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fortscan
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Tue Mar 24, 2015 9:20 pm

Have any other developers -or Roku- noticed that the redirection which was recently implemented from owner.roku.com to my.roku.com broke the traditional method of adding private channels via a direct link?

Previously, the sequence was as follows:

1) The user would access:
https://owner.roku.com/add/{channel-code}

2) The request would be redirected to the login interface while preserving a reference to the previous linking URL and channel code:
https://owner.roku.com/Login/?ReturnUrl=/add/{channel-code}

3) The user would submit the credentials.

4) After validating the credentials, a redirection would finally take the user to:
https://owner.roku.com/add/{channel-code}

This workflow is currently not working, since there appears to be no ?ReturnUrl querystring added right after step 1), when the request is now redirected by default to my.roku.com.

In other words when someone is asked to enter owner.roku.com/add/{channel-code}, the generic user interface from my.roku.com is shown instead of being taken to the actual installation of the channel.

While channels can still be added by manually going to the "Add Channel" link within the main account interface, the direct link method is widely used by thousands of channels and had become a standard reference to let people more easily complete the process.

Feedback on this issue from other developers and/or Roku would be greatly appreciated.
 
fortscan
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Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:54 am

In addition to the previously reported issue, end-users have also been reporting the following 2 issues since the redesign/update from owner.roku.com to my.roku.com took place:

1) Even when manually adding a channel (i.e. as opposed to using the direct URL link) by going to "Add a Private Channel" from the client interface, the confirmation message mistakenly assumes that all channels are paid channels and reports (even for free channels):

Channel {channel-name} has been added to your home screen, but will need to be purchased before it will work. Channel purchases are made from your device and require a valid payment method associated with your Roku account.

This is extremely confusing for the end-user, who just came from a previous screen that clearly stated that the channel was free, and now suspects he/she will be charged for it by Roku.

2) Roku seems to have removed or hidden the "Remove Payment Method" link which was always available at the payment method update screen from the customer interface. This was even referenced in an official FAQ:

[url]http://support.roku.com/entries/387912-How-do-I-remove-my-payment-information-from-my-Roku-account-
[/url]

Feedback from Roku would be highly appreciated.
 
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TheEndless
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Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:34 pm

I'm not seeing either of the issues you're reporting here. The https://owner.roku.com/add/{channel-code} still works the way it always has for me, and free channels aren't showing the "will need to be purchased" message. Maybe it's a browser specific issue. I'm using Chrome, you?
My Channels: http://roku.permanence.com - Twitter: @TheEndlessDev
Instant Watch Browser (NetflixIWB), Aquarium Screensaver (AQUARIUM), Clever Clocks Screensaver (CLEVERCLOCKS), iTunes Podcasts (ITPC), My Channels (MYCHANNELS)
 
fortscan
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:35 pm

Thank you for your feedback!

It's not a browser issue, we actually tested it in all major browsers before reporting it.

The difference is that you are probably testing it while being already logged in to your Roku account.

You can perform the following test:

1. Logout from your Roku account
2. Click https://owner.roku.com/add/nautiluslive (completely random channel I just picked)
3. You will be redirected to my.roku.com in order to submit your credentials
4. Once the credentials are validated, the default user interface page will be displayed, instead of the actual channel linking page.

You can also replicate the other issue (free channels reported as requiring a payment) with the following test:

1. Once logged in to your Roku account, click on the "Add a Private Channel" link from "Manage Account" section.
2. Enter any sample code and confirm the installation
3. You will notice that the "Channel Added" message mistakenly informs that the channel needs to be purchased.

Below is a sample screenshot of the message:
http://awesomescreenshot.com/02f4qesnab

The workaround we identified for the first issue (default linking URL format not working) is using the following format for the linking URL:
https://my.roku.com/account?next=https://owner.roku.com/add/nautiluslive

Here the manually added 'next' query string is basically doing the same as the previous 'ReturnUrl' was doing at owner.roku.com. In other words, it's allowing the end-user to login in one page while at the same time retaining a reference to a second page where the end-user should be taken inmediately after login.

However, using this approach with the 'next' querystring manually added to the URL (as opposed to automatically detected by Roku) is clearly inconvenient and it would only be useful by mapping a third-party short URL to it.

A definitive fix could be implemented if the 'ReturnUrl' query string was added as a variable that the my.roku.com deployment was able to recognize for requests originally redirected from owner.roku.com, therefore taking the end-user back to the channel installation page after the login process is concluded at my.roku.com.
 
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squirreltown
Posts: 870
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Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:38 pm

TheEndless wrote:
I'm not seeing either of the issues you're reporting here. The https://owner.roku.com/add/{channel-code} still works the way it always has for me, and free channels aren't showing the "will need to be purchased" message. Maybe it's a browser specific issue. I'm using Chrome, you?


I thought this too, and then today I tried logging out ( like most developers i suppose i logged in a couple of years ago and have not had a need to log out) and i tried a link i have on my web site and it of course asked me to log in and then forgot where i was going, it just took me to my account page. If i'm already logged in the web site link works like it always has. I'm using Chrome too.

This thread was started 48 hours ago, perhaps someone with Roku in their name could respond, I'd like to know whether I need to do this work around thing or if it will be fixed.
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RokuJoel
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Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:36 am

Our web services teams are (now) aware of the issue and we expect a fix to be pushed on Tuesday.

- Joel
 
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squirreltown
Posts: 870
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:46 am

RokuJoel wrote:
Our web services teams are (now) aware of the issue and we expect a fix to be pushed on Tuesday.

- Joel

Thanks Joel.
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fortscan
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:15 pm

Thank you so much for your feedback!
 
destruk
Posts: 2720
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:58 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:34 pm

Would you be able to fix the displayed data too - for channels?
This doesn't look very good -
"ASDomain_Data_Channel_ParentalHint_AllAges
ASDomain_Data_Channel_AdditionalRequirements_AdditionalFeesMayApply"
 
bosborne
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:42 am

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:32 pm

This is still not fixed, is it?
 
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RokuJoel
Posts: 1758
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:22 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Thu Aug 20, 2015 4:20 pm

Our services are having some technical difficulties right now, I don't believe this has anything to do with the issues reported in this thread though the symptoms might be similar. Hopefully back to normal by Monday.

Joel.
 
fortscan
Topic Author
Posts: 31
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:17 pm

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:07 pm

The default workflow for installing private channels using a direct URL is broken again.

The my.roku.com web service suddenly stopped recognizing the ?next querystring which is appended automatically when an end-user clicks on the linking URL for any channel while not being logged in.

Usual workflow:
1. The user clicks on: https://my.roku.com/add/{channel-access-code}
2. The web service redirects to: https://my.roku.com/signin?next=https%3A%2F%2Fmy.roku.com%2Faccount%2Fadd%3Fchannel%3D{channel-access-code}
3. The login interface is displayed, the user logs in, and is automatically redirected to the installation page for the corresponding channel

Current error:
After step 2., the user is taken by default to https://my.roku.com/index instead of the actual installation page for the corresponding channel.

This is a relatively serious bug since all of the URLs for private channels have suddenly stopped working unless the user is already logged in.
 
EnTerr
** Valued Community Member **
Posts: 3834
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:41 am

Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Sun Jan 10, 2016 2:05 pm

Linkbacking for posterity:
fortscan wrote:
Technically both methods still work with certain workarounds if you are already logged in to a Roku account.

Examples that work while being already logged in:

a) https://owner.roku.com/add/{access-code}
b) https://my.roku.com/account/add?channel={access-code} (instead of my.roku.com/add/{access-code} )

The real problem is that none of these methods (or any other) seem to work if the user is not already logged in, because the system redirects to my.roku.com/signin and does not retain any of the querystrings that were originally passed to take the user back to the installation page after the login process is completed, such as ?next=...

In other words, if you manually logout from your Roku account (or if you are not already logged in like what happens with most users) and you try to access any private channel linking URL, the process will fail at this time.

For an end-user, it's extremely confusing clicking on a link that should take them to the installation of a channel and -after submitting the Roku credentials- be taken to the standard /index page of the Roku account instead.

This could be quickly fixed if the ?next= querystring that is automatically added when the system redirects to my.roku.com/signin is retained and the system is able to recognize that it should take the user back to the channel installation page after successfully loggin in.

Love the optimism ("this could be quickly fixed") but in my experience RokuCo's web developers are incredible klutzes. I would say they have reached their maximum potential under Peter's principle... in other words, being marginally incompetent. Not "marginally competent", mind you - but a small step further. Just enough to break things yet not enough to get fired.

Am i being too acerbic? I am sorry but it's never excusable to break things in PRODUCTION. That is sacred. Machines should work. Learning-on-the-job is not something web devs should do - if you don't know some modern technology, don't use it till you have mastered it.

Back to the business at hand: we should have a BRIEF and RELIABLE url to add Roku channels by vanity code. Something that can be printed on a business card and be relied to work when a person types it. To be brief, it should not require typing https:// in front. And to be reliable, it should always work - even if a person is logged off, the workflow should not lose the initial URL and would lead them to the channel screen after having to log in.

So, @RokuCo -
give us something short and sweet to use, like "my.roku.com/add/MYAPPCODE" -
and not something long and stupid, like "https://my.roku.com/account/add?channel=MYAPPCODE"
And guarantee it always works by adding test cases for it to an automated test suite!
Last edited by EnTerr on Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
belltown
Posts: 1465
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Re: Private channels: URL linking method no longer working

Sun Jan 10, 2016 3:23 pm

EnTerr wrote:
Linkbacking for posterity:

give us something short and sweet to use, like "my.roku.com/add/MYAPPCODE[/color]" -
and not something long and stupid, like "https://my.roku.com/account/add?channel=MYAPPCODE"
And guarantee it always works by adding test cases for it to an automated test suite!


Agreed.

Or even: add.roku.com/MYAPPCODE
https://github.com/belltown/

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