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HOTMAIL inaccessible due to a JavaScript Error

all you JS coders, take note

     
6:08 am on May 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Tonight, Hotmail is inaccessible.
The page loads, my messages are there, they are bold and that shows that I haven't read them.

But alas, clicking does nothing... I can't read my mail because of a Javascript error. I tried IE7, FF3, Chrome. It just doesn't work. The UI is bus-ted. And it's so AJAX-fied flashy with its cool "Live" interface, that with JavaScript all fubar, I can't access my mail at all.

Firebug shows me that it's a silly syntax error. I see the problem. Hey Microsoft! Let me at the source code for about 5 minutes! I'll fix it! And you wouldn't have to pay me - I'd do it just so I can read my mail!

Let this be a parable for all ye JavaScript coders... please test things before they're pushed to the production servers :)

7:43 am on May 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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As a javascript developer, I'd blame it on the testing team ;)
2:27 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Download and install Windows Live Mail, then you won't have to worry about the bad programming on the Hotmail site, unless your on a Linux box like me, then it's just the old waiting game.
1:44 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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please test things before they're pushed to the production servers

More importantly, test the production servers again after the deployment. :)
3:27 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I use hotmail extensively for personal correspondence... I've noticed quite a few strange outages and intermittent UI bugs in the past couple of weeks. I think the folks down at Windows Live must be tinkering with their UI.

I don't want to sound like a hypocrite. I've unfortunately let a few bugs creep into production at times, despite all efforts at diligent QA. The real litmus of a good deployment process is whether those final-stage bugs are found+fixed before anyone notices. In the case of Hotmail, they get so much traffic there's no chance a major bug will go unnoticed.

I was happy to see that the bug was fixed within a few hours. I bet somewhere in Redmond, a panicky JavaScript developer was sweatin' in the hot seat, fussing over the return value of an onClick event!

6:50 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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S'funny. Orange webmail (in at least the UK) has had b0rked CSS for the last day or more...

Is it the silly season again?

8:04 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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well, most of our city's roads are ripped apart for construction projects; my commute time has doubled. Maybe it's construction time on the Interweb too?