That Bug: Error Fetching URL Meta Data

Today I’m seeing this error on multiple accounts. The failures occur uploading attachments (by URL) with the API and manually. It has similarities to this known issue in that the attachment appears to load into the field and then vanishes a short while thereafter.

Anyone else seeing this?

UPDATE: And of course, as soon as I posted this, the issue has vanished [again]. All systems are now working.

UPDATE #2: Now it is working for manual uploads and failing for API-driven uploads.

UPDATE #3: Now both manual and API uploads are working.

UPDATE #4: I believe there may be a workaround for this issue, or at least of more precise URL for making such requests into Google Drive for non-native Google Docs artefacts. Here is what I’ve noticed:

I discovered that in cases where attachments are pervasively failing from time-to-time, the updates seem to depend on these attributes:

  1. Any URLs used for attachments or viewing into Google Drive must be HTTPS; and…
  2. The URL for attaching documents must specify “?export=download”, not “?export=view”; and…
  3. Any links back from Airtable to allow direct access to the PDF documents must use the “view” option (not the download option unless you literally want users to download instead of viewing documents from a URL field).

Examples -

This URL format used as an attachment fails intermittently:
http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=13KCqGldpbz1os99ATPk0fNuWkQ91YNNF

This URL format used as an attachment seems to succeed all the time:
http://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=13KCqGldpbz1os99ATPk0fNuWkQ91YNNF

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