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Negative posting times again in Q+A, and shifting post times Answered

When sorted by recent, the top couple of posts in the Questions section have started showing negative post times again (and not chancing to hours after 60 minutes).

As of 6PM UK time, the top two questions are showing information like this:

"Asked in Technology by miamimac  -293 minutes ago    Answers: 1"

This problem has appeared a couple of times before, all while running chrome on win7, and the issue persists after refreshing the page.

EDIT: after looking for a bit longer, new questions are getting added to the list after the ones with a negative posting time.

ADDITIONAL: recently, post times have been jumping around, causing posts to be re-ordered and Questions posted recently (with correct posting times) to be moved up, often ending up with negative posting times. Are all users seeing the same posting times, or are the faults dependent on area?


We had a problem with a faulty config file in our database throwing off the times, but it's been located and terminated. Everything should be normal now, so move along, nothing to see here!

Just wanted to say Thank you to all those who were involved in fixing this bug. It's been really nice to see accurate timestamps (and no more negative times).


I'm still getting posts jumping around, sometimes with negative times as well.

Are these new posts? If so could you please link me to one?

Oh, well how about this one I just made. Thanks, I'll pass this on to bugs.

I have to agree! You're timestamp is 8:22pm (but its only 1:31pm), so on the main page, you show up as a "negative" time.



It might be important to know that this isn't a recent development. If you scroll down this page, I've been reporting examples on this for about a month now...

If you scroll down the page to my comment on May 8th, I've included links to a member signup date affected by the wrong timestamp. That members signup date shows May 9th (but it wasn't May 9th yet). Then that member posted a question in the Q&A and the timestamp showed up as May 8th. So, yes, it looks really weird to be able to post a question on one day, and not even be a member until the following day...

Ah, but not as I see them. Your two posts are in logical sequence.....one in my comment box from Kiteman however was posted -312 minutes ago.

My timestamp, as I see it it now 1:31. What is your perception of my timestamp in the message above - ie, is it MY view of your DB which is borked, or the whole DB timestamp ?

You are correct Steve, (or you and I are just seeing the same thing). It helps that I'm on Pacific Standard Time (as is Instructables). So whenever someone is showing up with a time that's later into my evening, it looks pretty darn strange. ShadyLogic is showing a time of 8:22pm (as I noted below), but its only 1:47pm now. Shady is about 7 hours ahead of everyone.

Your post is 1:36 PM as I see it. What do you see ?
Kiteman posted -291 minutes ago, and is in my timezone.

I see yours at 1:48pm and mine as 1:46pm.

It's my understanding (and I might be wrong), that the times don't correlate to our location or computers. I can change my clock to the past or future and it makes no change to ibles. Where the timestamps should be generated are through the servers, and this is why I suspected that one or more of the servers have an incorrect time. This is also why a member can be on the correct time for a while, and then they start appearing with an incorrect timestamp. So my guess is it depends on the server they are connecting through? (Like I said, I could be wrong about that, because I don't know Ibles system, servers or setup).

LOL... Thank you for the update. That's good to hear.

Moving along now.... ;-)


6 years ago

OK, I have been noticing the time shifting also. In fact I just had that happen in a comment I wrote and it ended up beneath the other comment that was made quite a bit earlier but somehow had a more recent time stamp. Anyway,

A more serious problem might be in pro memberships. I just got an e mail that my membership is expiring yet the profile page says that it started in March 22, 2012 and expires on March 22 2013. Did I lose a year somewhere? Maybe this is an attempt to skip this year and avoid the end of the world count down.

And as long as I am at it (or maybe this should be another post) I am no longer receiving e mails about comments or on questions that I am following. I double checked the preferences on that and they have not changed. But I don't get notices anymore of watched items (followed questions).

Something else pointed out to me by Canucksgirl - the time changes on refreshing.

Compare these two images. The first is before refreshing, the second is after. Note the time displayed by my computer, at the very bottom-right of the images.

Time screen-shot 01.JPGTime screen-shot 02.JPG

I'm going out on a limb in thinking that maybe staff is working on the incorrect time stamps???

The image I'm including is a screenshot I just took, but the time stamps are now 6 hours ahead of time than they should. It shows my last forum post was 7 hours ago, but it was actually 1 hour ago.

So again, I don't know if anyone is (or isn't) working on this, but the time stamps have now shifted in the other direction...


Okay, now I've been officially bit by the negative posting bug! (First time that I'm aware of)... It shows up incorrectly on the forum topic as well as on the main page.

So, I apologize for flooding this topic with examples, but I'm hoping that someone can fix this soon (or at least give us an UPDATE???), please?

The timestamp should be: May 28, 2012. 8:57 PM (Not May 29, 2012 3:57AM)


Any update on this?

Does it have anything to do with the re-appearance (?) of the non-appearing comment bug? (I've had at least half a dozen comments go missing in the last 40 minutes or so).

(Posting at 08:48 UK time, 00:48 HQ time)

(According to the forum list, the above comment was made six hours in the past. This time thing is getting genuinely annoying, because posts that are actually recent are getting missed because they are being pushed down the list by the time-travelling posts, on my own comments page as well.)

The disappearing comments bug is happening to me also. For at least the last hour now.

Has any staff member or programmer noticed if one (or more) of the servers are on an incorrect time? The "negative posting times" seemed to have stopped (or slowed) for a while, but for the last number of days, they've come back.

In the second screenshot image, you'll see that it looks like "I'm psychic"... as I've been able to answer a member BEFORE they've commented. (Now I know I have some talents, but I don't think psychic abilities applies here). The thread should read that I posted a question, the member replied, and then I responded.



In case staff are interested... the negative posting time is also affecting membership signup dates. I just noticed that a new member has the date May 9, 2012 as their signup date... If the servers are all on PST, then no one should be able to sign up to this website a day into the future... (It's still only May 8, 2012 PST). They also shouldn't be able to post a question on May 8th, when their membership signup date is May 9th...

Where this can really become a problem is for contests... If we're suppose to abide by the PST time rule, then it's going to be difficult for those that are posting times hours ahead of everyone else.


Yes, unless they either get it fixed or allow leeway until said task is accomplished, we could find ourselves in a pickle :-)

Its all over....here is a sampling of my Comments box:

when  reply?

-100 minutes ago reply

-98 minutes ago reply

-89 minutes ago reply

-78 minutes ago reply

-76 minutes ago reply

-45 minutes ago reply

-42 minutes ago

Now if I could only go ahead in time to get the lottery numbers, and then go back and pick them before they are drawn. ;-)

Thanks for pointing this out, I've submitted this as a bug.

Any idea when this might get fixed? (It's a little annoying). ;)

Hi, Mike. I just checked, and the posts which correspond to the negative times really do have absolute timestamps in the future! For example the ShutterBugger post will be made at 7:15 PM today (3 May 2012), about four hours from now.

Is Instructables making use of a hosting service with multiple locations? It used to be that all your servers were in Dallas. If that's no longer true, perhaps the timestamping bit of code isn't dealing with different local (server) times properly.

Just noticed this myself... On the main forum page, it shows the last post to bugs by ShutterBugger was -230 minutes ago, and there is a question in the Q & A section that comes up as -77 minutes ago.

(Hopefully this info helps staff working out this bug?)

Is it actually a problem?
I assume that the time-stamps are all relative anyway (they ain't my local time)


The actual times do appear to be on the same clock, so surely the time since the post should be correct wherever the post was made from. Also, if the time since the post was compared to local time, all the values would be about 8 hours off, which they are not.

I hardly ever look at the time for meaning, just the page-layout chronology.


I agree that this isn't a major issue, and rarely shows up but I thought I should point it out.