Comments not showing on article page on iPhone

@ace, I’ve noticed a bug on some TidBITS articles when I view them on my iPhone. I’ve not been able to discern a pattern that determines which articles are affected, but it’s happened over the last month or two at least. Basically, when I read the article, at the top it says No comments and at the bottom it says Start the discussion in the TidBITS Discourse forum:

I sometimes think, “that’s strange, I would have thought there were comments on this article, I’ll tap through and subscribe in case anyone comments in the future.” When I tap to go to TidBITS Talk, I find that there’s a whole thread of comments:

This has happened when I viewed both in the Reeder app’s in-app browser, and Safari itself. Again, I’m not sure if it’s all articles viewed on iOS or just some. But thought you’d want to know.

I’ve noticed the same problem at times, using Safari 13 on an older Mac. I’ve had a quick look but can’t find an example of the problem today though.

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OK, I can reproduce the problem with that particular article on the iPhone in Safari and Brave (thus WebKit), and in Safari on the Mac, but not Brave on the Mac. Hmm, Firefox is also showing the issue on the Mac, and yes, the problem seems to be connected to whether or not the user is logged in. I’ll see if Eli can figure it out easily.

I’m case it helps, I’m logged in on both my iPhone and Mac, and on the Mac (Safari) the comments appeared correctly for that article.

Our developer has figured this out—it’s related to our Cloudflare caching, which serves a cached copy of pages for unauthenticated users. That cached copy should be updated whenever the page updates, but the way the WP Discourse plugin works, it doesn’t update the page when the comment count increases. Eli thinks he can write something that will cause the systems to talk to each other properly to do this—stay tuned.


That’s great, but just so he knows, I always view the articles signed in (as an authenticated user). Hopefully the fix will apply to that situation too. :crossed_fingers:

Hmm, I must have misinterpreted what you said before as implying that the problem only manifested when you were NOT logged in. I’ll try some more, but for me, it only appeared in that case and went away as soon as I logged in.

In that case, I would expect that the login process itself does some updating.

Ok, I’ve done some further investigation. Strangely on my phone I am both logged out and logged in at the same time… sort of. I assumed I was logged in when viewing on my phone, both in Reeder’s in-app browser and Safari, as I don’t see any ads, and when I tap on a commenter’s name on the article page, I get taken to Discourse where I most definitely am logged in (my avatar appears at the top, etc.).

However, this morning I went back to the same article and tapped the three dots at the top right of the article page. And underneath the Enter Search box, it says Log In. So I surmise I’m being shown the non-authenticated version of the page for some reason, but when I tap through to the comments page the browser picks up my authentication.

This is not a problem for me at all, but explains why you and Eli identified the issue as only applying to non-authenticated users. Because it seems to be true that I’m seeing the non-authenticated article page on my phone, even if when I transfer to the TidBITS Talk site I am authenticated (without any additional steps to enter my username/password).

I’m guessing that Safari may be remembering your login but it’s not transferring over to Reeder’s in-app browser. Discourse may remember your login state differently/better (I almost never have to login at Discourse, but WordPress makes me login quite frequently—never figured out why the discrepancy).

Strangely enough, it’s the same behaviour in Safari as well. Not a big deal :person_shrugging: I’ve signed into the main TidBITS site on both now, we’ll see how long it lasts!