Website Scripts and Auto-Refreshing

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  • #503131
    Jennifer
    Keymaster

    Hello everyone!

    This is an important announcement, and while it will probably only effect 1% of our users, we need to make it just in case!

    Some of our more computer-savvy users have discovered how to write a script (this is a mini computer program that runs by itself after you set it up, more or less) that automatically refreshes the Windstone site (store) at a regular rate. We are guessing this is a way to see when new items are added to the store. We also understand that none of you would do this to intentionally harm Windstone and that you are just excited about collecting our pieces. That means a lot to us! 🙂

    Unfortunately… running these auto-refresh scripts ARE creating a drain on the server, impacting the infrastructure, and have to be stopped before it affects not only our site but the others that are hosted by our host server. When a script auto-refreshes it requests information from the site and server each time it refreshes, and when it does this often enough it causes a problem! It’s actually seen as a low level attack on the server.

    If you are running a script to auto-refresh the store, your IP (your computer, more or less) will be blocked by our host and you will not be able to use any part of the Windstone site.
    This is NOT us trying to be mean or punish you! This is us trying to protect our site from going down or causing problems for all of our users.

    If you find you are blocked, please cease use of your script and write or call Susie so she can coordinate with our host to get you unblocked.

    What is okay: Refreshing the store manually (by clicking reload/refresh on your browser) a few times a day is okay as long as you are not doing it hundreds of times a day. 🙂

    If you have any questions please let us know!

    I'm here to help! Time sensitive issues: See a spammer? Website going haywire? email me! nambroth at gmail.com

    #846590
    WolfenMachine
    Participant

    Also a hint for people waiting for something to come out-it seems new items generally get put into the store around 6PM central time-I guess Windstone figures this is when the most people are around to grab one.

    #847120

    I was wondering how other members were getting the scoop, then grabbing and running with the goods! Every time I try to visit the shop, There is hardly anything to purchase, especially in the PYO section! It really isn’t fair to all the rest of us loyal members, to get cheated out of some special pieces.

    #847124
    littleironhorse
    Participant

    I don’t think there’s any cheating going on, it’s just some of us spending way too much time here. I haven’t bought anything in a very long time, but I have been online every time a special item became available recently.

    #847144
    Jennifer
    Keymaster

    I was wondering how other members were getting the scoop, then grabbing and running with the goods! Every time I try to visit the shop, There is hardly anything to purchase, especially in the PYO section! It really isn’t fair to all the rest of us loyal members, to get cheated out of some special pieces.

    To my knowledge, there have been less than three people running scripts (to date) so I rather doubt that they were accounting for all the sales, to be fair. 🙂

    I'm here to help! Time sensitive issues: See a spammer? Website going haywire? email me! nambroth at gmail.com

    #847153
    Hannah
    Participant

    Every time I try to visit the shop, There is hardly anything to purchase, especially in the PYO section!

    The PYO section in particular has been restocked (minus “rescues” and unicorns for about a week) completely for at least a month or two..

    Commission spots are open! Please message me for details.

    Please visit Cuddly Clay to see my art and PYO's that I've done in the past!

    #850984

    We on this one computer we use, have NO idea what this means. We clicked on the link that asked if we wanted to know more, and our browser came up and said the server connection is either not valid or could be hacked, for lack of a better term (forget the actual error or warning msg). But point is, we couldn’t read it.

    What we have for the Store is having the front page saved as a Bookmarked or Favorite page as part of our browser bar. Is this a problem? I mean, how else are we supposed to get to WE?! Type in the actual address each time? And yes, I know those of us that use the computer (though we only have my one name), we do come to the store several times a day, to see if there is anything new, especially if we are watching out for others that will want to purchase. The one main collector from this computer does not get a lot at all (usually b/c it’s out of stock) but is very specific about the pieces she wants.

    I need to know if saving the store as a Favorite or Bookmarking it, is wrong. And I need to know if we are going to be blocked simply because we check the store several times through out the day. I mean, if you don’t, how are you ever to know when there’s a new piece, right? We do not spend time here, nor do we sit with a page open to the store. We are in and out as soon as we see what is to be seen, and the very occasional purchase.
    Thanks
    Sway et al

    #850986
    Susie
    Keymaster

    Sway – the link just takes you to this part of the forum – and now it’s been fixed so it won’t give you any security – high risk – messages (that was an error!). I think it’s been too long a day…

    #850988
    Susie
    Keymaster

    Just to clarify: bookmarks are fine! Pressing the notify back in stock button is fine! Refreshing the screen yourself is fine! Hanging out on the site all day long is fine!

    What’s bad are “script” programs that automatically refresh the site zillions of times checking for something new. You would know what we are talking about if you had set one up. The program scans the site for updates and notifies you by a sound or a message on the screen that something has been updated. Quite handy if you are doing something else, and I can understand the desire to use one, however this is not good for our website and we cannot allow it.

    #850996
    Hannah
    Participant

    Indeed, what Susie said Sway – you’d know if you had a script running.

    In order to make and use my own script for the store (which I stopped using AS SOON as I was informed it was negatively affecting Windstone) I had to create a site which would check the availability of certain items (it was PYOs only for anyone intersted) every 10 minutes of every day – that’s 144 times a day! When a new item was stocked it would send me a text message so I would be notified within 10 minutes of an item being restocked.

    Writing a script like this requires lots of trial and error and also LOTS of work and knowledge with coding! If you do not know what a script is, you do not have one running (unless someone with knowledge of it has been tampering with your computer) and you don’t have to worry about it!

    And just because it was mentioned in this (and other) threads, I want to make crystal clear that when I WAS running a script (and I am not any longer), it was to check for PYOs when they were seldom in stock, and it would NOT automatically purchase them for me – I still had to physically get to a computer, log on and purchase them by hand like everyone else. My advantage was simply being notified within 10 minutes of things being restocked. I just want to make sure everyone knows I was NOT buying out several items for any reason, it was an advantage in notification of availability only and I was completely unaware that it was impacting Windstone negatively.

    Commission spots are open! Please message me for details.

    Please visit Cuddly Clay to see my art and PYO's that I've done in the past!

    #851010

    Well that definitely answers our questions about us and our standing here! Must say though, if we knew anything about coding and “scripts”, hell yea we would have been running one since we, more often than not, get shafted with the Out of Stock syndrome. So yup, no, no one here knows anything about scripts and coding on this computer (only scripts we know are when we run lines with our friends / family who are on TV shows). It’s a home computer with family use and none of us have that kind of savvy. Sounds like both a headache yet blessing in disguise for some, so I see both sides of this debate. But thank you for letting us know that simply by checking the store several times a day and keeping the WE site bookmarked / favorited, that means we are alright and it does not cause strain on your server.
    Thank you
    Sway & everyone

    #851012
    Jennifer
    Keymaster

    So sorry to have worried you Sway! You are just fine. A script is a computer program that you actively run against the site. Most users don’t even know how to do this and it is only a small number of people that have done this, and I know they didn’t mean any harm.

    I'm here to help! Time sensitive issues: See a spammer? Website going haywire? email me! nambroth at gmail.com

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