Error Code 403 and Lost Files/Global Environment

Hi there,

I am teaching a group of undergraduate students who are all using R Studio Cloud. There are three issues we are running into:

  1. Many students are getting intermittent errors that say "status code 403." For some, they get the error every few minutes and have to restart their R Cloud. Then, they get it again minutes later. Any suggestions with this?
  2. Some (fewer) students log into R Cloud and find that all of the scripts, global environment, EVERYTHING is gone. It's as if they have opened up their project for the very first time--empty console, empty file window, empty global environment. Is there a way for them to recover their work?
  3. One student found that when they tried to open their project they were forever stuck at the screen that says "opening project" (see attached) and it would continue spinning indefinitely. Eventually, they created a new project and started over.

I apologize for lack of detail. It's really hard to provide great detail when it is happening to my students rather than to me. I wish I could give you screen shots and project numbers, but it is happening intermittently to many students. The students are SO frustrated on top of learning R for the first time. Any help you can give is greatly appreciated.

Sherryse

Hi Sherryse,

Thanks for the report, and I'm sorry you're encountering this. Unfortunately, these all sound like separate issues. I have a few questions that might help us more quickly get to the root of what's going on -- I know you said you don't have a ton of additional information about these, but if you can fill in any details here, it'll be very useful:

  1. Re:

Many students are getting intermittent errors that say "status code 403." For some, they get the error every few minutes and have to restart their R Cloud. Then, they get it again minutes later.

When students encounter the "status code 403" error, do they need to do something to restart the project, or does it reload on its own? If the former, when they restart, what do they do? If you have any project URLs where this is happening, and any details about when (date and approximate time) they were encountering it, that'd be helpful too.


  1. Re:

Some (fewer) students log into R Cloud and find that all of the scripts, global environment, EVERYTHING is gone. It's as if they have opened up their project for the very first time--empty console, empty file window, empty global environment.

Can you confirm that these projects had saved files wiped out? (A project relaunch or the R session crashing can wipe out things like console history, but saved files should not disappear, so I want to be clear about what your students are encountering.) If possible, can you send us URLs of any projects where this has happened?


  1. Re:

One student found that when they tried to open their project they were forever stuck at the screen that says "opening project" (see attached) and it would continue spinning indefinitely.

Can you send us a link to this project, if you have it?


Sorry for the frustration, and thanks so much for the help.

Mel

PS If you don't want to post project links here, feel free to DM me. Thanks again.

We've been looking into this issue and while we've not identified the root cause yet, our monitoring system indicates a problem with part of our routing layer that is likely the cause of these issues. We're attempting to gather more information on this, be we believe the issue was transient and perhaps caused by an outage with Amazon Web Services. We don't think this is actively happening, at this time so if you're are continuing to see this behavior, please let us know so we can continue to investigate.

Hi Mel,

Sorry for the late reply on this email. I was waiting for lots of students to send me their project links and, so far, this is what I've got. Students don't always provide the most detailed information (even when you ask for it) so I hope this is helpful anyways.

  1. Status code 403. I think that, most often, it reloads on it's own but some students have reported needing to refresh their page. We have done some trouble shooting on this and I think that, for at least most of students, if they QUIT their browser completely, it stops for at least a while. If they just refresh, it keeps happening.

THis student is getting the 403 error a lot even when they restart their computer. He reported that it was happening in the very early hours (1-2am) of Oct 23rd.
https://rstudio.cloud/project/547546

  1. Almost everything is gone. Here is a report from one student "I am having a lot of trouble with RStudio. It keeps on crashing on me and every time it does it erases everything I have been working on (even though I saved it). This repeated over and over again even when trying the other 2 internet engines I have. I even tried using 3 different desktop computers in the library, having the same outcome. I realized they were gone Tuesday, October 22rd between 9:30-10. I had almost everything done that I needed to get done when the website crashed and wouldn't let me log back in no matter what computer or browser I was on. Then around 1 am I was able to get back in. The file its self did not go away but, the coding on them was gone." https://rstudio.cloud/project/546303

This happened to other students too, losing even R scripts they had saved. Unfortunately, this was the only student who did the work to send me their project code. Some students reported that they logged into R one day and everything appeared as if they were opening R for the first time (no scripts, no data, no nothing). I didn't get any project links from these students because, apparently, they don't want help. ????

  1. Project forever loading. This happened to only one student, who DID send me their website but it's was hyperlinked (so I don't know the project number). I tried to just open the link and was denied access so I don't think he followed my instructions to make it public.

I hope that helps. If I get more information, I'll send it your way.

Best,
Sherryse

Here is one more. This student's console looked like this when they logged in (see attached). They said "This is what came up on the screen when it logged me out and i had to redo everything. I tried redownloading the addhealth data sheet but its still being goofy. I lost everything I made in my eviornment and I lost all my renamed variables. I do not know why but the code "freq" does not show up for me anymore. This happened to me around 10 pm last night (Oct 28th). I didnt lose really any of my coding." So it sounds like this student lost their global environment, but not their saved scripts. I repeatedly tell students to save their global environment and back up their script files but it doesn't always work out that way. I told the student how to get their frequency function working again. Here is the project link: https://rstudio.cloud/project/547355