two or more lines, which can break the link or make it easy to copy a partial URL. Compare the URL in your validation e-mail with the one in your web browser's address bar to make sure they match exactly.

If you still receive an error message after visiting the complete URL, your validation link may have expired. Validation links can only be used for a week after they have been sent, so if you received yours over a week ago you will get the following error message:

"Invalid validation code. The link in the e-mail may have expired; you may wish to request a new validation e-mail."

This error message contains a link to http://www.livejournal.com/support/faqbrowse.bml?faqid=11, which explains how you can request another validation e-mail.

If the validation e-mail you received is blank, your e-mail service provider or the software you use to read e-mail most likely does not properly handle the UTF-8 text encoding. Please consult the help documentation or technical support area for your service provider or e-mail software for assistance in resolving this problem. Once your service provider and software are set up to correctly handle UTF-8 encoding, you can request another validation e-mail.

It may not be possible for all service providers to adjust text encoding options for you. If this is the case with your provider, you will need to select an e-mail address with a different provider to use with LiveJournal. Similarly, you may need to temporarily use different e-mail software in order to read and use the validation e-mail.


How do I change the e-mail address that LiveJournal uses?

  • 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 http://www.livejournal.com/confirm/. 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 http://status.livejournal.org 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 http://www.livejournal.com/register.bml. 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.

Tags: cat-troubleshooting, faq36, status-resolved

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