Starting yesterday afternoon (14 Aug), the ELU pages I've looked at have had some elements missing from the display. Comparing following pictures, one sees that at least the following items are missing in the first picture:
• English Language Usage fancy title block
• Stack Exchange gadget at top left corner
• Upvote/downvote and Favorite buttons
• Badge type markers (bronze/silver/gold circled dots)

An ELU page from 15 Aug 2013 with elements missing A meta ELU page from 15 Aug 2013 showing ok

Looking at the served HTML for the first page shown below, it appears to me the mainbar div is empty (ie, line 167 <div id="mainbar"> is followed by 3 blank lines and then <div class="question" data-questionid="122775" id="question"> at line 171 at the same indentation level). However, a vote div appears in lines 178–187, as shown below, and upvote/downvote buttons work when the mouse cursor is over them, even though they are not visible:

<div class="vote">
    <input type="hidden" name="_id_" value="122775">
    <a class="vote-up-off" title="This question shows research effort; it is useful and clear">up vote</a>
    <span class="vote-count-post ">2</span>
    <a class="vote-down-off" title="This question does not show any research effort; it is unclear or not useful">down vote</a>

    <a class="star-off" href="#" title="This is a favorite question (click again to undo)">favorite</a>
    <div class="favoritecount"><b></b></div>   


What's this problem caused by? Can it be fixed?

  • This sounds suspiciously like a known browser bug. There has been, for example, a long standing problem in how Google Chrome interacts with Windows XP's "classic" explorer skin that causes buttons to become invisible. Try experimenting with different browsers and different Windows schemes. You might also try clearing your browser cache or deleting and recreating your browser user profile. – MetaEd Aug 16 '13 at 12:33
  • @MετάEd, neither restarting browser (Firefox/23.0) nor clearing browser cache made a difference. I don't have other browsers installed on this machine. (Linux 3.2.0-51 #77-Ubuntu, x86_64) – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 16 '13 at 15:13
  • This is almost certainly a cache issue. See an identical earlier question. I've not used Firefox 23 though, so I can't comment on its cache behaviour. But this is classic cache trouble. – Andrew Leach Aug 16 '13 at 17:51
  • @AndrewLeach, while that sounds plausible, and apparently the problem in the previous question was indeed a bad image in cache, so far none of the following have helped: clearing the caches (both 'Cached Web Content' and 'Offline Web Content and User Data'); turning off caching (ie setting cache size to 0); ctrl-F5 to force a page reload that bypasses cache (according to Wikipedia:Bypass your cache article); + browser restart. Possibly there's a bad cache somewhere between here and ELU, eg at ISP. – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 16 '13 at 19:29
  • ISP caching is a possibility. The ELU composite image is at cdn.sstatic.net/english/img/sprites.png?v=2. See if you can get that, or add a cache-busting parameter: cdn.sstatic.net/english/img/sprites.png?v=2&dummy=0 and see if that works. – Andrew Leach Aug 17 '13 at 7:15
  • @AndrewLeach, on my machine the cdn.sstatic.net/english/img/sprites.png link showed the same picture when browser-accessed as when displayed with gpicview after downloading with wget, which implied not a (local) cache issue. Eventually I temporarily turned off Adblockplus; when that fixed the problem, I looked for cdn.sstatic.net/english/img in Adblockplus' patterns files, noticed it was listed only in last three-days' patterns, and disabled the cdn.sstatic.net/english/img filter entry, which fixed problem. I suppose question can be deleted now. Thanks for help! – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 17 '13 at 15:41

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