[phenixbb] phenix-online.org web server issues on Friday?

Nathaniel Echols nechols at lbl.gov
Tue Jul 6 09:31:44 PDT 2010

On Tue, Jul 6, 2010 at 9:20 AM, Ben Eisenbraun <bene at hkl.hms.harvard.edu>wrote:

> One of my users reported a "Error attempting to get current version list:
> HTTP Error 500: Internal Server Error" on Friday morning last week.

Just to clarify, did anything actually break, or did it just print out that
error message and continue?  In theory, the latter is what is supposed to
happen (and did when I tested it just now); even if our server is on fire,
the GUI should still launch.  (I have no idea what was wrong on Friday, but
it might have been me changing something in the code.)  People who find it
the version check obnoxious are welcome to turn it off
(Preferences->General->Disable check for new versions on startup).  I hadn't
thought about SBgrid when I added this - would it be helpful if I added an
administrator feature to disable this sitewide?

It would be good to set an explicit timeout on the urlopen so the GUI
> doesn't hang on network errors, web server blow ups, etc.
> AFAICT, urllib2 uses the default global timeout for the socket module, but
> socket has no default timeout, so calls to a broken web server can hang
> your python program.

Point taken - I'll add this now.  For what it's worth, I was careful enough
to make sure that the version check failed cleanly when the local system was
completely offline, but I don't know what the effects of other network
issues would be.

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