How do you troubleshoot missing Letter default avatars?


(J) #1

A forum suddenly “lost” the images for the default First-Letter avatars, e.g. no letter images. ( Box is there with a program-type icon in the left upper corner, like what would show on any browser for a missing image.)

The default letters are missing for all members who have not uploaded a picture.

How do I troubleshoot this?

Edit: Interestingly, the Letter avatar is also missing on my name here in the Discourse Forum.


(Matt Palmer) #2

Hmm, your letter avatar shows up for me. I suspect the problem may be more at your end, in that your browser isn’t retrieving the images from the avatars server.

To diagnose the problem:

  1. Right-click on where the avatar image would be, and select “Copy image URL” (or whatever your browser describes the equivalent functionality).
  2. Open up a new browser tab, and paste that URL in. It should be for a URL something like https://avatars.discourse.org/v2/letter/<something>. If it’s really different, you’ve got a serious problem.
  3. Try opening that URL in your browser. Pay careful attention to the error message you get, if any. If it loads an avatar image successfully, there’s something very weird afoot.
  4. If the error message itself isn’t helpful, you might be able to get more info if you open up your browser’s developer tools and check the console.

(J) #3

On Chrome Developers tools, it shows your url

But right click just gives:
https://meta.discourse.org/users/cageycat

Note the no-picture on the link in this message.

Edit: In the other Forum, the same results. No error message.


(Matt Palmer) #4

I’m still seeing the avatar, both in this post:

and also on your profile:

Does Chrome dev tools tell you what is going wrong trying to load the image on the page? Have you tried to open the image URL directly in your browser? If so, what happened?


(Jeff Atwood) #5

Try a different web browser, one you do not normally use.


(J) #6

I’m not sure how to do that?

I only have an old IE loaded other than Chrome. Your site won’t load in IE, so I’ll have to go research this with Chrome.

I’d always seen the avatars before. Nothing’s been changed. Weird.


(Jeff Atwood) #7

Surely you can install Firefox? Must be a very old version of IE.


(J) #8

Yes, but I don’t want to hold you up waiting on me. I’ll post back when I’ve got FF installed and checked this out more. I appreciate your fast reply, by the way. Thank you!


(Matt Palmer) #9

To open the image URL directly in your browser, just paste the image URL (not the link URL) into a new tab. If there’s any sort of failure to load the image, Chrome will show it in the dev tools console, which you presumably got open earlier when you said, “On Chrome Developers tools, it shows your url”.

As far as “nothing’s been changed”, Chrome auto-updates, so it can be difficult to tell when something has actually changed…


(Matt Palmer) #10

4 posts were split to a new topic: Sporadic missing letter avatars (cache problem?)


(Jeff Atwood) #13

@sam said this is because the default CloudFlare cert – which avatars.discourse.org is behind – doesn’t support Windows XP?


(J) #19

Hi again,

An update. I went to the other Forum and loaded an image for me under Preferences. The image showed at right top for :“Profile, Bookmarks, Preferences” and my posts too. But no one else’s letters showed. Fine, it was annoying but not the end of the world.

I tried and tried to do an image grab of the image URL, here in Discourse and the other D-forum – but strangely, Chrome did not list in the drop down “Copy image URL”. It only had copy Link Address. That link address went to (ended in) my name, e.g. my profile area.

Not used to FF and could not find their dang browser “URL” window! (Where does FF hide where to enter a URL? Gave screens about browsing–but not the window to do it!)

So I did nothing. In fact, I spent the day on another website. But left the other Forum open and periodically checked it for new posts.

Last night, my Profile picture on the other Forum disappeared, but stayed on my posts. Huh? BUT at the same time, suddenly, everyone else’s Letters appeared! Great, I can live with that too. Life has more important “crises” than a missing avatar, though I kept mentally reviewing anything that could be “wrong” on my computer, or how to figure out The Case of the Missing Avatar Letters.

TODAY… magic wand… My Letter Avatar is back in the Discourse Forum. My Profile Picture Avatar is sitting on the other Forum and on my posts…AND everyone else is now “dressed” in their Letters. It fixed itself (seemingly?).

TODAY, Right-Click over the Letter has “Copy Image URL” which was not there when we last discussed this. It goes to: https://avatars.discourse.org/v2/letter/c/d6d6ee/32.png Note: yesterday the number was 45 and a jpg in Developer Tools on Chrome.

SO Moral of the “The Case of the Missing Avatar Letters” is:
:
“Stuff happens over which we have no control AND which tries our patience, even when we did not do a thing to cause it and had no power to resolve it. We can blame any one of a number of other entities, but it will always be nothing short of a mystery why it occurred at all. Be steadfast, do not give up hope, but know if you just accept what’s happened, through some mysterious unknown power, it will return to ‘fixed’.”

@Sam and @codinghorror WindowsXPPro and Chrome / Chrome Incognito shows the Discourse avatars fine, always has. XP works for me and it’s frustrating that they quit it. But that’s another mystery over which I have no control.

Is it possible, at all, that the Cloud Discourse uses had a hiccup?

Thanks again for your quick replies and interest in my Avatar problem. For me, The Case of the Missing Avatars is solved-- at least for now. :smiley:


(J) #20

And… today… A few have lost their Letters in the other Forum; mine and user “martijntje” are gone from Discourse forum.