Bug causes blank screen in draft; any way to cancel a draft without viewing it?

There’s a bug which has caused several users on a website using Discourse a problem, and getting out of it is difficult.

The bug is that when composing a reply, inserting a URL can sometimes cause the whole window to just go blank, not accepting any input at all (making sure you ‘cover’ all URLs by making them a hyperlink behind some text can avoid this, but people tend not to know the danger of a naked URL, and sometimes it can be more informative to have the URL readable in full). I know it’s happened to at least 4 people on the site in the last 2 weeks; I’m not sure what everyone was running, but for me it was Windows 7 and Chrome.

The next problem is that it’s# very hard to then abandon that reply. You can reload a Discourse page, and the ‘New Topic’ button is now “Open Draft” (or similar wording). But if you click on that, you get the same problem, after about one second. People have to try and delete the offending URL within that second, or click on ‘Cancel’ and then ‘Confirm’ within that second (I found hitting ‘Esc’ gives you time to position your pointer above where ‘Cancel’ will appear, making it a lot easier to complete the course between the buttons within the time limit).

Is there any way of cancelling a draft reply without opening it and having to compete against the clock because of the bug?

Er… what? Can you repro this here or on try.discourse.org and using what URL specifically?

So far, no, I can’t reproduce it at will, but as I said, at least 4 of us have encountered it (and that’s 4 that have then talked about the problem in the site’s ‘feedback’ category; many more may have had it and got round it without comment, or given up, never to return). We agree it happens when we’ve pasted in a URL - different ones in each case, not with anything unusual about them as far as I know.

Since we can’t reproduce it at will, we know it may be hard to fix; but is there any advice you can give about cancelling a draft reply without opening it up?

try tyhis http://www.londonstockexchange.com/exchange/news/market-news/market-news-detail/SMT/13699257.html and then see if it’s OK. Yes. Hmm.


The above is a reply which did cause the problem on the other system. The same URL appears twice in it; on meta.discourse, I now see the first instance displayed with the page title rather than the URL ,and the second instance just the URL. Whether that’s relevant, I don’t know.

Discussion on the problem here:

So, I’ve now got my system in the ‘hung’ state on the other system - with a draft reply just like the one starting “try tyhis…” in this thread. I can try things out if you want.

Sorry, what are you referring to? You are able to repro this on try.discourse.org?

No, that post doesn’t cause the problem on try.discourse.org, or on meta. But that’s a URL that causes the problem for 2 different users on our message board, and I’ve given the exact form that does it for me (because perhaps it matters if the URL starts a line, if the software that tries to substitute the page title for the raw URL is the problem, or a preview of the box that sometimes shows up with an excerpt of the page linked to - is there any documentation about when either the title or page is used, by the way? Is that something the administrators of the board could turn off, in case that’s the problem?)

As I said, my browser is still currently in the state where any attempt to view a thread gives me the blank page - after showing the reply editing section at the lower half of the screen for about a second, with, on the right, the preview with a ‘waiting’ icon next to the ‘offending’ URL.

Is the target site running an old out of date version of Discourse? What version is reported in view source?

The site went public, after a bit of testing (I’m not sure how much) 3 weeks ago, so I’d hope it’s not out of date. I’ve no idea where ‘view source’ is - I’m just a user. Although the problem was first noted in their feedback section over 2 weeks ago, we’ve heard nothing back from the administrators about whether they’re looking at it.

Is the problem happening on this site, https://community.ii.co.uk/, or on this one https://www.ii.co.uk/discussion/? The second site is a subfolder installation running Discourse version 2.0.0.beta10.

1 Like

it’s on the second - https://www.ii.co.uk/discussion/ - thanks.

Subfolder installs can be tricky. There could be a problem with how the reverse proxy is configured.


I am on the product team for the target site running the https://www.ii.co.uk/discussion/ instance of discourse.

I understand that certain URLs when oneboxed are causing a 418 error. The main issue is that the user then gets stuck in a loop where opening the draft which contains the URL immediately triggers the white page error.

I have tried within admin to add certain trigger domains to the onebox blacklist - however as I think others have reported…the blacklisting does not appear to be working.

Any troubleshooting suggestions here? This problem seems to be quite wide spread.

Can we repro this on a sub folder install @simon?

I think you meant to tag @Simon_Cossar :slight_smile:


Nope I meant you Simon. We’re gonna need you to repro this :kissing_heart:

1 Like