Tag: bugs

The case of the missing comments

My good friend Michael A. Burstein pointed out last night that a comment he posted never showed up on the blog. That was strange. I took a quick glance at things and couldn’t find anything obvious. My spam filter hadn’t identified any false-positives. So I was going to chalk it up to a glitch. They happen. But this was Michael, and my mind just wouldn’t let go of it. So I dug further and finally decided to go look at the spam comments. There were 144 in the queue. And guess what, Michael’s comment was there, and I marked it as NOT SPAM at once.

But I decided to read through the rest, and it turns out I discovered 8 more comments that were flagged as spam that should not have been. Of these 7 were pingbacks. I marked all 8 as NOT SPAM and have approved them. That, plus a more careful monitoring of the spam folder should prevent this from happening again in the future. But if your comment was one of the 8, I apologize for this. It is very embarrassing, but I now believe I have the issue fixed.


Almost no one who reads this is a programmer of any kind, so this will mean very little to you. But I just have to say that I spent the last 2-1/2 hours trying to debug a type problem in a C# .NET application I am working on. I added a cool feature that allowed a table of dates to be edited inline from the browser, but when the date was submitted to the database, I kept getting an exception indicating that the string could not be converted to a datetime. I tried different approaches. I made little tweaks. I scoured the InterWeb. Nothing was working and yet I was confident that the value I was passing was a datetime value.

I was about to give up and go to lunch when a stray thought struck me. Maybe the value is a datetime, but maybe the parameter which I am setting using the value is not a datetime. I checked, and sure enough that was it. Someone, in the hours of frustration, I had swapped the order of two lines of code. That was all that was wrong and all of my frustration and fruitless attempts were for naught, if only I had recognized this change 2 hours ago.

I’m going to lunch now…