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Problem searching comics for sale  XML
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crandmck



Joined: 08-24-2019 13:02:55
Messages: 5
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When I do a search from https://www.nostomania.com/servlets/com.nostomania.BrowseServlet?cat=comics and get a result set, the "Next" button always displays an error message:

A login is required to access this part of the site. If you were signed in, your session may have expired due to inactivity. In this case, we apologize, but in the interest of security you will need to sign in again.


However, I am signed in, and the page even displays "Sign Out" at the top, so something appears to be broken.

Also, some of the search fields are not being honored; for example, searching for title "X-men" even when I add "1963" as the value of the "Title Start Year" fields, the results still start with "Adventures of The X-Men, The (1996-1997)".

There are a number of other serious bugs in the Browse for Sale feature. BTW, do you have a mechanism for users to report technical/functional bugs on the site, e.g. GitHub issues? Not sure how many folks would use it, but it might be more efficient than forums

At this point, since I'm unable to page through the results, it's basically impossible for me to find comics for sale on the site. With due respect, you need to do some serious QA on this part of the site. I think many of the other site features are great, esp. the pricing data, but it seems there's still some work to do on the marketplace part.

BTW, I've been working in the web tech field for over 20 years, so I have some related background. I see you guys are still using Java EE servlets, which are fine, but have largely been made superseded by more modern backend frameworks like Node/Express and Spring. Anyway, I may be able to help with QA or whatever.

Thanks,
Rand

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 08-24-2019 13:34:13

starman


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Joined: 04-22-2008 18:56:00
Messages: 266
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Hi Rand - very much appreciate you chiming in, thanks. So yeah, we recently made some really extensive changes to the URLs and code in the Browse and Pricing sections to a) improve SEO since there were inconsistent and duplicate paths to the same pages in many cases, and b) to eliminate sessions that were getting created unnecessarily. These changes were pretty tricky and we realize now we broke a few things. We just finished testing a few other fixes, and will do our best to get this issue fixed before the next site update on the 1st. Stay tuned, we'll report back here and if you are willing to verify the fixes that would be awesome.

Also - agreed, the Marketplace is the weak link by far, we need to beef that up. But our pricing is way more sophisticated and accurate than anything else out there, and when you integrate that with decent collection management, we think that's pretty cool. More soon.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 08-26-2019 20:31:54

crandmck



Joined: 08-24-2019 13:02:55
Messages: 5
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Thanks for the reply. Let me know (on this thread, I guess...?) when the fixes are in place, and I'll be happy to help with QA.

Rand
tommyj


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Joined: 05-30-2008 14:56:54
Messages: 87
Location: Madison, WI
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crandmck wrote:Thanks for the reply. Let me know (on this thread, I guess...?) when the fixes are in place, and I'll be happy to help with QA.

Rand


Hi Rand - a few quick responses:

1) We snuck in a stealth fix tonight for the "advance page" bug you reported, that's fixed.

2) "on this thread" - right... I know, not the best, we'll figure out something better, but we don't do GitHub because we don't want anyone looking at our pricing algorithms - we spent a lot of time working on making those as clever as possible.

3) Now, on the X-Men search bug, I'll actually contend that the search is as is behaving as expected. This is because the Start/End year are "constraints", not exact numbers. Since most people won't know the exact start year of any given title. I realize you do know the 1st X-Men series started in 1963. But the idea is "series started this year or later", and so the search also returns Adv of X-Men, etc.

If you enter just "X-Men" in the box, and put 1963 for start and 1982 for end, now you're boxing in the search pretty well - try that and I think you'll see what you are looking for.

4) On the other bugs, please let us know the details, thanks again!

We do realize, as you graciously inferred this area of the site needs the most work.
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crandmck



Joined: 08-24-2019 13:02:55
Messages: 5
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We snuck in a stealth fix tonight for the "advance page" bug you reported, that's fixed.


Cool! Yes, I see that, and it 's now working as expected.

we don't do GitHub because we don't want anyone looking at our pricing algorithms - we spent a lot of time working on making those as clever as possible.


I understand, but having bug tracking on GH doesn't mean your code has to be public! There are various ways to do it, but one super easy way is just to create an empty repo that you only use for bug tracking and community feedback. Forums are really not the best way to do that, and GH is basically built for it. And, it's free for the most part. Anyway, food for thought.

...the idea is "series started this year or later", and so the search also returns Adv of X-Men, etc.


Then that's what the UI text should say, "Title start year (or later)" and "Title end year (or earlier)" I guess. If that's actually what they mean, then you need to communicate that, otherwise it's a usability issue because it's definitely not obvious.

Re other bugs... When I was able to find an issue that was interested in buying, I clicked on it, and was presented with three buttons: Offer to Buy, Ask Question, and Cancel.

Offer to Buy leads to this error:

A login is required to access this part of the site. If you were signed in, your session may have expired due to inactivity. In this case, we apologize, but in the interest of security you will need to sign in again.

But, again, I am still signed in, and the "sign out" link in the top bar shows that.

Ask Question leads to this error msg:

Oops... an error occurred

If you think what you were doing should not have caused an error, please use the Contact Us form to tell us the exact steps that caused it, and we will try and fix it. Thanks!


So, again, I'm totally foiled when I want to buy something.

Thanks for the fixes, guys. Keep up the good work...
tommyj


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Joined: 05-30-2008 14:56:54
Messages: 87
Location: Madison, WI
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crandmck wrote:
tommyj wrote:...the idea is "series started this year or later", and so the search also returns Adv of X-Men, etc.


Then that's what the UI text should say, "Title start year (or later)" and "Title end year (or earlier)" I guess. If that's actually what they mean, then you need to communicate that, otherwise it's a usability issue because it's definitely not obvious.



Rand is absolutely right - that's just lousy usability. We reworded so this is hopefully a little clearer. Still working on the other issues, getting there but a little tricky - more soon on that.
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crandmck



Joined: 08-24-2019 13:02:55
Messages: 5
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Thanks, I appreciate you guys paying attention to my (users'/customers') suggestions and needs.

Keep me posted on updates to the site, and I'm glad to provide ongoing feedback, even if you don't have GitHub issues

Rand
tommyj


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Joined: 05-30-2008 14:56:54
Messages: 87
Location: Madison, WI
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crandmck wrote:Thanks, I appreciate you guys paying attention to my (users'/customers') suggestions and needs.

Keep me posted on updates to the site, and I'm glad to provide ongoing feedback, even if you don't have GitHub issues

Rand


We haven't forgotten the GitHub nudge - we'll talk about that. First things first, let's get the marketplace bugs fixed. See what you think now - things should be working again. Thanks!
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crandmck



Joined: 08-24-2019 13:02:55
Messages: 5
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Everything seems to be working as it should now. Nice work!

I even found a book I'm interested in, and have messaged the seller. I'll let you know if I run into any other issues.

Thanks again!
Rand
 
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