Good comments: Adam Rice and Phillip Lamb, on their technical problems

Adam Rice and Phillip Lamb were both unable to comment, so they sent me letters.


I hope you're the right person to contact; if not, my apologies.

We need a better way for readers to tell us about technical problems. One of our suggested mechanisms is to have a front-page link to a form for reporting glitches, much like the link for submitting suggestions for stories. Until then, we'll all keep improvising.

The last couple of times I've tried to leave a comment on Boingboing, I've gotten the following error:

Your comment submission failed for the following reasons:
Text entered was wrong. Try again.

I admit this may be true in an epistemological sense, but in a formal sense, the text I entered was entirely innocuous.

Would you believe I've occasionally been getting that one too? I don't know why that error message turns up. I wish it weren't even in the system. It keeps giving readers the idea that we use automated content-based message filtering, and that something they've written has infracted the filters' rules.

Not so. The only content-based filters on Boing Boing are the people who edit it. If you get an error message saying "Text entered was wrong," it's the error message that's in error.

Back to Adam Rice:

The other interesting thing is that the page where this appears shows me as logged out, although I am logged in from the main boingboing page, or gadgets.

I feel your pain. I had the same problem for a couple of days this week. David Harmon's reported it too.

My comments were not such pearls that the Internet cannot function without their presence, but I thought I'd bring it to your attention.

Well said, and thank you for bringing those problems to our attention.

Onward to:


Hi there – not sure if you're the right person to send this to, but I can't seem to find a tech email on BoingBoing's site. … Hope I'm not inconveniencing you!

Not at all. We really do want to hear about technical problems.

I and other people have had trouble submitting comments lately, getting a "Text entered was wrong. Try again" error message.

It seems like the following is happening:

1. User logs in

2. User does logged-in user stuff, including commenting.

3. User goes to sleep, or hibernates, or eats a Polish Sausage or whatever.

4. User comes back to BoingBoing, bleary-eyed because it's 3am and when you gotta get your fix you gotta get your fix.

5. User's session has timed out (rut roh!) but due to either a caching bug or perhaps a session timeout bug, the comment form still shows up.

6. User submits a comment, but sadly it doesn't go through, and they see, "Text entered was wrong. Try again."

7. User wrecks their apartment with a frying pan.

8. User eventually logs back in and is able to comment normally.

We're sorry about your apartment–and, presumably, your frying pan.

This is my hypothesis, and I've tested it (somewhat) and it seems valid. Just letting ya know. I'll email this to whatever email address I can find for your admin, assuming I can find one.

Thanks! I'm pretty sure the Polish sausage is a local artifact. The rest, we'll have to have a look at.

What hardware and browser were you using? (Adam, same question.)

Semiotix comments:

I'm very disappointed to hear that the "Text entered was wrong" message is simply an indication of some sort of login error.

I've gotten the message several times, and, assuming that it was autogenerated in response to wrong ideas, have modified my beliefs (and comments) accordingly until I reached–so I thought–right text, and therefore right thinking.

Now you tell me that I haven't been engaged in a Socratic struggle for truth all this past week? That I changed my beliefs for no reason?! Well, thanks for nothing.