[ic] Robots

Paul Jordan paul at gishnetwork.com
Wed Nov 18 18:33:00 UTC 2009

> Stefan Hornburg (Racke) wrote:
>> Hello, Interchange enthusiasts!
>> Today I got a report about a customer who wasn't able to order in an
>> Interchange store.
>> It turned out that the user had the Ask toolbar installed and the 
>> robots.cfg
>> wasn't up-to-date, so the session was dropped.
>> You probably agree with me that preventing orders is really a
>> bad thing.
>> Recognition of robots by examining the UserAgent string is of course 
>> error
>> prone and false positives are possible.
>> Robots who successfully login to an Interchange store are unlikely to 
>> exist.
>> In this case Interchange should loudly scream into the logfiles about 
>> that
>> and leave an useful error message for the user.
>> Also Kevin Walsh used to manage the default settings in robots.cfg, but 
>> he
>> is not available anymore. Anyone else who would manage this task?
>> Regards
>>          Racke
> Racke,
> Do you happen to know what browser and version was installed along with 
> the Ask toolbar and how the UserAgent came across that caused the session 
> to be dropped?  We are seeing session dropping periodically and this could 
> be the cause.

I am interested in the same. IIRC it was coming across as ASKTB5.1. I 
remember looking into it and seeing that Ask Toolbar was no where close to 
version 5.1 and just figured it was probably spyware, and not really the Ask 
Toolbar. Of course, that is a pretty basic observation with many 
assumptions, however I did not have proper access to the clients browser for 
any real investigation. It was not wide spread enough for me to go the extra 
mile and its expense at the time, and we've not seen any issues lately.

I don't believe I kept any of my reports, but I remember it being IE 7 and 
8, on XP and Vista. I may even remember IE6 being in there.

Racke has access to our servers, and he is free us our logs if they can help 
in any way.

So, I will say I may have experienced the issue presented in this thread, 
and am interested in a solution too.



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