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On Wed, 4 Jun 2014 23:58:14 -0500, Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On May 29, 2014, at 3:28 PM, Jörg Rhiemeier <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hallo conlangers!
>> 
>> It seems that the CONLANG archive database is damaged.  Some old
>> posts cannot be accessed, yielding the error message:
>> 
>> The format of the index file is invalid. Please try again in about
>> 30 seconds, and report the problem if it persists for more than a
>> few minutes.
>> 
>> (Example: http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/cgi-
>> bin/wa?A2=ind0906c&L=conlang&T=0&F=&S=&P=36295)
>> 
>> This probably also explains the "No Match" cases I reported a few
>> days ago.
>> 
>> Is there any hope that this problem can be fixed, or are we
>> experiencing an ongoing meltdown?
>
>This makes me uneasy. Has there been any progress on this? Alex, have you been in touch with Brown?

Yes.  I don't think there's actually any underlying problem (anymore?).  Joerg's example link must have been a sporadic hiccup, of a kind I see occasionally as well; when I see it it's fixed by reloading the page on which the link appears.  

Brown's list maintainer and master of Yet Stranger Powers, Peter Dicamillo, wrote me:
> I'm not aware of any problem with the archives, but I did have Listserv
> rebuild the search index for CONLANG. Then I tried some quick tests of
> searching and didn't encounter any problems.
>
> The URL in the example,
>
> http://listserv.brown.edu/archives/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0906c&L=conlang&T=0&F=&S=&P=36295
>
> doesn't work because it specifies line 36,295 of the archive file for 0906c
> (week 3 of June, 2009), but that file has only 21,045 lines. Possibly now
> that I've rebuilt the index, Listserv would not generate a URL like that. If
> you can still reproduce the problem, I may need to know what steps you
> followed, and not just the URL.
>
> The list archives are just a set of plain text files, in the case of
> CONLANG, one file for each week . So the archives can't become corrupted in
> the way that a database could be, and I can directly examine them.

Alex