Totally blowing things up


I love breaking things around here.


Due to my phobia for all those social web apps, I started developing a personal web based bookmarking app. I call it Misfit. The original intention was to pull specially tagged links out of it’s database of all my bookmarks for display on this regularly updated website. But I continued to put certain parts off and didn’t get around to making it work well with the WP dashboard. At this point I don’t intend to ever finish it (besides, it uses pink and black, so it must be crap). So on a whim one night I created a new category called Crowd to use for those rad links on the homepage. And so the fun begins.

WordPress does everything

The intention was posts to the crowd category would act like a blogroll of sorts. WordPress’s Link tools didn’t do quite what I wanted, hence the additional category. WordPress does tie all its posts together so well that breaking this category off into its own separate world became quite a task. I didn’t want it showing up in the regular RSS feed. The feed it did show up in I didn’t want the titles linked. I didn’t want the Crowd in the archive. I didn’t want it counting towards any totals.

So I changed all my rules to exclude the magic category. I didn’t worry so much about people hitting it’s permalink URL as it shouldn’t end up being published anywhere. And if they did snoop around and find it, whatevs.

The first bomb

Then this comment regarding the Snakes on a Plane bit:

Am I supposed to be able to comment on this?

Now I know I said whatevs to people finding the permalink, but it was annoying. Why would anyone even try to find the permalink. First I suspected the RSS was leaking the link. But it wasn’t. So I went on thinking it was just a one time snooping around for fun bit and let it go. The rest of the night it continued to be one of those things bugging me in the back of my mind so I took five minutes before shutting down to redirect posts from the Crowd to the homepage. No more Crowd comments or even accessing the individual pages. I tested quick, it worked. Laughing at my mess of a loop file, I hastily threw in a comment so I wouldn’t forget what the hack was all about in ten years when I make this a real website. In the process I managed to unknowingly comment out one of those sexy { brackets }. Having not tested it after that, this site sat broken for most of the day disappointing millions of high profile visitors and destroying my profit margins for the quarter. Whatevs.

The real first bomb

Back to that archive page. All the old photos share the same include as the main archive page. Or they are supposed to anyway. Looking at the server logs I noticed the snoop was trying to hit the Crowd pages from old photo archives, but never the main archive. Sure enough, somehow all those pages were pulling an older version of the archive which didn’t cut the Crowd. Genius. I’m totally on top of fully testing this site prior to deployment and following strict version control.

I still don’t know when I broke those pages or how. But at least this gave me an excuse to post this month. You read this far – I know cause I’m tracking your eye movement.


  1. cr 20060810

    If you’re really tracking my eye movement, how many times did I blink while reading this post?

  2. matches 20060810

    I don’t know why I was looking at your archive, but I was. And then I clicked on the pictures because I like them (and I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one who knows they’re there). Suddenly there was a post in August, and I was all like “whatup?”

    Sorry about your profit margins though; that sucks for you.

  3. majafa 20060811

    ugh, this post…I’m totally confused. All I understood from the entire post is that the movie Snakes on a Plane is gonna be the first movie to totally bomb at the box-office this summer.

  4. puddingcups 20060816

    HEY!!!! pink and black is not crap, i beg your pardon sir!

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