April 17th, 2008


Bug with http://www.livejournal.com/stats/latest-img.bml

I've noticed a strange behavior with the "latest image" rss feed located at http://www.livejournal.com/stats/latest-img.bml

When I monitor the feed closely I can watch as new images appear at the beginning of the list between each refresh.  But what I've noticed is it will, all of a sudden, throw away all the current images and display a completely different list.  And then the strange part is shortly later it will revert back to the previous list and go on about its way until the cycle repeats.  It also appears that when it jumps to the other list, the images that it returns are ones that were displayed previous (usually around 5-15 minutes ago).

It does this frequently, all throughout the day.  I can't pinpoint when exactly it first began, but I know that before a few months ago I never saw this happen.

At first I thought the problem was on my end or a strange caching problem with my ISP, but I've been able to duplicate the problem on different browsers and from different ISPs.

I just thought I'd bring this to someone's attention, as this behavior makes it much less useful to me.

I'd also like to thank Live Journal for providing these kinds of backend data-mining feeds, they provide for some very interesting data that I've never seen available from anybody else on the net.

Thank you,
Allah Sulu-South Park

User Data

There are a variety of links listed on http://www.livejournal.com/bots/ for acquiring data by means other than "screen-scraping" user pages; including friend data and interest data in a convenient line-separated format. Does LiveJournal provide any similar mechanism for getting a journal/community's list of userpics or tags? Because those are the ones that my program is currently "screen-scraping" (but only when requested by the user, with the results saved).

/support/help.bml Code


I have users who want to help out other users in the support queue, but whenever they try to visit the page (by clicking on the link to go to the queue from the /support/index.bml page they're told the support queue is only available to people with the privs. So I had a peek at the code in the /support/help.bml page and there was this chunk of code:

return $ML{'.interim'} if
(!$remote || !$remote->{'_priv'}) &&
($r->header_in("Referer") eq "$LJ::SITEROOT/support/" || $r->header_in("Referer") eq "$LJ::SITEROOT/support/index.bml" || $r->header_in("Referer") eq "$LJ::SITEROOT/support/submit.bml");

It makes sense to me about what it's doing, but not why it's there...anyone know why you would block people from clicking that link? I tried it on LiveJournal and it works as intended, it shows you the queue and allows users to submit screened responses which is what I am going for...

In my database I have categories with public_help turned off (0) and allow_screened turned on (1).

So now I appear to be getting the sam effect as on LiveJournal, normal users can submit a screened response and I as the admin can change categories, rename topics, etc...and when someone who is not logged in viewed a thread it says they need to login to help others out, although they can still see all the information about the user (styles, email validated, etc...) so maybe the better idea here would be to insert some code that made sure the user was logged in and if so, then they can see all the support threads, maybe a better idea to toss that error out instead of saying users need special privs...

But then maybe I am mistaken and am looking at this the wrong way!

Any help on why that chunk of code is there would be great... :)