Schnee (schnee) wrote,

Heads-up regarding LJ comments

Executive summary: if a comment fails to post, remove any HTML entities from it and try again; it should work then.

The longer version: posting comments containing entities has been broken since release #105; attempting to do so will instead lead to one of two things, depending on whether you're using an explicit reply page (?mode=reply) or a Javascript-based inline reply form and whether the journal or community you're looking at is using the default site scheme for comment or a custom S1- or S2-based layout (somebody else can work out the details):

  • Nothing happens; the reply form is disabled (buttons grayed out etc.), but the comment doesn't post.
  • You get a message saying "Oops! Looks like Frank's nibbling on the wires. Please try again in a few minutes. If you continue to get this error, let our Support team know. (Frank tells us the servers are delicious.)"

The support team's aware of it, and the issue is mentioned on the list of known issues, although it misidentifies the problem:

Comments containing special ASCII characters (such as the 'hearts' character: ♥) are currently causing problems. Either the 'post comment' button will become grayed out, or you will receive a 'Frank's nibbling on the wires' error; in either case, the comment cannot be posted. Removing these special characters from your comment will allow you to post the comment. This issue is reported.

This isn't quite correct; it's not special characters that are broken as much as HTML entities. You can post comments containing the ♥ character itself just fine, but you cannot post the ♥ entity. That said, browsers and clients that convert characters to entities automatically will also be affected.

The solution is simply to remove any entities from your comment's body. Also, make it a habit to save copies of longer comments locally before attempting to post them, as LJ tries quite hard to make it difficult to recover comments in case they don't go through (Javascript-generated reply form and fake textarea, I'm looking at y'all).

Tags: livejournal, livejournal comments
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