Coffeehouse Thread

16 posts

Rather embarrassing mistake

Back to Forum: Coffeehouse
  • User profile image
    dpen2000

    Is it just me or is there no download button for the Tablet PC SDK even though it is one of the mobile centres "top downloads"? Apart from the humour of it, I really do need that file. My parents are killing me! Sad

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4b14b74a-27e4-42c4-862f-273f6302ea4f&DisplayLang=en

    DP

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    Nope, it's not there. It should be on the right, but it's not.

    How cool.

  • User profile image
    Lowrez

    It was there for me when I went to the download center and did a search for "tablet sdk".  Here's the URL I was at, though at first glance it looks the same as yours.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4b14b74a-27e4-42c4-862f-273f6302ea4f&DisplayLang=en

  • User profile image
    Knute

    Jeremy W. wrote:
    Nope, it's not there. It should be on the right, but it's not.

    How cool.


    Hmmm very strange, cause I see it. And to prove it here's a screen shot of that very page, note the big "Download" button on the lower right hand side.

    tpc sdk page

    ~ Knute

  • User profile image
    dpen2000

    Not that strange really. Notice that nearly an hour passes after Jeremy's post before the next one... easily enough time for someone in microsoft to fix it. Microsoft employees frequent this forum... one must have picked up the phone and made a few calls... an hour is easily enough time to fix it.

    Trust me it wasn't there earlier. (oh yeah I've got a screenshot for anyone who wants to see this bizzare mistake. hehe)
    DP

  • User profile image
    Jeremy W

    I was hoping you'd grab a screenshot. It's also possible this was simply a short-lived glitch Smiley

  • User profile image
    stephbu

    dpen2000 wrote:
    Not that strange really. Notice that nearly an hour passes after Jeremy's post before the next one... easily enough time for someone in microsoft to fix it. Microsoft employees frequent this forum... one must have picked up the phone and made a few calls... an hour is easily enough time to fix it.

    Trust me it wasn't there earlier. (oh yeah I've got a screenshot for anyone who wants to see this bizzare mistake. hehe)
    DP


    I'm interested - I live in the group that owns this code.

    The MSCOM Download Center is an entirely data-driven system.  Everything is templated - something busted for one template would typically be busted for all.  These things generally don't change that frequently either.

    The likelyhood that the template was changed is low.  Development may take only a few minutes to implement fixes but test and release take hours for such large sites.  (sorry test/rm guys but its true Tongue Out)

    I'll ask around to see what happened with this.

  • User profile image
    dpen2000

    http://www.mpendray.co.uk/untitled.JPG

    There's the image of the offending page. Sorry it is late.

    What do you mean exactly by "I live in the group that owns this code", stephbu?
    Oh yeah you say "test and release take hours" but I am right in saying this could have been fixed in less than an hour if it was an error on just this page?
    Anyway, I will be very interested to hear what went wrong here. I'm guessing there must be some prankster in Microsoft who deleted the button. Do you have logs of when changes are made to individual pages or indeed whole templates?

    DP

  • User profile image
    Shining Arcanine

    The download button is there now... Maybe it was a once in a lifetime cache glitch.

  • User profile image
    stephbu

    dpen2000 wrote:
    http://www.mpendray.co.uk/untitled.JPG

    There's the image of the offending page. Sorry it is late.

    What do you mean exactly by "I live in the group that owns this code", stephbu?
    Oh yeah you say "test and release take hours" but I am right in saying this could have been fixed in less than an hour if it was an error on just this page?
    Anyway, I will be very interested to hear what went wrong here. I'm guessing there must be some prankster in Microsoft who deleted the button. Do you have logs of when changes are made to individual pages or indeed whole templates?

    DP


    Thanks Dpen.  What do I mean by 'I live in the group that owns this?  It means I work for MS.COM in the App Team, we own the Download Centre UI code and templates.  A sister team owns the data for the downloads themselves.

    The download pages aren't individually 'tweakable'.  A single template drives all pages.  We try pretty hard to prevent bad experiences like this. 

    Our code and templates get verified by functional and performance testing then approved and scheduled for deployment by site release management.  There will be breadcrumbs from release management if we made a fix.

    If we didn't make a change then as Shining Arcanine pointed problems server-side are more likely.  I'm also interested in figuring out what caused that too. 
    I'll hunt down the developers on the project this morning.

  • User profile image
    stephbu

    So I poked around here in Building 6, and tracked down the last developer to touch the code [thanks Swamy!]

    The download link/button is generated inside the code behind details.aspx as I pointed out earlier (details.aspx is the templating code).  This hasn't changed since Feb 5th this year, and a cursory glance at the staging server for the live released code indicates its the same build. 

    While the system does use localized captions updated last on April 14th, if these were broken none of the page would work ("Related Resources" in the table below is localized for example).

    This pretty much rules out changes as the issue, which moved me back to looking at the current code.  A couple of potential issues spring to mind.

    1) the way the the button is first drawn is through an A tag with some script following it.  Tje script detects IE, hides the initial A tag, then adds a BUTTON with CAPTION and HREF set to the A tag values. 

    Could be some freak client-side error that succeeded in hiding the link but failed to render the button.  Without seeing the status bar on that screenshot we can't tell if that could have been the case.

    2) Within the template code is a piece a conditional that supresses the download button if there are no files in the download data resultset - below is an excerpt from the code:

    // There should always be at least one, but check for null or count = 0 to prevent any error. In these cases, no button is shown.
    if ( (files != null) && (files.Count > 0) )
    {
    ... // Write Button HTML
    }

    Sounds familiar eh? - If this evaluates as false, the 'A' tag and script call won't get written in the HTML.  This prevents #1's button writing from happening too.  At the moment the 'empty' condition is swallowed, and there are no stats or logs being gathered for this case failing - something that can get fixed.

    I'll continue investigating, in the meantime if you see one of these again - grab the HTML too.

  • User profile image
    Knute

    Good detective work!

    One thing I did notice when looking at the image that was sent with the button missing. It looks like the SDK is in the process of being installed when the button is not visible. Take a look at the picture again and look at the task bar. The tab just to the right of the IE is "Microsoft Tablet PC".

    Curious...

    ~ Knute

  • User profile image
    dpen2000

    knute, you are quite mistaken about that. Smiley I will explain later. Have to go now.

    DP

  • User profile image
    dpen2000

    stephbu, there are two reasons I doubt it is number 1. First, I checked for the error in firefox as well as in IE. Second, Jeremy, see above, could not see the button either. So it's probably not a client-side error.

    knute, the reason that tablet pc sdk install window is there is this. Every time we load adobe it tries to install the tablet pc sdk thing. I think I downloaded a copy of it ages ago: it went into a temp folder and so is not there now. Why adobe wants to install this old version suddernly is beyond me but it does. It tries to but then fails, asking for a location for the .msi installer file. That's why I went looking for tablet pc on microsoft's website in the first place. [interestingly, this error in adobe seems to have fixed itself or maybe dad did something to fix it: who knows?]

  • User profile image
    dpen2000

    ok I think I know why the download button didn't come... if you look at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4b14b74a-27e4-42c4-862f-273f6302ea4f&displaylang=en
    you will see that the file publication date has changed to Thursday's date(if you see my screenshot: the publication date is in 2000). I would guess that is how it was fixed by simply publishing the file again. It must have been deleted at some point which would explain why stephbu's second senario would have happened.

    Surely, you have logs which show who's action's caused the publication date to be updated?


    DP

  • User profile image
    stephbu

    Yeah I was sure too that #1 is pretty remote.  However #2 like I hinted seems far more plausible. 

    Changes in the data set is something I'll investigate in the coming week.  From the date/time it's quite possible that the relevant fileset for the family was being updated.  However I'm surprised that the update was not atomic.

    I'll report back once I've tracked down the download centre audit trail.

Comments closed

Comments have been closed since this content was published more than 30 days ago, but if you'd like to continue the conversation, please create a new thread in our Forums, or Contact Us and let us know.