December 6, 2011
The Oracle OTN forums changed a bit a year or two ago, and in the process I stopped receiving email notifications when new entries were added to discussion threads. The absence of email notifications was not a significant loss, although at times it is a bit interesting to see how a post in some of the threads changed a week or two after the initial post. It appears that the OTN staff have corrected the email notification problems, and the speed of the forums seems to have improved significantly since the dramatic performance drop that was caused by an upgrade to the OTN forums a couple of years ago.
An interesting new problem has arrived. The unbreakable (but free) forums tell me to contact the system administrator after I attempt to log in – the web server claims that the problem is caused by either an internal error or a misconfiguration. I tried calling the system administrator here, but his phone is busy every time I try to place the call, and remarkably I always get interrupted when I try calling from a different phone. ;-) This is the error that I see immediately after logging in:
What is really irritating is that I received three emails today from OTN telling me that the OP has updated an OTN thread that I responded to, but sadly I cannot reach that thread. After logging into OTN, I can’t even tell the browser to display forums.oracle.com – this is what I see:
I can make it into Metalink (My Oracle Support) without an issue – I didn’t even need to log in (no password requested):
So, what happens if I click Sign Out in My Oracle Support? Let’s try and then head back to forums.oracle.com (this seems to work sometimes):
So, the forums work, just as long as you do not care to contribute. :-) If we skip the login step, there are a couple of threads in the Community Feedback and Discussion forum about the problems (thread1, thread2).
Let’s log in again… (something comes to mind about the definition of insanity and doing something over and over again):
I noted that Google’s 126.96.36.199 DNS server is currently resolving forums.oracle.com also to e4606.b.akamaiedge.net which Google’s DNS server indicates is at IP address 188.8.131.52 (using Google’s DNS server does not change the error message that is displayed in the browser):
Without using Google’s DNS server, forums.oracle.com resolves to 184.108.40.206, as indicated by the trace route output. I was curious what Wireshark might show when attempting to display forums.oracle.com (while logged in), so I fired it up and then told the browser to refresh the screen twice:
TCP ACKed lost segments… Would the same problem happen when using Google’s DNS server, which points at IP address 220.127.116.11? Let’s check:
Not exactly the same, but similar. I have not spent a lot of time trying to dig through the Wireshark captures, but it is a bit odd that there are still TCP retransmissions (I might need to take a closer look at the Internet connection).
I guess that maybe this blog article drifted a bit. Anyone else fail to connect 100% of the time, or never have a problem connecting? I can only imagine the staff changes that probably would take place if one of our internal systems offered less than 95% uptime, much less the 99.99999% uptime that seems to be our internal expectation. It is important to keep in mind that the OTN forums (even the copyrighted error message in the second screen capture) is a free service offered by Oracle Corporation – the problems will be resolved.