It's even worse than it appears..
Wednesday November 30, 2022; 8:38 AM EST
  • It happened for newly logged-in users at startup, as FeedLand loads for the first time.#
  • The first thing the app does is load the user's appPrefs.json file -- it fails, of course -- it hasn't been created yet. It's not an error, although in the JavaScript console it looks like one. #
  • The code as originally written allows for this, but I added something on Nov 8, as part of the Your Feed feature, code that copies something from the place that doesn't exist yet to a place that does, without checking. Boom. #
  • This meant that the rest of the startup code didn't run. The app is sitting there waiting for the first-time user to do something. Everything is blank, none of the commands work, and yet two of them persevered, and reported the problem. That in itself is kind of a miracle. #
  • The second report provided a screen shot of the JavaScript console, which pointed me to the problem, almost by accident -- he didn't realize that was the problem, because there were two errors reported before it (as noted above those aren't real errors). If the screen shot had been slightly shorter, I would've been pulling my hair out looking for a needle in the haystack. Instead it pointed exactly to the problem, the code had a comment providing the date it was introduced (Nov 8), and sure enough the first report came after that change. We had tested this functionality at least a dozen times before Nov 8 without problems, so the first time I wrote it off as cosmic rays. Not a good call Dave, in retrospect. A very bad call actually.#
  • Anyway, since the problem cures itself as soon as they get a good logon, it simply wasn't repeatable. But this time, having a theory about where the error was, and I had a virgin Twitter account ready for the test, one that had never been used with FeedLand -- I logged in and it was fixed, which I could see as I stepped through the code in the debugger. #
  • But -- I should have tried to repeat it after the first report. But I guess I didn't want to believe the problem was as bad as it was, and I didn't feel like searching for the needle. However if I had done it, presumably I would have looked in the JavaScript console and seen what the problem was and a few hundred more people would have had a good initial experience with FeedLand, instead of the really awful one they actually had. #
  • Many apologies to the people who endured this, it is so freaking embarrassing. I am sorry this happened. #
  • Oy. I have to do better. #

Last update: Wednesday November 30, 2022; 8:35 PM EST.

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