Short password timeout in Comments

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Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:13 pm

Since the recent site redesign, I seem to get logged out from the comments very quickly--after just a few hours. I've not narrowed the exact time down nor eliminated the possibility of some other mechanism than time.

What I know:
Browser is FF 27.0.1 on Fedora 20 (with current updates)
Browser was not exited and restarted between login and logout.
It's likely that the screen was locked between login and logout.
This didn't happen before the recent redesign.
No other major changes happened with my computers setup of which I am aware.
I tested clearing all of my cookies and accepting all cookies from *.techreport.com.

Any ideas what to do to test this further? I tried quickly locking the screen and then unlocking. That didn't log me out, but it's possible it takes a while for that mechanism to function--assuming it does at all.

One other related thing: every time I log back in, I have to reset my prefered sorting for comments as it defaults back to newest first/threaded every time. I don't remember it doing that before.
willmore
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:24 pm

I was getting logged out while browsing through forum pages shortly after the redesign (few days ago?), but haven't had issues since then. I just chalked it up to the TR staff bouncing services as they were probably applying various fixes.

Haven't had that issue lately, but then again I lurk way more than I'm actually logged in.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sat Mar 15, 2014 7:01 pm

I asked them about the same thing in a PM but I'm relieved I'm not the only one.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:10 am

willmore wrote:Any ideas what to do to test this further?


Have you tested it's not an addon/plugin doing something funky by running your browser in safe-mode for a day?

That isn't happening to me in Firefox on any of my machines, though I tend to use Chrome more these days.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:29 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Have you tested it's not an addon/plugin doing something funky by running your browser in safe-mode for a day?

I don't use Firefox and my browser has no "safe mode", and I still get logged out every 3 days or so, even if I check the "Remember me" option. Previously my login would persist for weeks, if not months. (I never really checked how long.)
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:56 am

FF
Chrome
Internet Explorer: Choose Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) from the Start Menu
Safari
Opera
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:49 am

We fixed a bug with the "Remember me" box roughly a day after launch. If you logged in via the top-right corner, this setting would not apply.

If you guys can, let it sit a couple days, then report back and let us know if it still happens.

If it does, please describe your browser version and exactly what page you were visiting when it happened, and under which conditions - i.e. "left computer running overnight then went to check a thread", etc.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:24 pm

I've been getting kicked out while using IE8 on my work machine for a long time, and the site update made it worse.

It has improved a little bit over the last several days, but I just assumed that it was a result on having a terrible web browser and not being able to use an alternative (I can't even upgrade IE :( ).
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:13 pm

This has been an issue for me forever. I mainly use Chrome, but since it does it on every computer I thought that was the way TR worked. If I should be able to be logged in indefinitely let me know how I can fix that!
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:51 pm

cygnus1 wrote:This has been an issue for me forever. I mainly use Chrome, but since it does it on every computer I thought that was the way TR worked. If I should be able to be logged in indefinitely let me know how I can fix that!

Is it still doing it lately? Please keep an eye on it for the next couple of days.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:54 pm

Just so I've got correct expectations, how long should it stay logged in for?

Just to give you an idea of my usage pattern, I pretty much keep Chrome open for days. It only closes when I reboot my PC. On articles where I want to watch the comment threads, their tabs tend to stay open for days as well. Whenever I come back to a tab after a few hours and refresh it to see the current comments, I'm logged out and have to log back in to up/down vote or comment.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:58 pm

If you had checked "Remember me" / "Log me in automatically", then that's the way it should be.

Since you manage to trigger this problem despite using that, I may call on you for further testing.

This is a particularly frustrating problem to diagnose because I can't reproduce it myself. :-?
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:06 pm

Gotcha. Given the site's past behavior for the login, I'd given up on the Remember Me checkbox and just had Chrome caching my login/password so I could just click the login button. But I went ahead and checked it on my last log in to see if there's any difference. I'll keep an eye on it now, let me know if there's anything else I can do/test and I'll report back here if it logs me out in a few hours.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:10 pm

cygnus1 wrote:Gotcha. Given the site's past behavior for the login, I'd given up on the Remember Me checkbox and just had Chrome caching my login/password so I could just click the login button. But I went ahead and checked it on my last log in to see if there's any difference. I'll keep an eye on it now, let me know if there's anything else I can do/test and I'll report back here if it logs me out in a few hours.

Hit up your cookies and check that all that belong to ".techreport.com" and that start with "phpbb3" have an expiration date roughly a year in the future.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:25 am

Checked the cookies last night, they looked good. Refreshed an article page I left up and I'm still logged in, so it's looking really good now.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:23 am

This morning I had to log in again, and I always use the remember me. Is there something I need to do to keep that from happening?
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:01 am

derFunkenstein wrote:This morning I had to log in again, and I always use the remember me. Is there something I need to do to keep that from happening?

Help us debug this :)
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:10 am

derFunkenstein wrote:This morning I had to log in again, and I always use the remember me. Is there something I need to do to keep that from happening?

Did you recently run CCleaner or the like?
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:07 pm

morphine wrote:Hit up your cookies and check that all that belong to ".techreport.com" and that start with "phpbb3" have an expiration date roughly a year in the future.


Okay, there are seven cookies for techreport.com. Most have a date ~12 month out, except for one named __qca which is six months out and one named PHPSESSID which is "expires at end of session". Is there any chance FF is doing something silly with the definition of 'session' which might involve the screen locking? If I turn my head to the side and squint a bit, I can sort of see that making sense from a security standpoint, but I'd still want to give a nice punch-in-the-throat to the person who came up with it.

Next time this happens, I'll go take a look at what cookies I have--when I'm logged out. I make the nieve assumption that FF will delete expired cookies. So, if it really is a 'end session on screen lock' brain deadness, I should be able to catch it. I almost wonder if I should dump the cookies for techreport.com right now and see how they change.... Now, where did I leave the man page for sqlite?
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:22 pm

By this point we pretty much know it's something on our end, we're just having trouble identifying exactly what causes it, since it seems more random than the Euromillions.

But I'm pleased to report that we've had some positive progress testing some stuff on the dev server.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:23 pm

Man this bug is inconsistent...

I don't know if this is worth anything, but I feel like I get kicked out when clicking on subscription-related links more often than others. I was just fine for most of today, but in checking on the discussion of today's subscription update, I'm having more problems.

EDIT: Sure enough, got kicked out again on this page and had to log in twice to get it to stick. I am clicking "remember me" every time I try to log back in.
Last edited by superjawes on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:26 pm

I just built a new computer, and I'm getting this problem now. It didn't happen on the old one. It seems like I get logged out every day now.

Here are all the techreport.com cookies I have that don't expire in 2015 or later:

PHPSESSID
Expires: At end of session

trheadline_lastseen2
Expires: Saturday, April 19, 2014 12:08:43 PM

_utmb
Expires: Thursday, March 20, 2014 12:41:08 PM

_utmc
Expires: At end of session

_utmz
Expires: Friday, September 19, 2014 12:11:08 AM


I'll still have the other system (that I didn't have this problem with) running for a few days, so if there's anything you want me to check on it let me know.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:28 pm

morphine, any chance reply #4 on this page iscausing it?

http://www.php.net/manual/en/ref.session.php
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:34 pm

Nah, this problem relates to the authentication in phpBB (the forum system), not to PHP sessions themselves, which are another thing entirely. Well, or something that we're doing in the login integration onto the main site. Thanks for looking the cookies up.

For clearing up: all the phpbb* cookies should be set ~1 year in the future and shouldn't mysteriously disappear. The other ones are of no importance.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 2:58 pm

superjawes wrote:Man this bug is inconsistent...

I don't know if this is worth anything, but I feel like I get kicked out when clicking on subscription-related links more often than others. I was just fine for most of today, but in checking on the discussion of today's subscription update, I'm having more problems.

EDIT: Sure enough, got kicked out again on this page and had to log in twice to get it to stick. I am clicking "remember me" every time I try to log back in.


I just came to make the same comment. (Well, I already made it on a front-page article, but repeating it here in the proper forum.)

On firefox, whether or not I hit the "remember me" button, it logs me out when I visit the subscription page. On chrome, it logs me out when I visit the subscription page, but only if I don't hit "remember me". (Or maybe it's just re-logging me back in without my involvement; either way, it shouldn't have logged me out even without hitting that checkbox, I'd venture.) (I never logged in to TR under that instance of chrome, though, so it's possible that's an important distinction.)

And I swear, on firefox just now it kicked me out right as it logged me in. (e.g. hit login, takes me to the forum index, where I'm not logged in.) Wouldn't swear to it, so I may try to replicate that one again.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:02 pm

Anyone with an extra device that they don't mind leaving a browser tab on can help us - hit trweb7.techreport.com, then:

- Log in via the forum page.
- Check back within ~2 hours. Click around to the subscriptions page, back to the forums, etc.
- Check back in the next day. Rinse, lather, repeat.
- Make front-page comments and forum comments. USE TEST THREADS ONLY. :)

Edit: it's important that you do not do this on the device you usually check TR on.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:07 pm

cobalt wrote:And I swear, on firefox just now it kicked me out right as it logged me in. (e.g. hit login, takes me to the forum index, where I'm not logged in.) Wouldn't swear to it, so I may try to replicate that one again.


Weird -- yes, this is actually happening in firefox as far as I can tell.

(1) Log out. (This was actually trickier than I thought, because I got some error about my request not matching my session ID, so it refused to log me out; had to re-enter through the main page to clear it up.)
(2) Head to this thread in the forums.
(3) Hit log in.
(4) Log in, *not* checking the "automatically log me in" checkbox
(5) Taken so "success" page that shows me logged in in upper-right
(6) Click "return to main index" link
(7) No longer logged in once I get to the main page.

So I can't even log in (within the forums) without hitting the "automatically log me in" checkbox.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:34 pm

I can't login to trweb7.techreport.com. Firefox says the certificate has been revoked.
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 3:46 pm

Melvar wrote:I can't login to trweb7.techreport.com. Firefox says the certificate has been revoked.

Ugh, sec. Can you tell we're doing too much at the same time? :)
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Re: Short password timeout in Comments

Postposted on Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:19 pm

Okay, a temporary certificate is installed in the dev server. It will raise a warning but you can choose to ignore and add an exception. Apologies for the inconvenience.
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