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TV Schedule Updates

On Tuesday, May 10th the PBS TV Schedule Modules were unavailable for several hours due to an error stemming from prep-work to make an update to the underlying code. Additional safeguards have been put in place to ensure similar unanticipated outages don’t occur in the future.

To lesson potential impact on stations, the PBS development team has scheduled time on Wednesday, May 18th between the hours of 2-5am EDT to continue work on needed updates to the TV Schedule Service. It is possible that TV Schedules will go offline or users may experience a higher than normal error rate during the window.

The needed updates include:

  • Adding a new process and code to prevent outages like the one that occurred earlier this week.
  • Removing automatic localization code from the station modules.

More on the removal of automatic localization:

Released in 2007, the current TV Schedule modules for station sites were designed to place a pbs.org localization cookie on users' computers IF that user had not already selected a preferred station on pbs.org.

With the launch of Merlin last year, we discovered that, in some cases, the TV Schedule modules are over-writing the previously selected preferences of pbs.org users.

Merlin elevates the priority of local content, both to users within the station's local area, and nationwide. Because of this increase of pbs.org traffic going to station sites, it is even more imperative not to automatically re-write a user's pbs.org preferences without that users' knowledge.

Now, with the approaching launch of PROSPER, we have heard loud and clear from several stations that they do not want any chance of users localized to their station on pbs.org to have their station preferences automatically re-written because they happened to click on a link to another station's content.

As such, we are removing the auto-localization feature from the TV Schedule Modules. No other changes are being made to the appearance or functionality of the modules at this time.

Please leave a comment or drop us a line if you have any questions or concerns!

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