I hope I'm not wasting anyone's time, since my only experience with forum software is as a user, but...
I browsed through the user forum for the UBBThread software and found this thread: Bug? Disappearing posts. Caveat: It's several years old, and deals with new posts disappearing under different circumstances, but with the same result - a blank post. I could not follow most of the discussion.
The interesting portion was a mention that in these cases, the text of a blank post could be seen by pressing the "Quick Quote" button. I checked a few of the blank posts linked earlier in this thread and found that I could indeed see the text. So, maybe the problem is related even though the exact conditions differ?
The final outcome was that the problem was caused by software conflicts between UBB prior to ver 7.5.8 and a host ISP running PHP 5.4 or newer.
And we did just change servers...
FWIW, I used Quick Quote to see Kinsley's post In the FART thread. Copied the quote, and pasted into Notepad. That showed me that the word "Info" had some strange characters around it. Left and right quotes from another app, I think. Changed those to standard ASCII, pasted into a new reply, and everything posted OK.
Thank you, Larry. This is also what we believe. Admin Mike Greiff came up with the following and it has been confirmed by IT guru Matt Banks:
So, I'm quite certain it has to do with the new server. I don't believe in coincidences (although I've seen plenty).
The new server is running on PHP 5.4 which paired with our version of UBB 7.5.6 has been buggy. There are several threads over on the UBB forum regarding this and they are a few years old. I would be willing to bet that our previous server was running a release of PHP 5.3.
UBB 7.5.7 was also buggy with PHP 5.4. But, everything equal or newer than 7.5.8 has been optimized for PHP 5.4.
There are really only two fixes. Downgrade the server to PHP 5.3 (which I'm quite certain the host will not do) OR upgrade the UBB software to 7.5.8 or newer.
We're working to clear up an old security issue involving a pre-existing username and password with UBB Threads. We changed them all when the ownership changed both with UBB Threads as well as with the hosting company, but one of the old ones slipped through and we've never needed to go to that screen until now. When this is corrected, we will be able to upgrade to the latest UBB software. Not only do we believe it will correct the missing text issue, but there are numerous new features on V7.5.8 that everyone will enjoy. I'm excited, but like everyone else, I need to be patient until we get the security.password issue resolved.
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Earlier today, D.R. made some posts in the Oilheads forum in which the text was missing. I tried a couple of things without success.
<geek> When I got it to display correctly, I made a misstatement about editing out high ascii characters. They're not ascii. The em-dash is 0x97 and the apostrophe is 0x92. Regular ascii would be less than 0x80.
Those aren't high (or extended) ascii either. They appear to be CP-1252, or Windows 1252 characters.
How did I find that out?
I did a quick quote of one of D.R.'s posts and copied the text, then pasted it into Notepad. Nothing looked funny there.
Next, I pasted it into Notepad++, a programmer's editor. Then looked up a regexp (regular expression) to search for non-ascii characters.
That searches for hexadecimal values that are greater than 0x7F. (Well really that aren't in the range of 0x00 to 0x7F.)
That search highlighted all of the apostrophes and the em-dash character. I replaced those in D.R.'s text, then tried to post that...
Which still didn't work. :-( So I tried again, but added a blank line at the beginning, which did work.
This evening, I pasted the text into a hex editor (HxD), where I could see the hex values for each character making it easy to identify those two characters. </geek>
If copying and pasting text from another application (like a browser, or Word), or from a non-Windows system (tablet, phone, Mac), it will be common for alternate character sets to be included.
So a simpler workaround may be to just copy and paste, and then in the post composition box, replace the punctuation and special characters. When editing within the post window, the character set will be correct for this forum environment.
I was trying to confirm if this would work this morning by trying to fix a post with blank text--but the original post was deleted before I finished, so I couldn't post my quick quote reply.
Thanks for the explanation, mnTwin. That regular expression looks like a bit of sorcery.
Regular expressions always look like sorcery. The minus sign means a range from x00 to x7F. The x means use the hexdecimal representation of the characters. x00 to x7F are all the characters that can be represented with 1 byte, 8 bits, really 7 bits which gives you 128 characters, all of the standard ones, upper and lower case, plus numbers and some punctuation. The caret means find anything not in that range. The brackets mean find one character that matches the expression inside. And the + means find one or more characters matching the expression inside the brackets.
Edit: And the backslashes mean interpret the x as a special symbol, not just look for an ordinary x.
Last edited by Green RT; 09/02/1712:43 AM.
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