Using quotation marks/punctuation - Recent glitches on message boards

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I've noticed a couple of very recent (last few hours, in fact) glitches on the message boards. 1. Quotation marks and apostrophes, originally keyed in Microsoft Word, have now been scrambled, showing up as various combinations of letters, numbers and symbols. Messages posted in earlier days that were okay are now scrambled too. 2. It seems that some movie titles are showing up with their foreign/overseas titles. For example, The Haunting sometimes appears as its Spanish title La Maldicion. It seems to be a random pattern, but I can't be sure. Thanks for your help.
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Paul DiMaria

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Posted 7 years ago

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Paul DiMaria

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To be more specific, smart quotes are no longer working on the message boards, although they were until yesterday.
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DrakeStraw

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Special characters seem to be in a death spiral on the boards. Every time they fix something they break something elsewhere. They must be trying hard to find a way out of the problem, because the cursor bugs in the åÁâ tool that creates them haven't been fixed in the last couple of days. Successive åÁâ Previews compound the corruption:

åÁâ
åÁâ
åÁâ
åÁâ

When previews do this on each successive pass, they really aren't previews at all.
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Paul DiMaria

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Although, this didn't start immediately after the new design went into effect. Well, I need to qualify that - messages that already existed on "D-Day" did have problems. All the smart quotes turned into little black diamond shapes with question marks inside.

And, oddly enough, those older messages (or at least the ones I know about) now appear to be fixed. New messages continue to have problems.
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DrakeStraw

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They can't seem to fix the new ones without breaking the old ones and vice versa. If I had to choose it would be the new ones fixed as it was late last week.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Yup, there's an encoding bug in the message preview when you create/reply/edit. That'll be fixed ASAP. And it's the same problem that screws up "smart" quotes from MS Word... so that will be fixed at the same time.
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DrakeStraw

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That would seem to be a priority over the multiple cursor bugs in the åÁâ tool. Programmers should keep in mind that all of those characters work in the subject line as well.
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Paul DiMaria

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What is the aAa tool? Is that something within IMDb.com that allows the use of special characters?
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DrakeStraw

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The åÁâ tool appears above the text body area when you compose or edit a board post. It's still buggy because the cursor is all over the place after an insert, but the main problem is that it's output isn't rendered properly once you Preview or Post.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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I think you will find that the problem is only with the preview; despite how it looks, it will post fine. The preview issue should be fixed by the end of Monday.
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DrakeStraw

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Post fine? Not even avoiding the preview! And if I post from the preview it compounds the corruption. Your staff needs to learn the definition of a preview and also avoid tainting the underlying text. You can't add more text processing between preview and post. It then ceases to be a preview.
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Branais

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This problem is still occurring. Anything outside the basic ASCII set, such as an em dash or characters with diacritic marks like accents or tildes, seems to display as character codes rather than the character itself.

What's it going to take to fix this?
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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The encoding issue on the post-confirmation page has been fixed on the website.
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DrakeStraw

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It still doesn't work for me. It corrupts once in the Preview and again in the posted message. Can you fix muzzie's post or does it look OK to you?
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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It all looks fine to me, sorry. Do you have access to another computer/OS? We're trying to find a way to reproduce the issue but are so far unable to.
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DrakeStraw

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Actually there are three levels of corruption that lead to é, one when you preview é, another when the preview shows you your posted message é and a third when you view the posted message. é
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DrakeStraw

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I have the same problem in IE and Firefox on two different Windows 7 machines.
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DrakeStraw

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DrakeStraw

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This is a reply from Internet Explorer 10 under Windows 7.

This is a quotation mark: "

This is an apostrophe: '

This is an A acute: Á

This is an o with an umlaut: ö

This is a Unicode smiley: â˜o (may not show up on all systems)

˙ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ÇÉ ̄os ǝʌɐɥ ǝʍ ǝÉ1ǝɥ pu∀

Bonus greek: ÎμÎ ̄Î1⁄2αÎ1 απλά έÎ1⁄2α ÎoÎμÎ ̄Î1⁄4ÎμÎ1⁄2ο χωρΠ̄ς

It shows up like this in Firefox also.
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DrakeStraw

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Changing the default encoding didn't help. I replied with the Uranus string and got this:

Please Fix These Problems

A server error prevented the message from being sent

Preview:
Re: Greek test: à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄ ¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2 (à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄ ¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿ Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2 à ̄¿Â1⁄2à ̄¿Â1⁄2)
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by
DrakeStraw
» just now
IMDb member since November 2006
ΟυραÎ1⁄2ός (πλαÎ1⁄2ήτης) = Uranus (Planet)
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DrakeStraw

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Is there only one server? If it works for you and not for me it would seem that I am reaching a buggy one. This problem never occurs on any other website.
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DrakeStraw

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The error showed up as too long a subject which I halved and then posted.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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There are dozens of servers and the code is rebuilt, redeployed, and tested each day. Servers are randomly assigned per-request; it's extraordinarily unlikely that you're consistently getting a buggy one and I'm not.
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gromit82, Champion

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The image linked below illustrates a problem in using accented letters:

http://postimg.org/image/8jxjbm4pz/

Near the top of the image, in my response, I refer to a movie titled Totò, lascia o raddoppia? where the first word ends with an accented character -- the letter o with a grave accent. Near the bottom of the image, Marhleet refers to the same movie, yet in his response, the accented character is substituted with a diamond with a question mark in it.

What causes this situation, where the same character is displayed both correctly and incorrectly on the same page?
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DrakeStraw

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It looks the same in IE 10 as in the following Firefox screenshot. I can't find the encoding in IE 10.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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I have found and fixed the bug!

The issue was the encoding of titles with diacritics in "Favorites" list. Fix will hopefully roll out tomorrow.

Thanks for your help tracking this down!
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DrakeStraw

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Is that why my favorites page has been blank all afternoon? I believe I only have one with a diacritic--"Le jour se lève" and it has never appeared corrupted. Does the bug only affect those with diacritics in their favorites?
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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When you browser saw that title with ISO-8859-1 encoding, it assumed that the entire page was ISO-8859-1 because the byte sequence that makes up the e-grave only makes sense in ISO-8859-1 -- it's considered an error in UTF-8.

Anyone with a diacritic in their favorites list is affected by this bug. You can wait for the fix, or if you want to try it out now, remove that title from your favorites and the encoding should work perfectly.
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DrakeStraw

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You nailed it Murray. I was able to delete the title because the dropdown is still working and I counted the boxes down on the blank favorites page. Here's what the Greek looks like now:

This is a reply from Internet Explorer 10 under Windows 7.

This is a quotation mark: "

This is an apostrophe: '

This is an A acute: Á

This is an o with an umlaut: ö

This is a Unicode smiley: ☺ (may not show up on all systems)

̇ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯos ǝʌɐɥ ǝʍ ǝɹǝɥ pu∀

Bonus greek: είναι απλά ένα κείμενο χωρίς
Re: Greek test: ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï� �1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2 image for user DrakeStraw DrakeStraw 20 hours ago
Re: Greek test: ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï� �1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2ï¿1⁄2 image for user DrakeStraw
by DrakeStraw» 20 hours ago (Sat Aug 3 2013 20:12:30) Flag ▼ Permalink
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IMDb member since November 2006Ουρανός (πλανήτης) = Uranus (Planet)
==========================================================
Gromit82: I see your posts now as in your screen shot.
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DrakeStraw

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I noticed today after fixing my problems that there are inconsistencies in thread titles. Those on the boards surface have �'s that aren't present inside the thread.

Wing's board (�You weren't even going to come after me?!?�):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098948/b...

Titanic board(Was Cal really that bad of a fianc�?):

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120338/b...
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DrakeStraw

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There is no timestamp consistency among boards, favorites and profile. Some times it drives me nuts. Favorites should not report a change unless it's a new post. Many times it reports a change that is nearly impossible to track down.
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Murray Chapman, Employee

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Yup, it's frustrating. This is deep inside the engine, which we're deliberately not touching as part of the interface changes.
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DrakeStraw

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BTW, Favorites appear to be sorted randomly. Someone suggested sorting them by timestamp (which is flawed). I suggested user choices in the sort.
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DrakeStraw

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There was a definite retro encoding error in the "Mrs. Mel Tormé" post in my profile, no doubt caused by my old workaround. An Edit fixed the profile page. BTW here are those timestamp inconsistencies I have observed:

Board - Last new post
Profile - Last edit
Favorites - Last change of any kind, including deleted post.
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DrakeStraw

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Someone fixed the inconsistency that existed in favorites for a long time. It is now the same as the board.
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DrakeStraw

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Sorry to report that Mel Tormé is back and I can't edit the garbage out!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043859/b...
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DrakeStraw

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I tried my old workaround and it worked without producing any �'s. I have a theory of what's going on and it may be related to the fix I described in Favorites. Apparently there's a routine that translates the encoding in old posts that until today went by the Last Edit timestamp and now goes by the original post date. If that's the case it explains perfectly what I saw in this important test thread.

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