Web weirdness

John Costello cos at indeterminate.net
Wed Jun 20 00:44:38 BST 2007

On Wed, 20 Jun 2007, David Cantrell wrote:

> Lots of URLs on my web site contain the ASCII string "&image", such as
> here:
>   http://shorterlink.org/2580


Mmm.  D70. 
> But sometimes that gets turned into some binary gibberish, like some of
> the photo links here:
>   http://nou.livejournal.com/102938.html?thread=1474842

> I assure you, when I cut n pasted them into the webby box thing there,
> they were correct.

I stopped trusting cut and paste several years ago, when I realized that 
content pasted into a web box was carrying over embedded tabs characters 
(of some unknown type) from MS Word.  The application is written in 
ancient Python, and I have no access to the source code.  The annoying 
part is that embedded tabs cause certain checks to fail, so I must hunt 
through the white space in an application box.

I do not hate Python for this, as Master Cantrell corrected that bit of 
ignorance.  I hate the programmer who wrote the Python.
> On investigating this a little further I notice that the indexer for the
> search engine on my own site is somehow picking up this stupidity as
> well when it spiders the site.
> I assume that some broken funny character thingy is responsible, but I
> thought that those things were meant to be backward-compatible with
> decent god-fearing ASCII.

You should issue a fatwa against the thingy.

So, what happens if you cut and paste into a vi/vim session and tell 
vi/vim to display special characters?

When I go to your links it expands the funny squiggly character 
(what the hell is that, anyway?) to %E2%84%91, where "it" is Firefox.  IE 
preserves the funny squiggle, but the link doesn't work.

Oh my.  Well, if someone calls Bill a horses ass, he can point to this 
> Errm, that's an ampersand followed by the word 'image', in case you're
> foolish enough to read this in a web thingy and it CONSPIRES AGAINST ME.

Does the cut and paste problem occur when you paste into your LJ posting 


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