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June 15, 2013 5:24 AM   Subscribe

Over in this longboat thread, we've discovered an odd bug. If you try to make a post that's identical to one that you've made previously in the same thread, it doesn't work. Instead, the thread refreshes and goes to your previous comment.
posted by klausness to Bugs at 5:24 AM (79 comments total)

pb can clarify and explicate, but it's not bug, it's a feature! To solve the problem of a lot of accidental double posting of comments, comment posts that are *exactly* the same as an earlier one by the same user are killed. To avoid this (and please use this knowledge for good, not evil!) one can make a slight change. Perhaps adding a non-breaking space, for example, would work. (I'm not even sure if non-breaking spaces are allowed, actually, but I think so)
posted by taz (staff) at 5:29 AM on June 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


(I'm not even sure if non-breaking spaces are allowed, actually, but I think so)

They are indeed, I use them all the time since proper French punctuation requires a non-breaking space before exclamation points, question marks, colons and semi-colons.

(When I read this my first thought as a functional software tester by day was that yep, it was probably a feature - it's not a bug-type behavior! Nice to see that confirmed.)

Also. here is a longish sentence just to allow for length long enough for easier browser resizing to show that when I say "Bonjour !" with a non-breaking space, the non-breaking space does indeed work ;) so yes, it can be used. For Good. Not Evil.        muha.            muhaha.                    muhahahaha. (kay I'll stop non-breaking now.)
posted by fraula at 5:34 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


CALM-ENTS
THE "PUSTS" IN A PUST ARE CALLED CALM-ENTS
NOT PUSTS BUT CALM-ENTS
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:45 AM on June 15, 2013 [7 favorites]


Ah, OK. It did seem a bit odd to be a bug -- you'd have to be doing something bizarrely wrong like looking up comments in a database based on their content to have something like this show up as a bug. But as a feature, it might be useful to have some sort of built-in lag to allow a repeat comment after a certain amount of time. I can think of legitimate cases where you might make the same comment twice. But not a big deal, I guess...
posted by klausness at 5:46 AM on June 15, 2013


And if you have to repeat yourself, just add "As I said before..."

And if you have to repeat yourself twice, you probably don't.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:00 AM on June 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


You also cannot make a comment that has smalltext "posted by" at the start of a new line, as it would allow for you to make a comment that appeared to be authored by someone else.

The More You Know ♒★
posted by Rock Steady at 6:11 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can you make the exact same comment as you made in an entirely different thread?

(I think I will test this.)
posted by jeather at 6:15 AM on June 15, 2013


Yes, you can make the same comment in a different thread, you don't need to test.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:36 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Speaking from experience pasting things from websites and PDFs into word processors and trying to keep consistent formatting, non-breaking spaces are literally the devil.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:43 AM on June 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


posted by I'm both impressed by this feature and saddened someone thought it necessary

But you can do it not in small text
posted by hoyland at 6:44 AM on June 15, 2013


I seem to recall that we originally did this back in the day where there was a lot of accidental double posting because of some weird Cold Fusion thing so pb built the checker so that if there was a hiccup (leading to maybe 20 double posts happening all over the site) they would all get automatically cleaned up. Hasn't been a problem in a long time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:03 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Test 1
posted by double block and bleed at 7:17 AM on June 15, 2013


Test 1 
posted by double block and bleed at 7:18 AM on June 15, 2013


I promise I won't use that for EVIL.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:18 AM on June 15, 2013


Yes, you can make the same comment in a different thread, you don't need to test.

I promise, if we start repeating comments from the alphabet thread elsewhere that wouldn't go down well with the community. Our brains are getting warped there.
posted by Namlit at 7:21 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


You might want to change the comparison so that it strips out things like   to prevent old skool Slashdot-style crapflooding.

Actually, that's probably what the banhammer is for.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:26 AM on June 15, 2013


I think I've caught another tiny bug in this comment: there's a non-printing character that is showing up as a box in the thread, but it's invisible in the edit form.

(Also I had to make an effort not to start this comment with a Z)
posted by Dr Dracator at 8:06 AM on June 15, 2013


there's a non-printing character that is showing up as a box in the thread, but it's invisible in the edit form.

What did you type there originally? That is an 8000+ comment thread at this point and we were pretty clear that it was abandoned by the mods. If you want to try making that comment here where we don't need to load several MB of lulz to see if there is something actually broken we'd be happy to take a look.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:10 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


YOURE NOT MODERATING THE ALPHABET THREAD???
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:38 AM on June 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


No. Go nuts.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:39 AM on June 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thus was Pandora's thread opened.
posted by arcticseal at 8:40 AM on June 15, 2013 [8 favorites]


Did someone say donuts?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:45 AM on June 15, 2013 [9 favorites]


What letter does the treaty of westphalia start with again?
posted by dersins at 8:47 AM on June 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


U.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:15 AM on June 15, 2013


History
repeats itself
Eerie.
posted by infini at 9:58 AM on June 15, 2013


No. Go nuts.

At last, a chance to post bucketloads of porn!
posted by zarq at 10:14 AM on June 15, 2013


The use of the word "bucketloads" in the context of pornography results in an unwanted mental image, kthx.

Gah.
posted by Mooski at 10:18 AM on June 15, 2013


What did you type there originally?

Didn't actually type anything, it came via copy & paste (from youtube comments, I am ashamed to admit). Let me try that again:

TOMATO JUICE TOMATO SEEDS TOMATO JUICE TOMATO SEEDS TOMATO JUICE TOMATO SEEDS TOMATO JUICE TOMATO SEEDS TOMATO JUICE TOMATO SEEDS
posted by Dr Dracator at 10:18 AM on June 15, 2013


I didn't post it in that thread because it already takes three days to load it.
posted by Treaty of Westphalia at 10:21 AM on June 15, 2013 [5 favorites]


Welp, it is the Treaty of Westphalia after all...
posted by infini at 10:36 AM on June 15, 2013


Yes, you can make the same comment in a different thread, you don't need to test.
posted by taz


DTMFA.
posted by spitbull at 11:17 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did someone say Cronuts?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:07 PM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


At last, a chance to post bucketloads of porn!

sigh...

somebody has to...

"Two Girls One Bucket"
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:22 PM on June 15, 2013


No. Go nuts.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:39 on June 16 [2 favorites +] [!]

Thus was Pandora's thread opened.
posted by arcticseal at 5:40 on June 16 [5 favorites +] [!]

Did someone say donuts?
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:45 on June 16 [2 favorites +] [!]


(Mark Mothersbaugh's 'Hardest Geometry Problem in the World starts playing)

(Hal_c_on puts down newspaper)

I'm sorry, did someone say my name?
(Light laughter)

Check out the alphabet thread to find out ALL the mean secrets about Tom Cruise! Also...how do I really feel about you, Israel and Palestine, cis gender, and raising babies, and roe v wade, and don't forget about my latest comment deletion and how it was fueled by the NSA's dollars being injected into metafilter. By the way, you're WRONG, and I'm gonna prove it!
!!!

Ah, the good old days.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:58 PM on June 15, 2013


If this goes through, the filter may need fixing.

posted by JiBB at 2:14 PM on June 15 [+] [!]
posted by JiBB at 2:25 PM on June 15, 2013


Or JiBB may need to go through Hacker Re-education School...

(yeah, it doesn't exist NOW, but they're working on it)
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:27 PM on June 15, 2013


I make the best steak and kidney puddings in the world.

boasted pie ambrosen at 10:27 PM on June 15 [+] [!]
posted by ambrosen at 2:32 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


My sexual orientation has nothing to do with this.
posted bi oneswellfoop at 2:27 PM on June 15 [+] [!]
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:43 PM on June 15, 2013


Why were you even trying to post two identical comments...?
posted by Segundus at 3:22 PM on June 15, 2013


That longboat thread closes in less than 15 minutes, if people wanna have their um say in it. Best be quick...
posted by Wordshore at 3:33 PM on June 15, 2013


Why were you even trying to post two identical comments...?

Sometimes a point bears repeating!
posted by cjorgensen at 3:35 PM on June 15, 2013


Why were you even trying to post two identical comments...?

Sometimes a point bears repeating!

posted by cjorgensen at 3:36 PM on June 15, 2013


Longboat down. We won the internetz. Yay.
posted by Namlit at 3:55 PM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


For the record, in the long-ass thread where everything had to was supposed to be in alphabetical order, there were frequent efforts by myself AND OTHERS to fill in spaces of inactivity with one-word comments. So I first noticed the behavior on my second "Zamboni".

And if you don't want to have to load the entire monstrosity to find out, the final total was 8,659 comments with Wordshore eponysterically getting the last word.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:07 PM on June 15, 2013


8,659 comments in 31 days = 744 hours = 44,640 minutes = 2,678,400 seconds is one comment every 5 minutes and 9 seconds, on average.
posted by Wordshore at 4:37 PM on June 15, 2013


I thought I got in after Wordshore, however by the time my tablet relaxed the monster page, I was too late.

Did someone say donuts?
Cortex is Beetlejuice.
posted by arcticseal at 4:42 PM on June 15, 2013


I thought I had got the last word in too, because my last comment showed up directly above the thread closed announcement but, on re-loading it, Wordshore's comment magically appeared and crushed my achievement. An achievement tinged with some shame, I admit - deliberately setting out to break a record by simply creating a thread filled with absolute nonsense seems akin to finding some obscure activity that nobody has ever done before just to get an entry in the Guinness Book of Records somehow. It kind of has that 'walk of shame' feeling to it.
posted by dg at 4:54 PM on June 15, 2013


Wasn't there some weirdness where someone made the same comment half a dozen times over a week or so?

The way I remember it, originally comments were submitted using GET instead of POST, so if you reloaded the page after you posted a comment, the browser didn't know any better and sent the comment again. In this case, someone left the page open in a tab and forgot about it, and every time they restarted the browser, the comment was reposted.
posted by yuwtze at 7:01 PM on June 15, 2013


You should put a nonce on the querystring. I have one app where I use a nonce, the current date time, and a shared secret. I store used nonces in the app server in a key/value store. I can reject querystrings based on age or based in how many times they were used. It isn't like high security or anything but it stops people from copy pasting urls with the string and sending them in email and then having to support that query string format forever because everyone uses it.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:11 PM on June 15, 2013


I miss the alphabet thread already, but am also vaguely relieved it's closed.
posted by donnagirl at 10:12 PM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jesus, I missed an 8600 comment alphabet thread? fuuuuuh.

did cortex make any cool graphs?
posted by not_on_display at 10:19 PM on June 15, 2013


Jesus, I missed an 8600 comment alphabet thread? fuuuuuh.

did cortex make any cool graphs?


It's all there for you to read. We wrote it for people like you!
posted by Namlit at 11:43 PM on June 15, 2013


but, on re-loading it, Wordshore's comment magically appeared

Yeah, that NSA PRISM backdoor to MetaFilter is pretty damned useful for putting content in, as well as out. Who knew you only needed your Nintendo 3DS friend code to get in?

I typo-edited the comment, then realized that could use the edit function to completely change it to something less duller for posterity. Several things beginning with G were pondered for the next five minutes. But temptation was tempered by the realization that improper use of the edit function would result in setting the "Days since I have been told off by mod Jessamyn" counter back to zero.

So, sorry the thread has concluded with something, well, dull. There are many people on MetaFilter who could have spontaneously written something far better.
posted by Wordshore at 3:03 AM on June 16, 2013


Nah, Wordsmithshore, you did fine. I'm just glad you were able to use the edit function after the thread officially closed to fix your typo (you may not have abused it, but I can imagine those who will...) I didn't see anybody in the last-minute rush come up with anything better, and I know I couldn't have... I'd already exhausted my last variation on "Zamboni" a minute-and-a-half earlier, and knew the alpha was too far away from T for me to do "Th-th-th-that's All Folks!"
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:31 AM on June 16, 2013


Having worked around this once before, I seem to recall that even an ordinary breakable space will do.
posted by flabdablet at 4:02 AM on June 16, 2013


Having worked around this once before, I seem to recall that even an ordinary breakable space will do.
posted by flabdablet at 4:03 AM on June 16, 2013


Having worked around this once before, I seem to recall that even an ordinary breakable space will do.
posted by flabdablet at 4:05 AM on June 16, 2013


Apparently the extra space can't be at the end. Middle or beginning works fine (check the page source).
posted by flabdablet at 4:06 AM on June 16, 2013


In case anyone is interested, to make a non-breaking space you just type  .
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:54 AM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


But don't forget the semi-colon!
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:55 AM on June 16, 2013


So I type S-P-A-C-E.; right?
posted by marienbad at 6:02 AM on June 16, 2013


did cortex make any cool graphs?

I think it was someone else who made the cool graph that I remember from last time there was a cool graph about an alphabet thread; it was just a many-pixels-long bar chart where each bar represented a comment in the thread, in chronological order, and the bar was between 1 and 26 pixels high depending on which letter of the alphabet it started with. Just black pixel bars on a white background I think.

And it was pretty neat as a simple visualization of both the going-as-expected alphabettery as a very smooth diagonal sawtooth section and the spots where things got a bit murkier or complicated with skips and backtracks and doubles and reverses and interleaves, etc.

Of course, last time that was for maybe 1500 comments, this one would have to be much larger. Maybe do it as a like a dozen and a half 500-comment-wide rows of pixels? Then you could fit it onto a reasonably small squarish image instead of some absurd 8000+ wide strip.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:26 AM on June 16, 2013


alphabet thread starts with a
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:48 AM on June 16, 2013


"been raining much of late??" comes then. But
Come on, don't let's do this...
Doomed to failure in this context,
evidently
posted by Namlit at 11:53 AM on June 16, 2013


For gosshakes hush it!

Just kidding.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2013


Great, now I find a way to cheat at alphabet thread.
posted by double block and cheat at 19:12 on June 16 [+] [!]


However, there's no real reason to cheat at alphabet thread.
posted by double block and bleed at 4:23 PM on June 16, 2013


Test 1

Test 1


Yeah. Check it.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:29 PM on June 16, 2013


proper French punctuation requires a non-breaking space before exclamation points, question marks, colons and semi-colons.

Everything I thought I knew is wrong. Curse you Ontario French immersion!
posted by Hoopo at 5:12 PM on June 16, 2013


>proper French punctuation requires a non-breaking space before exclamation points, question marks, colons and semi-colons.

Everything I thought I knew is wrong. Curse you Ontario French immersion!


Not in Canada.
posted by hoyland at 6:05 PM on June 16, 2013


I thought the alphabet thread was interesting because out of 8600+ comments not a single one was about the original post. There wasn't an object of conversation.

So you have a month of people conversing about... nothing in particular.

With only the loosest of rules, people were willing to just keep talking nonsense (in defense of the word "nonsense" here, there isn't any other way to describe talk that doesn't have an object.)

So it was very "metatalk", in some sense, and very inspiring in a way.

Politicians will come and go, religions will live and die, stocks will bear or bull, celebrities will be on or off, memes will wax and wane, sex will in and out, civilizations will rise and fall... but the process of talk will continue forever.

Or at least one month.
posted by twoleftfeet at 8:42 PM on June 16, 2013


Someday when I have more spare time I plan to tally up the timespans during which each username was active in that thread so we can find out who wasted the most cumulative hours in there hint it was Namlit obvsly

Also I still need to upload the video of me shopvaccing dandelions from my lawn
posted by ook at 11:14 PM on June 16, 2013


so we can find out who wasted the most cumulative hours

To quote Betrand Russell, Time You Enjoy Wasting is Not Wasted Time.

Except maybe it's not Betrand Russell. There's some dispute about that. In addition to John Lennon and Bertrand Russell, the saying has been attributed to T. S. Elliot, Soren Kierkegaard, Laurence J. Peter, and others.

I'm not above attributing the quote to Marthe Troly-Curtin, but I think further discussion is needed.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:52 PM on June 16, 2013


Hot damn, I knew that Russell or perhaps those other guys had my back
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 12:07 AM on June 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


...the timespans during which each username was active in that thread so we can find out who wasted the most cumulative hours in there hint it was Namlit obvsly...


I type fast, someone said. Also the conditions were advantageous.
GF was gone for a family visit half of the time; I'm mostly at my home-office right now; I adore silly wordplays in whatever language; and I had some really tedious papers to supervise and to grade, so I has happy to have Göran* to hold on to.

(*brought to you by MetaTalk)
posted by Namlit at 1:58 AM on June 17, 2013


... so we can find out who wasted the most cumulative hours in there ...
I don't think I want to see that. I'm definitely not the best/worst by far, but I still think that total would be embarrassing enough.
posted by dg at 2:56 AM on June 17, 2013


Given the near randomness of that thread, I decided it was a good place to cryptically record all my banking passwords for safekeeping.

Not really. But really.
posted by Kabanos at 6:22 AM on June 17, 2013


Oh heck guys I certainly didn't mean "wasted" as a pejorative. For myself I generally seem to be here all day anyway; better to spend that time engaged in banter and wordplay than in shouting at clouds discussing politics.
posted by ook at 7:25 AM on June 17, 2013


No worries. I enjoyed myself so much that I really don't need Russell to tell me it was ok.
posted by Namlit at 7:34 AM on June 17, 2013


Tim Allen has a good joke (a rarity?) about how men kill time and women do productive things with their time. Yeah, it's sexist, but man I wish my wife would come along to Russell's line of reasoning. Russell and I were born on the same day so everything he says goes. Why I am not a Christian = Teenage Atheist Pr0--err, we can't do the pr0n thing anymore
posted by lordaych at 1:01 PM on June 17, 2013


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