I don't see any scripture claiming 413835 is the number of the beast, but...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/12/26 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/12/26/10108989.aspx

This post is a metablog about the Blog and the Blog server.

So the other day I got a very strange email (name redacted, it's not like we're Wikileaks here!):

Subject: Please remove my post reply from the following page

Michael, I am directing this email to your address as I have found that http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/ is run by you. In regards to: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2005/05/01/413835.aspx?PageIndex=912 My full legal name: ██████ █████ is mentioned in my reply to your post on that page. Please remove my reply from the content on that page. Thank you and Happy Holidays. -- ██████ █████

Hmmm. Really?

Now that link is a weird page that should not in fact exist, and is a bug in MSDN Blog Server.

It is a basic stream of all (or maybe most, it isn't like I verified every one of them) of the comments posted on the various blogs on this Blog.

I reported this page within the first week of the big migration to the new server as a part of the new server's completely busted trackback/pingback system, but since

it was given a low priority, and to date not fixed.

Hmmmm -- sounds like the way we triage bugs at Microsoft (is it a regression from last version? No? Then it isn't high priority to fix...). :-)

Obviously if random people outside of Microsoft have hem, then it is externally available.

I have no permissions to delete the comments you find from that link, but by searching for ██████ █████'s name I was able to track the location of the comment down to a blog from 2006, and remove it as I was asked.

The comment didn't seen to me to be particularly remarkable and certainly it was not offensive as far as I could tell, but I saw no reason to argue the point.

I spent a little time in the thousands of pages of comments bereft of their original posts that the link represents, wondering if it was like those Garfield comic strips with Garfield removed that made for a whole new  interesting strip. Some people say that in blogs the comments can be more interesting than the Blog itself, so there was reason to believe it might be entertaining (though the comments on this Blog are much more scant than in other blogs so I did have doubts it would be a useful exercise).

My suspicions were confimed, it was like watching paint dry, bereft of the satsifaction of a completed job that said drying might inspire.

Thanks to Ellie, the young lady who provided that quote in a conversation I overheard in Pnk a few nights ago.

I had luck getting the same thing from other blogs, where as an alternate art form it has more potential. But I will leave it to the owners of thos blogs to decide what they think of this idea.

For now, if you have this link or want something removed, I will ignore the request from now on unless you find the actual blog the comment is in.

Maybe one day they'll fix the bug and that page that shouldn't be there won't be.

Of course when I say that "page" I am being overly simplistic -- anyone who points at a blog in this Blog (including me when I point to a previous blog), sees a trackback/pingback created. They all sit in my spam tab, and if I take them out of spam they will be another page with this same crazy behavior. With someone overon http://codebix.com/ discovering my blog this weekend, I am seeing several trackbacks from there at regular intervals.

Hell, if you fill in someone else's blog name but leave everything else the same (perhaps lowering the PageIndex if you don't have as many pages of comments), you'll see the same problem in their Blog, too.

In waiting for them to fix this, I won't hold my breath; somewhere between Microsoft and Telligent and the somewhat customized version of the software we use is a low priority bug that I can reproduce at will by despamming a pingback or trackback. And which no one seems to care about.

I officially wash my hands of the issue with this blog you are now reading, though. I am going to ignore these pages from now on whether they ever decide to fix the problem or not....

John Cowan on 26 Dec 2010 9:45 AM:

It seems to me that half a minute or less with a general search engine would have found the relevant blog post.  Both Google and Bing allow you to search for [site:blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap "John Cowan"]; the point being that you can provide an URL path as well as a domain.

In any case, I don't see anything inherently wrong with a page listing all the comments on a blog.  Why do you say it's a bug?

Michael S. Kaplan on 26 Dec 2010 11:35 AM:

Trackbacks are designed so that there is a pointer from the thing you are referencing to yourself, and this page, which is where all trackbacks go rather than being live on the original blog post, is mot useful in that context. THAT is a bug....

I don't mind if this page exists; however, it makes no sense for it to exist in place of trackback links. But this link is what is put in instead of the original blog! :-(

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