BBS headline mismatch and disconnected comments


Why is the headline here in BBS different to the headline in the post itself?

BBS headline:

At Georgia rally, Trump declares repeatedly he refuses to accept that he lost election to Biden

Original post headline:

‘We’re all victims’ Trump whines at Georgia rally, repeatedly refusing to accept he lost election to Biden

This was one of the random half of Xeni’s posts where it seems she does something different so that the comments link takes you back to the post and not to the BBS. So searching the BBS for the actual post headline words does not produce a thread with the same headline. Confusing and makes it hard to find the thread.

(As if it isn’t already bad enough that half the time for Xeni we have to search the BBS for the thread anyway, Isn’t it about time someone really asked what it is about those posts that is different? Is it how they are created or uploaded? The hardware/software used? Why does it only happen to half of them randomly? And why ONLY to to Xeni? This has been going on for so long - having been declared a Discourse bug, but which has not been fixed - that surely it is time to look at the human factors and/or the factors specific to Xeni?)

@orenwolf - with apologies for broken record. But it is getting very tiresome, and if the post and thread headlines are going to differ now, as well, then finding the BBS comments threads on Xeni’s random posts is going to get even harder.


This is a Discourse bug. Neither I, not any member of Boing Boing, can fix this. I have given the Discourse team all the information I can. If you would like them to give this issue more priority, I recommend that you post on - brow-beating me about it will not resolve the issue more quickly.


OK - but this IS a new variation (different headline) otherwise I would not have bothered noting it.

Over and out.

@llamaspit - there you go.


@codinghorror and the Discourse team are aware that

  1. there is a race condition that results in the Discourse plugin and the BBS get out of sync, they haven’t found a solution., and
  2. titles are not updated when they are changed from the blog.

The two are possibly related because of how the plugin determines what the BBS topic is called, but they have not solve the problem despite a half-dozen update attempts.

I assure you it annoys me as much as anyone because I am the one manually going behind and reconnecting these topics to the blog when I discover them.


I hope this is OK @orenwolf I moved this to its own topic.

We’ll continue to try to figure this out but our best guess is it somehow has to do with rapidly changing the title of a published blog post in WordPress?

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Good idea. But you probably ought to also move across to here, bobtato’s reply to one of my comments (which is now stranded) and also llamaspit’s reply to me and mine to them.

For reference, the quickest way round this is to just edit the URL on the original post, replacing the part that looks like


Not if the headlines (and thus, URLs) are different, I fear! (But, now I check I see the URLs use the same headline text even if the headlines are different on the page. Go figure.)

(But thanks for the tip. Though, TBH, 9 times out of 10 it is quicker to click to BBS, update latest and find the headline in the list, than it is to finely click on two different bits of URL and edit them)

I’ve been using this workaround also. Any idea why there seem to be one or two new articles on the front page that refuse to send you to the bbs page for comments when clicking the comment link at the bottom? When I click on comments for these all it does is refresh the page instead of sending me to comments.

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Known problem, many weeks (months?) old. Always Xeni posts. According to BB sysadmin (Ken Snider/orenwolf) was thought to be a Discourse bug. But has not to date been fixed. To my mind very suspicious that it is only Xeni and only some of her posts. I wonder if she uses a different set of hardware/OS/other software for some posts and has inadvertently misconfigured something on that set. For now, we just live with it.

I wonder if she just changes her headlines more often than others immediately post publication, which results in a desync with discourse.


I’m almost certain this is a desync issue - Xeni tends to do a lot of copyediting and going back/forth between the published article and the editor - my guess is, the metadata for the Discourse post (which is in multiple values in the WP DB) doesn’t load in the editor by the time she clicks “Update”, and so it publishes incomplete information as a result. Not having the post title is probably also what breaks the Discourse title update as well.

That being said, if this was easy and obvious I know it would already have been solved. :slight_smile:


The following bookmarklet should do the job:


In other words, if you bookmark that URL, then clicking the bookmark while viewing a BingBong post will magically whisk you to the corresponding BBS thread.

The exact steps will depend on your browser, but probably the most general way is to rename an existing bookmark, then edit its address to be the shaded text above.

(I can’t make it automatic because Discourse (correctly) limits what I can do to your computer from a forum post)


Yup. There is something that @xeni consistently does - or does not do - that borks the links to the discussion forum.

In unrelated news - is there a way to block posts on the front page from one of the contributors? I could have sworn there was.

I am less than useless at figuring out computer problems. I asked you because I had not seen the issue brought up before, but I see that apparently it has been brought up enough times that the sysadmin seems to be a bit, uh, aggravated to hear about it again.

I thought it might be some sort of glitch in my own system since I recently changed from a Safari browser to Firefox, and I have an adblocker in the mix as well. I had not noticed that it seems to only happen on Jeni’s posts. anyway, looks like everyone is aware and hopefully someone will figure it out at some point.


I have no issue hearing about issues, but we now have multiple topics discussing this issue. At some point I have to do what I can to avoid this consistently spilling into #boing topics every time this happens.


I suggest we can delete the duplicate and keep this one…

In the meantime we hired an external agency to take on the WordPress plugin work, because it is a vastly different codebase and a completely different programming language. It’s better to have specialists on this task, and the outside perspective might help as well.

I’ll make sure they are pointed to this topic and have all the info they need to diagnose the problem further.


Thanks. We’ve been looking into this for a while and haven’t pinned down the cause. We’ll make sorting it out a priority for this week.

One thing to note with the WordPress post at is that the comments link that should be pointing to Discourse has an empty href element. That is unfortunate, but might give us a clue about what’s going wrong.


Hey guys, said external agency here.

We’ve been spending a fair bit of time trying to figure this out, as we understand how frustrating it must be. We’re going to be spending more time on it this week.

We’re also in the middle of building new logging infrastructure for the Discourse Wordpress plugin to get more exact data on what’s going on.

Part of the issue here is that this is unique to a single user on a single site. It’s never occured anywhere else, and we are still unable to reproduce it ourselves. But that aside, we’re taking this quite seriously.

If you notice anything different, like the headline mismatch in the OP, please report it to me.


Thanks, Angus! I’m going to guess that a persistent object cache plays a role here, too, which you’re only going to see on larger sites.