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My Brain-Racking Bug Experience: Retrieving the broken image gallery wiget on my channel page

LuculentFeb 6, 2019, 12:16:04 AM

I used to blog on Minds all the time, but for whatever reason I cut back significantly over the past year. One day I decided to make a blog post about a very much sought after feature people have been requesting on Minds; Dark Mode. Little did I know that in performing this great service I would uncover a bug – a bug that literally took my breath away.

People have been asking for a Minds native dark mode for years now. During all that time, I found a great 3rd party solution in the browser extension Stylish. Stylish uses community-based themes hosted on the userstyles.org website. The problem with stylish is that every time Minds changes the formatting of its site, the user themes need to be updated to meet the CSS changes to the site.

So, the blog and the bug. The main thesis of my blog post was to showcase a gallery of screenshot images of various pages and features on Minds, using a userstyle theme developed by @csharpner. As usual, once satisfied with the blog post itself, the composition and the image layout, I posted it, and went on with my work on Minds.

Sooner or later, as everyone does, my regiment on Minds took me back to my channel page. As I scrolled down below my Bio, I was startled to see that my image wiget, that little area in the left sidebar on my channel, had disappeared completely! I have to admit, there was a moment of panic as I have nearly 3 years of images, many hundreds, of images stored on Minds, and the only practically way of accessing them is via that widget.

The first thing I did was to make a ticket in Help and Support where I was told by the ever helpful @JakePassi that this seemed to be happening to a fair amount of channels; sometimes the image, and other times the video wigets were disappearing, and that he would speak to the development team about it.

The second thing I did was to open a ticket at the Minds Gitlab account, where I could not only observe, but take part in the process of identifying this issue, and dealing with it; which it is still in progress.

As you well know, once you publish a blog post, a copy of it is sent to your channel page. It was around this time I noticed the banner of a previous blog post was on my channel, but had lost its banner image. I thought to myself, “Oh my Luculent, this is becoming a nightmare!”.

Being the sort of individual I am, I set out to see what I myself could do concerning this conundrum; I wanted my gallery back! The following is a synopsis of my accomplishments for which indeed returned my image widget in all its glory to my channel page:

It seems as all images that are not directly uploaded into posts, including comments, comments in conversation feeds, direct uploads into blog posts...etc are automatically marked as ‘unlisted’ by design, (but should not impact our galleries or our wigets).

So I set out to see what I thought might be the culprit. I remember a bug were some notifications led to empty or broken sources, for which I found was related to posts with images that have been automatically marked as ‘unlisted’. I decided I would run with that concept, and went immediately to the blog post I made earlier to where the banner of the corresponding post on my channel had disappeared; checked all the images I could find (most were in a media page side-bar), and noticed they were all marked as ‘unlisted’; and set myself to editing them to mark all of them as ‘public’.

After marking all the images in said blog post as ‘public’, I browsed back to my channel page, and lo-and-behold! The lost banner had returned! Did I dare ruin my excitement by looking for my lost image widget? I couldn't help myself and had to scroll down for a peek. I nearly lept out of my seat I was so overcome, the wiget had indeed reappeared. Granted, it was still broken showing only one image, but it was there!

I was on a roll. Now I’m convinced all this crud has something to do with all these images that have been auto-marked as ‘unlisted’. So, I went on the hunt for any recent comments, replies, or posts I made with images in them (some of which I found in media page side-bars); checked how those images were marked; and set them all to ‘public’. It was a long and arduous task. I had to go through a ton places where I uploaded images or videos, but as I set and marked each one as ‘public’ the more and more I filled up my images wiget again!

To really bring home the ultimate satisfaction of returning all the wigets on my channel page to a normal and expected state, just this morning I came across a video I posted as a reply deeply nested in the Help & Support Conversation Feed. You guessed it, it was marked as ‘unlisted’ Performing the task of manually marking it as ‘public’ I went back to my channel and had a look. I felt completely victorious, all the wigets were back in complete order for the first time in months.

At this point, I will not let any upload I make remain as ‘unlisted’ until we and the staff overcome this hurdle of missing and/or broken wigets on channel side-bars.

So elated at this point, I decided to write this blog post, hoping that anyone experiencing anything akin to this dreadful situation, might use my workaround to brighten their day, and return the full joy of their minds user experience.

Keep in mind though, that this is only a workaround, and I have been following and participating in, (as best I can), the (bug): ticket over at Gitlab to properly resolve this issue. The staff and community members tasking on this ticket are working very hard toward finding a solution to this dilemma; it’s now a high priority. I can only hope this, my experience has helped push the day where all is ‘made well’ come all the faster.