17 June 2017

Possible email bug on Firefox 54 - updated

Yesterday I suddenly became unable to send email (using Earthlink Webmail on Firefox) from my destop iMac.  I had sent one at 0645, but by that afternoon it was no longer possible.  I could receive emails, and could read them, and I could write a message, but when I clicked the "send" button (or the reply button), the button greyed out without sending the message.  Other times the message was delivered to my "sent spam" (!) box.  I was also unable to save emails as a draft.

Interestingly, when I switched to my laptop (still using Earthlink webmail on Firefox), I could send emails normally.

This morning I found a possible explanation (though not yet a solution.)  This message was on Bugzilla@Mozilla:
Steps to reproduce: 1. Have an EarthLink email account. 2. Log in to (Earthlink Webmail). 3. Start writing a simple e-mail. 4. Either send or save a draft of it.
Actual results: Nothing happens. Webmail's "Send", "Save Draft", and "Cancel" buttons become gr(a/e)yed out.

I tried multiple accounts' addresses from two MacBook Pros (El Capitan v10.11.6 and Sierra v10.12.5) and a 64-bit W7 HPE SP1 machine. No problems in other updated web browsers (Chrome, Safari, and IE11) on the same machines. I downgraded back to Firefox v53.0.3 and retested. No problems!
And then this, also on Bugzilla@Mozilla:
We got a couple of user reports on sumo that sending emails from the earthlink webmail interface stopped working after the firefox 54 update & their support is apparently recommending a firefox downgrade as solution at the moment... They said there's an issue with the script on the submit button and that other buttons are still functioning normally. They suggested something has changed with the release of 54, I'll try to find out what exactly broke their script here. The web developer, who works on this is off but will give me a call back.
The same problem was logged in yesterday on the Firefox subreddit.

In my case, my desktop has been upgraded to Firefox54 (I'm set to upgrade automatically), but my laptop was still on Firefox53.  When I logged on to the laptop this morning, it started to automatically download Firefox 54, so I quickly went to Preferences and changed from "automatic" to "notify me and let me decide."

The solution may be for me uninstall 54 and reinstall 53.

Just FYI in case anyone else out there is using the same combo of Firefox and Earthlink.

Addendum just an hour later:
I tried switching from Firefox to Chrome, and was able to receive and send emails on Earthlink Webmail.  So the problem appears to have been with Firefox, not my computer.

And now the Firefox/Earthlink Webmail system is working again.  Without downloading any patches to anything.  I don't understand.  Maybe something was changed at some central location.  It's like the tide coming in and going out - you can't explain that.  Maybe the internet is no place for an English major...


  1. The Bugzilla post says it succinctly: "They said there's an issue with the script on the submit button and that other buttons are still functioning normally." If that's the case, the script resides on Earthlink's servers, which you access every time you pull up the webmail page. If they fixed the script, the next time you reloaded the page, you'd get the correct functionality.

    Another possibility is that Firefox 54 broke something, and they put in a workaround to let it work. Or they were doing something questionable, which broke with Firefox 54...there's a lot of possibilities. Either way, the problem is somewhere in the interactions between your version of Firefox on your machine and the script(s) Firefox downloads from Earthlink's servers every time you open that page.

    And just like the tide, it does have a good explanation. :) You download a webpage and associated scripts from a server on the internet, then execute them in your browser. That's how the web works these days. The good old days of your browser simply rendering static content seem to be 20 years gone.

    1. Thanks, anon. It was disconcerting while it lasted.

    2. Anon has it right. My suspicion would be that Earthlink is doing something non-compliant or deprecated with their webmail script.

      Not that it isn't totally possible that Firefox goofed, just that they have a huge userbase and test set visiting billions of pages per day. If they screwed up it is either in a very rare case or it would be all causing problems all over the internet.

      If it is indeed Earthlink's fault then they can update their script on their server and without you changing a thing with your computer or browser you can go there the next day and it will automatically download the fresh (working) script and the issue will have magically disappeared.

    3. That's reassuring to know that the snafu wasn't on my end. Thank you, Dan.

  2. Strange. Just had a weird couple of days where Amazon wasn't playing well with my Firefox browser. Instead of the normal Amazon log-in, I'd get that log-in, but then a new log-in page would come up, with a captcha!. But when I tried to satisfy the captcha, all I'd get is another captcha. Trying to log in with Chrome worked fine--I never even saw the log-in version with the captcha. Then, two days later, when I was replying to Amazon customer service, I thought I'd try to log in with Firefox again to send them some screen caps.

    Hah. Hah. Now the Amazon / Firefox interaction was back to normal, and I didn't have to use Chrome any longer to access just that one site--Amazon.

    Not sure who goofed there. Every other site that I go to with Firefox and which uses captcha-type verification worked fine, so I'm thinking that somehow Amazon had marked me for suspicious activity (I'm a writer and I do periodically flag the tons of spam that occasionally inundate the KDP forums).

    Note: The Amazon captcha-loop problem has been reported, sporadically, on the Internet since about 2015.


  3. Magic Mail for OTT Communications also has been hit with a bug as described above. Multiple PCs as soon as a 54 update in addition to the submit button have lost any check boxes on its pages. Other browsers and earlier versions work fine.


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