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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Has anyone else's LS feeds been messed up today? So far my HandSpring and OmahaSteaks feeds are missing fields, like the Sub Category field. If you autoload your feeds you may want to check them.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    Yup. One of mine is screwed up. Sharper Image. Let's hope it is a one day goof up.

    Chris

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    Scriptsforyoursite.com - Featuring datafeed import scripts for Backcountry Store, Coldwater Creek, Mondera.com and many more.....

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I see the J & R feed is hosed as well.

  4. #4
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    The Dell feed too

  5. #5
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Xandman:
    I see the J & R feed is hosed as well. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What does 'hosed' mean?

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I just meant it was messed up. Their feed has been pretty good for months now.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    When you say hosed, what do you mean exactly? I just looked at mine and all my feeds are corrupted. The size for all of them are 105 bytes ea.

    Anyone else seeing this?

    Chris
    Recycled Talent - Architects of custom scripts and snippets, perfectly written to suit any need. We stay on top of the latest technology so you don't have to.
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  8. #8
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    Must be lucky this time, all of mine look fine and processed ok.

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Mine looked ok too.
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  10. #10
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    I have been having trouble for the past couple of days with my datafeeds coming with 0kb. Before Christmas they were working fine. But are messing up now. I use a vbscript, I have tried using msdos as an alternative and still 0kb.

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    Here is what I have been able to find out. I am writing a script that will download all the files at once, so others may not being seeing this same issue.

    After downloading all the feeds a number of times, the file sizes suddenly become 105 bytes in size. Even the files that were over 300 meg are now 105 bytes. What I am assuming is that LS is limiting the number of times we are allowed to download the files. I guess after we download it X times, they replace the file(s) with blank files.

    I only have access to my files. If a few people could download a file or two several times and see if anything changes. Also if you do this, check the file sizes after an hour. I noticed the file changes after about 45 minutes of testing.

    I would be interested in hearing if anyone else sees the same results.

    Chris
    Recycled Talent - Architects of custom scripts and snippets, perfectly written to suit any need. We stay on top of the latest technology so you don't have to.
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  12. #12
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Chris, you may want to do something similar to my script. I check the date and time on the .lmp files to make sure they're changed and only download it if it changed.
    Michael Coley
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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador cditty's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip Michael. I thought about the timestamp, but decided against it as people update their feeds at different times. By doing so, if a affiliate and merchants update daily, the affiliate will be a day behind because your script only downloads if the date is not today.

    While the idea is sound, it doesn't answer the burning question. Is LS limiting our downloads?

    Chris
    Recycled Talent - Architects of custom scripts and snippets, perfectly written to suit any need. We stay on top of the latest technology so you don't have to.
    Total Stupidity - Shining light on stupid things.

  14. #14
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    The lmp file is updated "regardless" on a daily basis so checking for a last mod date/time on it is only usefull if the download script is running multiple times a day! The next day (at whatever point ls updates the lmp), you will get a different date time and download everything all over again.

    I sent LS a note a while back and told them there process "pre lmp" was very wasteful and they could eliminate tons of unnecessary bandwidth from affs downloading datafeeds where no changes occured. Prior to the lmp change, they pushed a new file regradless if it changed or not which also resulted in unnecessary downloads.

    At first, I thought the lmp file may have been a attempt to address the issues I brought to thier attention but it didnt take long to figure out that if it was, it still sucked - LOL.

    As for other networks, the process works very good. I keep track of the results of datafeed processing in a datafeed_exec_history table that specifies the datetime, number of records, inserts, updates, deletes, dups removed, etc and the lastmod date and filesize are also part of this table as well as a success indicator and a field to describe particular error info if encountered.

    When processing a datafeed, I first obtain the last successfully processed record from the job stats for the merchant, connect to the server as needed, get the file size and last mod date, compare them and then only process the datafeed if something changed. Keeping the info in a database also allows me be able to review exactly how much and how frequently a datafeed is changing which "if I wanted to" could use to optimize the schedule of how frequently a merchants datafeed is even looked at for changes.

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Chris: I actually check both the date and time, not just the date.

    I kind of wondered if the timestamp on the .lmp files really meant anything. Linkshare told me that they would be changed when the merchant had a new datafeed file available. The times all vary by a few minutes, so I thought that might actually be true.

    I might modify my script to download the files a few extra times each day and compare it to my local copy. I hate to waste so much bandwidth and processing time, but Linkshare really doesn't give us much choice if we want current data.
    Michael Coley
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  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador LinkShare Moderator's Avatar
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    LinkShare has recently made several enhancements to the Merchandiser file retrieval process. This reminder is directed to those affiliates who have not yet updated their retrieval process. The following instructions summarize the key changes:

    1. Only One Open FTP Session Per User:
    LinkShare supports only one open FTP session per username and password. If more than one FTP session is open with the same username and password, the additional sessions will produce an error message.

    2. Omit the ".lmp" Extension:
    When requesting Merchandiser files through FTP, omit the ".lmp" extension. In your affiliate FTP account, you will notice files ending in ".lmp" instead of ".gz". The ".lmp" extension represents a placeholder and not an actual file so you should not attempt to download it. Although the file with the ".gz" extension may not be visible in the FTP directory, you will still be able to download it by using FTP commands such as the following example.

    get 802_112_mp.txt.gz (for the text file version)

    3. Use the "get" Command:
    Use the "get" command to retrieve the file via FTP. The system will not respond to the "mget" command.

    4. Unzip Merchandiser in Binary mode:
    Please unzip the Merchandiser feed using Binary mode. Any files unzipped in ASCII mode will produce an error or corrupt the data.

    We hope that you find this reminder helpful. For any questions or to request the most recent LinkShare Merchandiser Implementation Guidelines please contact: Merchandiser-a@linkshare.com

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Has anything changed with this process in the past 1-2 weeks? I was able to pull them without problems but now they're all 0 bytes. My process hasn't changed since Nov.21 so why the 0 byte files now?
    Greg Rice Affiliate Program Management
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  18. #18
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I might modify my script to download the files a few extra times each day and compare it to my local copy. I hate to waste so much bandwidth and processing time, but Linkshare really doesn't give us much choice if we want current data. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This would be completely unnecessary, just watch when the lmp files change (which is almost always only once a day) and then download everything and process it regradless if it changed or not.

    If LS would be smart enough to "not update the .lmp field every day" when no changes have occured in a datafeed they would save tons of bandwidth and we would save tons of processing time that is completely wasted all to frequently.

    Consider Office deport's datafeed which I see it has changed in record sizes as below:
    12/21/2004 5:10:14 AM 25685
    12/8/2004 5:06:55 AM 25956
    12/1/2004 5:06:24 AM 25931
    11/16/2004 5:06:00 AM 25896
    11/9/2004 5:04:38 AM 25786
    10/19/2004 5:19:08 AM 26553

    So, from 10/19 I've downloaded and processed an average of 26,000 records from this datafeed "EVERY DAY" to determine no changes have occured with exception to the above dates. How many other affiliates use there datafeed and are doing the same thing? Heck if I know but that looks like it could add up to be a fair amount of bandwidth to me. It's definately a ton of wasted processor time on my end that I'd certainly rather not HAVE TO DO.

    How about it LS, if you wont fix this to save money for yall will you please do it to save us some time in keeping merchants products updated.

    Wait a minute - I have a bright idea - lets all do like Michael suggested and download the feeds several times a day regardless - naw.... lets just make it habit of not updating the merchants sites but once a month "or never" and not concern ourselves with price changes so we don't have to worry with these kinds of "minor details".

  19. #19
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by happypoon:
    This would be completely unnecessary, just watch when the lmp files change (which is almost always only once a day) and then download everything and process it regradless if it changed or not. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>That's what I'm currently doing. I must have misunderstood your previous message. I thought you were implying that there were changes sometimes when the .lmp timestamp wasn't updated.

    I agree. It would be nice if they changed the .lmp timestamp ONLY if the data actually changed.
    Michael Coley
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  20. #20
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    Sheesh, a person has to wonder why Linkshare makes it so hard to work with them.

  21. #21
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    Looks like their server is messy up again. for the past couple of day 0kb again. I using a vb file script. Two days ago getting good feeds now 0kb. They need to figure out what the problem is. This is ultimately messing with their pocketbook, so I don't understand why they would change from what has always works to some that only works sometimes.

  22. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by LinkShare Moderator:
    LinkShare has recently made several enhancements to the Merchandiser file retrieval process. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Thanks for the "enhancements". Now can you make it work again?
    Michael Coley
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  23. #23
    Web Ho - Design B!tch ~Michelle's Avatar
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    I also am only receiving files that are 0KB in size.

    Please fix this.
    ~Michelle
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    "Work to become, not to acquire." -- Confucius

  24. #24
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I agree. It would be nice if they changed the .lmp timestamp ONLY if the data actually changed. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Don't keep your fingers crossed but it would be nice.

    Let me see.....
    &lt;pre&gt;
    if (merchant_datafeed_changes)
    {
    look up subscribers for merchant
    while not eof
    {
    push lmp file to each subscribers dir
    }
    }
    else
    {
    // save tons of bandwidth and processing
    // time by doing nothing
    }
    &lt;/pre&gt;

    Looks pretty difficult to me, don't keep your fingers crossed.

    And the kicker is they aready have a system in place to determine if changes occured or not, they just don't effectively utilize that knowledge.

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    I was thinking of using this for the LS feed:

    &lt;?php
    if LinkShare ever gets this fixed
    //hurry and download the files before it breaks again
    {
    get 000_000000_mp.txt.gz
    }
    else
    {
    //time to insert appropriate explitives
    echo "#$%@###&& still not working"
    abort file download
    //actually a useless command since file size is 0 bytes, download is faster than command to abort the transfer

    //ok, check ABestWeb for update
    goto (http://www.abestweb.com)
    goto LinShare section
    check topic "Datafeeds Bad?"
    read thread for new posts
    if
    {
    new post LIKE ("LinkShare has recently made several enhancements")
    //insert more appropriate expletives
    echo "son of a #$%&*!"
    //update calendar
    Login Outlook Calendar
    (update schedule, delete "Update LS Datafeeds" replace "Look for new merchants elsewhere")
    }
    //remove the nasty messages from McAfee Viruscan
    OPEN McAfee Viruscan
    read messages
    if message LIKE "Do you want to scan these 0 byte files again? Why do you keep downloading 0 byte files?"
    action = Click "NO"
    exit (disgusted again)
    goto (something more productive)
    good-bye
    ?&gt;

    The syntax needs a little work, I know, but may just do the trick.
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