Better error message on SOTAwatch

I just attempted to post a SOTAwatch Alert for an upcoming activation which failed with the error “Submission failed.” at the bottom of the window with no other indication of what went wrong. I initially thought it was a server-side error due to overload or other error, but it did not go away. After a few minutes of playing with it, I finally realized I had selected the previous week and not next week, a perfectly good reason to reject my activation alert.

I would like to ask if the error message for this could be improved to return something like “Date too early” or even just “Invalid date”, and/or highlighting the incorrect field in red so it’s more obvious what is wrong. The message “Submission failed” sounds more like a server-side error or connection issue to me and did not imply that it was just a stupid user error. :wink:

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Good idea, Loren. I’ll lobby to change it to Stupid User Error until IT gets some idle time to fix it.

Elliott, K6EL
Sota MT

It’s still a bit vague though. Error S0C9 worked for ibm.

Very specific but utterly meaningless.


What error message should we display if you enter the wrong date in the future?

I think a message of surprise would be good. Such as “really? That far ahead?”

One of the messages seen from a past colleaugue’s program was displayed on the operators console. The word “ouch” meant that there was a checksum error on the input master file. Obvious when you think about it.

Oh, dear…

That feature is only available to Dr Who.



Curious what browser you are using, as in all my testing trying to set previous week (using the date picker or manually editing the date field) showed a nice bright red box saying the date was not correct.


It’s not super clear, so I’ve updated it to say “invalid” rather than “required”. In any case, just trying to work out how a previous week date was set so I can close that particular entry point off.

It actually does try to display the error message, just that the value that’s returned is silently killed about halfway through the return process. I’ve now fixed that.

Will be live once the build completes, and will need a refresh of your SW3 page to test.


Excellent response.


I am using Google Chrome on Linux. I believe the difference is that I did not actually try modifying the date. It was set to the current day at the time of posting AKA the previous Saturday before the intent so it was a valid date for a possible future activation, but not for the time I had chosen, much earlier in the day. That UI error you have in your screenshot is only triggered when actually editing the field and choosing a date before the current UTC day, but it does not catch errors for which it is the current UTC date and an earlier UTC time of day. Those only get caught on submission time and give a generic error. However, it looks like they’ve fixed that and include a detailed error:

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Indeed - IBM became famous for their obscure messages- later on we got an “AMD failure” message on one box - it took us ages to work out the fan had failed.

On a similar off-topic tack, I worked for a while on a Texas 9900 based system that had a custom OS. If it failed to boot, the 16 LED’s on the front would light up in this pattern :wink:

xx-x xxx- x-x- xx-x


DEAD - I like it!

Yep, as I mentioned in my previous post, I fixed that for you.


Yes, I probably didn’t word that response correctly, but I definitely realized that you had fixed it by that time and it is a very clear error now. Thanks!

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