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« Nordhaus and the sixteen | Main | Nurse's Dimbleby lecture »

Comment bug

Yesterday's commenting bug appears to have been fixed (although I haven't been officially notified). I've therefore switched HTML in comments back on.

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Reader Comments (23)


Will auto-linking still work?

Test -

Feb 29, 2012 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Does that mean that the automatic linking has gone? It's not mentioned now below this comment box.. :-(

Feb 29, 2012 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P


While HTML was off, auto-linking worked (a huge plus IMHO) and comments with HTML links didn't get diverted to Captcha hell.

Now HTML is back - everything has reverted.

Is it possible to have the best of both worlds?

Feb 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

No, it's plain text and autolinking or HTML and do your own links.

If there's demand for the former, I can switch back. Let's see what others think.

Feb 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The capcha moderation quarantine when adding a link is the most offputting recent problem. It rather deters us from including useful links at all.

Feb 29, 2012 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

I vote for HTML and DIY links. Without HTML, we lose blockquotes, italics, bold, strike and so forth. The price for autolinking is too high.

Feb 29, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterJane Coles


I've therefore switched HTML in comments back on.


a URL (greenhouse atheist)


Loosing HTML is a cost that vastly outweighs the questionable benefit of autolinking.

Bishop Hill - how are you feeling now?

Feb 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Agreein' with Martin A

Feb 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

How to make your own URL link (if you needed to know and are not a computer wizz or you don't hold such things in your head)

1. Google html a tag

2. Top if the list is probably Go to this page.

3. Cut and paste the following line
<A href="">Visit!</A>
into the BH comment you are typing.
(NOTE: Lower case "a" appears in the actual line, not upper case "A")

4. Replace with the URL you want readers to go to.

5. Replace Visit! with the text you wish readers to see and click on.

6. Click Preview Post and check that the text is what you want and that clicking on it takes you to the site you want.

That's it.

Feb 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Like Pharos, I've started avoiding links altogether because the comment often doesn't get out of Captcha quarantine until the discussion has moved on to the point where it's irrelevant.

I suppose it depends whether you prefer your comment artistically embellished, like the work of an early Cistercian monk, or content-rich with lots of quick 'n easy links.

I'd go for the latter.

Feb 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

"Click Preview Post and check that the text is what you want and that clicking on it takes you to the site you want.

That's it.
Feb 29, 2012 at 12:57 PM Martin A "

Every time I use "Preview Post", I go straight to Captcha hell, without passing GO - and then lose interest in the discussion.

Didn't used to happen - but has every time recently.

Feb 29, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Captcha + quarantine is a total pain.

Is the choice between
(1) autolinking
(2) DIY links plus the joys of captcha and automatic quarantining?

In that case, the choice is much less clear-cut. Sometimes I get captcha and instant posting, other times captcha + quarantine.

Bishop Hill: Some time ago, you mentioned you had used a site that preserves web pages even if they are subsequently 'disappeared' from the site where they originally appeared.

Would you be kind enough to remind us (ie me) of the URL for that site?

Feb 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Yes, if I get into captcha limbo, I wish I had spent the time doing something more useful.

Maybe because I have a French IP address, captcha gives me stuff to type full of accents (é à etc). With a UK keyboard, this adds to the fun.

Feb 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMartin A

Martin A


And pretty much recovered thanks, although I'll need the antibiotics for another week.

Feb 29, 2012 at 1:23 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

"Captcha + quarantine is a total pain.
Is the choice between
(1) autolinking
(2) DIY links plus the joys of captcha and automatic quarantining?
In that case, the choice is much less clear-cut.
Feb 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM Martin A"

That's how I understand it, Martin - maybe Bish can confirm.

BTW - I use Wayback Machine for searching old web pages.

Feb 29, 2012 at 2:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Well, we could go back to quill pens, parchment and wax candles.

Feb 29, 2012 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Over at Bad Astronomy, which suffers from similar issues, I noticed a commenter placing a dash (-) before the URL (that http thingy) to seemingly get around the spam filter.

Let's see if the same trick works here.



Feb 29, 2012 at 2:48 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

No captcha, no quarantine.

Bob's your uncle.

Don't forget abracadabra. :D

Feb 29, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

OK, I just posted tried to post a totally link-free comment in the Nordhaus thread (just when I thought it might be safe to post without keeping a copy). But I got sent to captcha and then to moderation limbo.

Am wondering if failure to correctly capture the captcha causes this?!

Mar 1, 2012 at 7:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov


"captcha gives me stuff to type full of accents"

I don't think it cares about them, but you do have to type punctuation marks.

Mar 1, 2012 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P


I agree. Emphasis can be done with caps or like *this*, and although manual linking is doable, it's easy to get wrong, and if you compose externally, the quotation marks don't always translate properly. I vote for auto-linking.

Mar 1, 2012 at 8:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Paul Nurse gave the BBC's prestigious Dimbleby lecture last night, addressing science and its place in society.

Mar 1, 2012 at 10:57 AM | Unregistered CommenterDominios Colombia

Great and we can do out of demand even what the price is falling on the demand .

Jun 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterByron Bay Health Retreat

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