Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Did I Find a Bug?

I originally wrote yesterday's post with a certain title:

Doesn't Work

I happened to check it today and noticed that the title bar of my browser says:

Doesn't Work

But the title of the post in the blog itself is:

Doesn't Work

Whoopsie! So, did I find a bug? Let's look at the arguments:

No way! Not a bug!
  • Obviously, what happened is that the blog software stripped illegal content from my title.
  • Who writes a title like that anyway? We've got a classic case of "Users would never do that!" (tm).
Totally a Bug!
  • There's an inconsistency between the title bar and the title in the page itself. They should at least be consistent.
  • There were no warnings or errors that the title was going to be changed when I hit save. Not telling the user alone is a bug, regardless of whether it should have changed.

I think this one is pretty clearly a bug, mostly because of the lack of user feedback that a change is being made. It's probably not an important bug, though.

Would you log it?

Update 11/5 12:40 pm:

It gets even weirder. Here's what I wrote:

And here's what got published.



  1. Interesting; when looking at your post on your site, with Firefox 3 on Mac, I see "Doesn't Work" rendered normally in all three cases.

    Reading through Bloglines, the first two examples are rendered blank!

    I'm not sure what bug you thought you found, but something funny sure is going on.

    (Also I got a "Bad Request" error from Google when I tried to post this comment via OpenID, and it discarded my comment text so I had to type it again.)

  2. Looking in Safari on Mac, you're right... and it gets even weirder. I'll update with screenshots.

  3. Ahh... I can tell you what's going on, and it's not that illegal content is being stripped. Whether or not it's a bug is a good question.

    First, let's look at this post. You, as author, are allowed to use any HTML that you want. HTML is extensible and forwards-compatible, so anything in < and > is a tag. When you wrote "<Feature>" that went into your post, and the web browser sees that during rendering, says "I don't know how to render that, so I'll ignore it," and it seemingly doesn't render. If you want to include those in HTML, you need to use "&lt;" and "&gt;".

    If you're using a "rich text" editing mode instead of a "raw HTML" editing mode, then this is a bug. If it's "raw HTML", it's user error....

    The second issue is more of a potential bug; why does the title show up correctly in your window title, but not on the post? I explained why it renders wrong on the post above. But for the window title, that's what Blogger has put into the <TITLE> tag for the page. HTML mark-up isn't valid or processed there, so it shows the contents verbatim!

  4. Yes... the issue is that it's treating the text as a tag. Given that I was using their rich text editor, I would think it should have converted for me, though.

    All in all a fairly simple bug, really, and one with a pretty easy workaround! But still not the friendliest thing.

  5. Agreed; the rich text editor ought to perform any escaping necessary to be WYSIWYG.