[ic] Robots

Ron Phipps ron at endpoint.com
Wed Nov 18 19:38:50 UTC 2009

Stefan Hornburg (Racke) wrote:
> Ron Phipps wrote:
>> 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.
> The UserAgent was:
> Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; TOB 6.05; Windows NT 6.0; 
> Trident/4.0; GTB6; SLCC1; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; Media Center PC 5.0; .NET 
> CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; AskTB5.4)
> I correlated "Successful logins" with nsession as session id
> in the catalog log file with Apache access log entries.
> Adding the NotRobotUA directive fixed the problem.
> Regards
>          Racke

Thanks Racke, I just verified that this was the issue we were seeing and 
have resolved it for one specific client.  Thanks to Matthew Jones for 
posting the link to the previous discussion as well.

Ron Phipps
End Point Corporation
ron at endpoint.com

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