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Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: Mathaction edit/preview/save problem

From: William Sit
Subject: Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: Mathaction edit/preview/save problem
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2005 07:40:27 -0500

Hi Bill:

Thanks for helping again. Stranger things happened.

I went to the DynamicFunctionDomains page, select edit, changed "shouldn't be::"
to "shouldn't:" and preview. The bottom of the browser says: "Waiting for" This has gone on for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, I went to a DOS window and ping and got:

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time=45ms TTL=47
Reply from bytes=32 time=46ms TTL=47
Reply from bytes=32 time=47ms TTL=47
Reply from bytes=32 time=45ms TTL=47

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 45ms, Maximum = 47ms, Average = 45ms

So clearly, it is not a DNS problem. Then a pop up Alert window in the browser
says:"The document contains no data." After I click OK, the bottom message
"waiting ..." goes away. I am back to the editing page.

During all this period, the firewall records no blocked transmissions (setting
is on High). The browser is Firefox on Windows XP (SP2).

I went to Sandbox Main page, and edited the phrases to "Edited again as a test".
Preview works, Save works (and response was almost instantaneous, with saving a
bit slower). In fact, the last time I changed this page, it was forwarded to the
mailing list. (Somehow, I thought Sandbox was just for testing and won't be

I have no problem uploading large files (or downloading) in general. And the
page DynamicFunctionDomains is not that large at all.

I can only report exactly what I saw. I don't understand how these things work.
If the error messages were different, it could be they were different, or it
could be I was careless in reporting. But the above is as accurate as I can, for
this report.

I don't want to randomly test other pages because if they work, everyone gets
the spurious reports on the changes.

Now, I am doing the same test on a Fedora FC2 machine. The machine is a 1.4GHz
Dell P4, and almost nothing else is running. Every configuration is default (I
don't know how to configure Linux). Browser is Mozilla. It has been 5 minutes
since the pressing the Preview button
and finally this message: Bad Request. Your browser sent a request that this
server could not understand. Apache/2.0.40 Server at Port
80. I did this twice, same thing. In fact, on cancel, the browser took a
considerably longer time (10 minutes?) and returned also Bad Request!

On Fedora machine, I can't add a comment to IndexedVariables page either (Bad
Request). Same thing for FiniteFieldExpressions page. On Windows IE, I was able
to add a comment to ExternalEdit page, but I was not able to edit and remove it!
(The Page cannot be displayed).

I am wondering whether it is because the page is locked because someone else is
editing the page before I start? I know XP locks files that are open, and Zope

Do I need to install Zope? (I have not).


---- and now answers to your questions
Bill Page wrote:

> Do you really get two different messages? Does which message you
> get depend on some firewall setting? Do you get the same message
> in both Microsoft Explorer and Firefox?

Just now, trying this on PrimeField page with IE, adding "Taken from:" at the
beginning, the message is "The page cannot be displayed". At the bottom, "Cannot
find server or DNS Error" Internet Explorer.

So I suppose you can say they are different on all three.

> "This page cannot be displayed" usually means that your
> connection to the server is ok but that your browser received
> something that it could not process. I have sometimes seen
> this message if a web site takes a long time to reply. However
> the correct message in that case should really be a "time out".

Since on the Fedora machine, it took over 5 minutes before reporting "Bad
Request", could that really be it takes so long to processs the page? Does the
page call Axiom EVERY time it is opened? (or only when it is changed)?

> > I just added Hello to the Sandbox MainPage. I went right to
> > the DynamicFunctionDomains and change (4,7) to (4,8) and click
> > preview. Then it stalls and same problem.
> When you say "stalls", how long do you estimate you had to wait
> before you received the "This page cannot be displayed" message?

I timed it to be about 5 minutes for the above for the Fedora machine. Last
time, it is about less but I did not time it.  Also on IE it is less. But 5
minutes should be plenty, especially when I have no delays accessing the site
for other than submitting a change or previewing it.

> > It seems to be a write privilege denied type of problem to me.
> >
> No there are no controls write privileges on any page on MathAction
> except for just one page. 

What are the file privilege settings? Who are the owners of pages?
May be the pages are locked? or even the directory is?
Zope External Editor page:
Locks objects while they are being edited. Automatically unlocks them when the
editing session ends. 

If a page is locked, and someone else opens the page, does the edit button work?
(it should not).

> Considering the new message that you reported: "This page cannot
> be displayed" might possibily be caused by the fact that with each
> change to a page MathAction must call Axiom in order to re-process
> the enitire contents of the page. Perhaps some kind of time-out on
> your browser, fireweall or other part of your local network occurs
> that results in only partial content of the page being received.
> The SandBox page that you edited did not have any Axiom commands so
> in that case you did not get an error. But as I said I do not get
> this message myself even when editing a page that contains many
> Axiom commands.

I just went to Sandbox Mainpage and edited it to call axiom with 2+2. There is a
slight delay in preview, but it worked and returns the answer 4. 

> Is there any setting on your firewall software that might affect
> the time your system waits for a reply?

All the time security is on High. I don't see how the firewall knows the
difference between Sandbox Mainpage and the other pages! For the same reasons, I
don't see how my netgear box's firewall can make the distinction either. I used
three different computers, OSes, and browsers already (from the same ISP of
course). Is there nobody else experiencing this weird error?

> Is it possible for you to easily and temporarily turn off the
> firewall software completely in order to see if that cures the
> problem? If turning off the firewall works, then there is very
> likely some setting in the firewall software that you can change
> that will make it work without shutting it off.

Yes, I did and that made no difference. But I have to say, I only turned off EZ
Firewall. XP (SP2) has its own firewall setting that I won't know how to tweak.
But as I said, I don't see how the firewall can detect differences in the two
pages unless the two pages ARE different in their handling of Preview and Save

> Finally, do you have a different location (such as office at
> work versus at home) where you can try to access MathAction
> and make this change? At least if you can confirm that it works
> for you at one location but not at another then it might be
> easier to determine what is different and what to change.

Yes, but I don't go to my office these days. But if I do, I'll give it a try.
(However, even if that works, it is not going to help me since I do most of my
work at home).


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