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Debugging this site

EDIT5: I posted a question on Drupal forums, and someone suggested it looks like an automated security measures of the webhosting company firing a false positive. I contacted the company, they replied and toggled off that security rule. Now everything seems to work as intended. Thank You everybody who helped to get this sorted out. I think something like this applies to other areas of life, too. At first I had no idea what could be the problem, and it felt too complicated to even start trying to solve the problem. Then, after some valuable tips, I got an idea and managed to narrow the possibilities. I was suspecting a cause of the error, and spent a good while trying to investigate. But all that time was wasted, because actually the problem was elsewhere. So, to get it solved, I had to take that crucial step of recognizing that my working hypothesis isn't correct, and that I have to open my mind to look for other alternative explanations.

EDIT4: OK, after some serious spamming of the comment section it seems that it all comes down to the character "<". Just one instance of those, and your comment will crash when you try to save it. But, for some reason, it works if you first save a shorter version of your comment, and then edit it to get the special characters you need. I have no idea what makes the difference between adding new content and editing pre-existing content. (Registered users can edit their own comments, anonymous users can't). But now when I have this narrowed down to a single char, it might be easier to search the net for a solution. All this being said, if someone wants to confirm this with testing further, please feel free to do so.

---

Crashes, oh crashes after crashes. I really need to do something about this issue.

---

EDIT3. OK, this time I only posted that first line, and saved it successfully. Now that I have a new blog entry, I'll edit it and copy&paste the original content which always crashed when saving;

At some point I started to notice occasional problems when writing a new blog entry. Sometimes it happened that I wrote a new post, hit "save" and -poof- the site crashed back to the previous page and all the text was gone. No error messages, not a White Screen of Death, but just the page where I was before choosing "new blog post" in my admin menu. That seemed to happen randomly sometimes, and most of the time everything was fine. So I thought it might be just some glitch which will correct itself.

Alas, the problem has not vanished all by itself. It seems to be lurking around, and every now and then users also report similar problems with saving a comment. The site runs on Drupal 7, and I've been searching Drupal forums & issues, but can't find other people reporting similar problems. Which means either that there aren't other Drupal7 sites experiencing similar problems, or that I suck at searching =)

So far the only pattern I have found is that this problem occurs when saving new content. So the workaround is to save a short dummy content first, and then edit it. So, what ever the bug is, it seems to be restricted to adding new content.

From a general bug-hunting point of view, there are at least three possible sources of error:
1. the php running the site (ie. Drupal7)
2. the database storing the data (MySQL)
3. the server hosting both the database and the php.

If it was 1. I'd expect an error message either in the php error log, or in the drupal's internal error log. But browsing both of those error logs, I can't find a single message which could be related to this bug.

If it was 2., ie. a problem with the database (or with the php - database interaction) it would be strange for it to work with SQL update but not with SQL insert. Then, on the other hand, I have no idea if there is a MySQL error log somewhere on the server. I tried to look for it but couldn't find one. (yes, I've been too lazy to contact the webhosting service. And I'm not that experienced with any of the server side programming, I'm just learning as I go.)

Well, I've also been suspecting 3. as I know that the webhosting service has a whole pattern of automated spam-prevention measures. I remember that in the beginning I had to contact them couple of times, asking them to relax a rule or two for our site. For example, if a new user created an account, and first headed to write a private message using the message system for registered users, that was taken as an indication of spambot activity, and the user experienced half an hour of IP ban. I also got my own IP banned couple of times, after testing and configuring the site (apparently, it looked like a spambot hacking the site configuration). But those anti-spam measures always triggered a complete IP ban, you couldn't even read any content because your browser had no access to the site. But this is not the case with this "saving new content"-bug. It just crashes you back to a previous screen, but allows you to continue browsing the site, and you can even re-try posting the same comment after a second. So, that's why I have been thinking that maybe this is not because of the webhosting service having some too strict anti-spam measures.

But I don't know. So, in case some of you are interested in bug-hunting, let's do some testing. I still wonder if the bug is purely time-sensitive, or if there is a regular pattern to it. If it is purely time-sensitive, then one day the exact same comment could be saved but would crash some other time. But, if there is a pattern, then we can find what triggers the bug. This is what user Paulo Jorge said in his comment (the comment was posted under the previous entry "Coping with winter", I cut & pasted the comment here so we have all the fresh bug-hunting stuff in one place)

º

--Please ignore this comment, can't delet it :/ Context: was having errors posting the first comment, it only worked with small text. Now was testing if it had something to do with encondings, because of the symbols I initially used.
Tryed posting (with no quotes) ">.< o.O º - : //" but gave error.
Then tryed less symbols, trying to find the culprint (no quotes): "º < > : //", still gave error.
Lastly tryed only one (no quotes): "º" and it posted. Don't want to spam the comments so will stop testing if the other symbols were culprint, sorry for the spam xD Please delete if possible.

I've been thinking about this, and indeed the "lesser than" and "greater than" symbols might be trouble. As, there is a filter which allows some html tags and rejects others. And since < and > are used to mark a html tag, some combinations might make the filter crash in an unexpected way. At the moment this is my best guess.

Anyhow, if we get this narrowed down, I hope it becomes clear if this something I can fix myself, or if I have to contact either the webhosting service or the drupal community. So, feel free to post test comments under this blog entry. I think we could test at least the following guesses:

a) contents with a link crash
b) contents with special characters like < and > crash - if so, what are the exact characters making the trouble
c) if you spend a long time writing your comment, something time-outs and the site crashes when you try to save

now I'm going to copy this text to clipboard and to hit save - let's see if it goes through
EDIT: And it crashed upon save. Tried twice. And there is not a link in the text - which more or less rules out a). I'm going to remove some of the special chars and to see what happens.
EDIT2: It crashed again. Will test after removing some more special chars.

---

And the heck, After saving just one line of text, I can edit in all the original content and save it with no problem. I checked that there is the exact same filter in action when saving new content and when editing pre-existing content. Also, none of my guesses got confirmed. It crashed even without a single link. It crashed with all the < and > and ) removed. And even if I spent just a short time of "copy&paste and save", it crashed. The only way it didn't crash was when saving just one line of text. Any ideas?

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Comments

abc does this work?

OK it did =)

And it worked with the smiley. But before that I tried to save a comment with only " < ! > " in it (without the quotes), and it crashed. This time I first saved a comment without those special characters and now I'm editing my comment to get those special chars in.

!

>

See, that "greater than" symbol worked just like that. Before it I tried with just a single "lesser than" symbol, and it crashed.

So far it seems that "<" is a sure way to make it crash. But please feel free to confirm this =) And sorry for spamming my own blog, but next I'm going to try to copy&paste some of the blog content into the comment section. Because, I think I tried a long version without any < or > symbols, and it still crashed.

(

)

&

At some point I started to notice occasional problems when writing a new blog entry. Sometimes it happened that I wrote a new post, hit "save" and -poof- the site crashed back to the previous page and all the text was gone. No error messages, not a White Screen of Death, but just the page where I was before choosing "new blog post" in my admin menu. That seemed to happen randomly sometimes, and most of the time everything was fine. So I thought it might be just some glitch which will correct itself.

Alas, the problem has not vanished all by itself. It seems to be lurking around, and every now and then users also report similar problems with saving a comment. The site runs on Drupal 7, and I've been searching Drupal forums and issues, but can't find other people reporting similar problems. Which means either that there aren't other Drupal7 sites experiencing similar problems, or that I suck at searching =)

So far the only pattern I have found is that this problem occurs when saving new content. So the workaround is to save a short dummy content first, and then edit it. So, what ever the bug is, it seems to be restricted to adding new content.

At some point I started to notice occasional problems when writing a new blog entry. Sometimes it happened that I wrote a new post, hit "save" and -poof- the site crashed back to the previous page and all the text was gone. No error messages, not a White Screen of Death, but just the page where I was before choosing "new blog post" in my admin menu. That seemed to happen randomly sometimes, and most of the time everything was fine. So I thought it might be just some glitch which will correct itself.

Alas, the problem has not vanished all by itself. It seems to be lurking around, and every now and then users also report similar problems with saving a comment. The site runs on Drupal 7, and I've been searching Drupal forums & issues, but can't find other people reporting similar problems. Which means either that there aren't other Drupal7 sites experiencing similar problems, or that I suck at searching =)

So far the only pattern I have found is that this problem occurs when saving new content. So the workaround is to save a short dummy content first, and then edit it. So, what ever the bug is, it seems to be restricted to adding new content.

(DELETED)

If it was 1. I'd expect an error message either in the php error log, or in the drupal's internal error log. But browsing both of those error logs, I can't find a single message which could be related to this bug.

If it was 2., ie. a problem with the database (or with the php - database interaction) it would be strange for it to work with SQL update but now with SQL insert. Then, on the other hand, I have no idea if there is a MySQL error log somewhere on the server. I tried to look for it but couldn't find one. (yes, I've been too lazy to contact the webhosting service. And I'm not that experienced with any of the server side programming, I'm just learning as I go.)

Well, I've also been suspecting 3. as I know that the webhosting service has a whole pattern of automated spam-prevention measures. I remember that in the beginning I had to contact them couple of times, asking them to relax a rule or two for our site. For example, if a new user created an account, and first headed to write a private message using the message system for registered users, that was taken as an indication of spambot activity, and the user experienced half an hour of IP ban. I also got my own IP banned couple of times, after testing and configuring the site (apparently, it looked like a spambot hacking the site configuration). But those anti-spam measures always triggered a complete IP ban, you couldn't even read any content because your browser had no access to the site. But this is not the case with this "saving new content"-bug. It just crashes you back to a previous screen, but allows you to continue browsing the site, and you can even re-try posting the same comment after a second. So, that's why I have been thinking that maybe this is not because of the webhosting service having some too strict anti-spam measures.

But I don't know. So, in case some of you are interested in bug-hunting, let's do some testing. I still wonder if the bug is purely time-sensitive, or if there is a regular pattern to it. If it is purely time-sensitive, then one day the exact same comment could be saved but would crash some other time. But, if there is a pattern, then we can find what triggers the bug. This is what user Paulo Jorge said in his comment (the comment was posted under the previous entry "Coping with winter", I cut & pasted the comment here so we have all the fresh bug-hunting stuff in one place)

(just a placeholder for the comment)

I've been thinking about this, and indeed the "lesser than" and "greater than" symbols might be trouble. As, there is a filter which allows some html tags and rejects others. And since special chars are used to mark a html tag, some combinations might make the filter crash in an unexpected way. At the moment this is my best guess.

Anyhow, if we get this narrowed down, I hope it becomes clear if this something I can fix myself, or if I have to contact either the webhosting service or the drupal community. So, feel free to post test comments under this blog entry. I think we could test at least the following guesses:

(DELETED)

A DUMMY COMMENT, and some promising results

---

EDIT: ok, the following text crashed upon save:

OK, ( and ) and & worked just like that.
Also, the shorter copy & paste of the blog content went through. But the longer version crashed, although it doesn't have any < or > in it. But it had numbered lists like
1. first
2. second
3. third
done manually, without any html-formatting. Deleting those made it save without crashing.

---

So, I'm starting to suspect that both < and a numbered list triggers a crash. One more test with just "1." in it, let's see what happens. If it works, I'll expand the list to see when it will crash.

1.

1.
2.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

1. first
2. second
3. third

All of the above version of the numbered list worked fine. I'm sorry but this calls for further testing (read: spamming my own comment section) =)

But it had numbered lists like
1. first
2. second
3. third
done manually, without any html-formatting. Deleting those made it save without crashing.

Also, the shorter copy paste of the blog content went through. But the longer version crashed, although it doesn't have any or in it. But it had numbered lists like
1. first
2. second
3. third
done manually, without any html-formatting. Deleting those made it save without crashing.

a)
b)
c)

OK, I really don't have any idea
a) what
b) the
c) heck
1. is
2. this
3. stuff
I mean, now I don't have an idea why a longer version of the blog post crashed, can't seem to reproduce it in a narrowed-down manner.

At some point I started to notice occasional problems when writing a new blog entry. Sometimes it happened that I wrote a new post, hit "save" and -poof- the site crashed back to the previous page and all the text was gone. No error messages, not a White Screen of Death, but just the page where I was before choosing "new blog post" in my admin menu. That seemed to happen randomly sometimes, and most of the time everything was fine. So I thought it might be just some glitch which will correct itself.

Alas, the problem has not vanished all by itself. It seems to be lurking around, and every now and then users also report similar problems with saving a comment. The site runs on Drupal 7, and I've been searching Drupal forums & issues, but can't find other people reporting similar problems. Which means either that there aren't other Drupal7 sites experiencing similar problems, or that I suck at searching =)

So far the only pattern I have found is that this problem occurs when saving new content. So the workaround is to save a short dummy content first, and then edit it. So, what ever the bug is, it seems to be restricted to adding new content.

From a general bug-hunting point of view, there are at least three possible sources of error:
1. the php running the site (ie. Drupal7)
2. the database storing the data (MySQL)
3. the server hosting both the database and the php.

If it was 1. I'd expect an error message either in the php error log, or in the drupal's internal error log. But browsing both of those error logs, I can't find a single message which could be related to this bug.

If it was 2., ie. a problem with the database (or with the php - database interaction) it would be strange for it to work with SQL update but now with SQL insert. Then, on the other hand, I have no idea if there is a MySQL error log somewhere on the server. I tried to look for it but couldn't find one. (yes, I've been too lazy to contact the webhosting service. And I'm not that experienced with any of the server side programming, I'm just learning as I go.)

Well, I've also been suspecting 3. as I know that the webhosting service has a whole pattern of automated spam-prevention measures. I remember that in the beginning I had to contact them couple of times, asking them to relax a rule or two for our site. For example, if a new user created an account, and first headed to write a private message using the message system for registered users, that was taken as an indication of spambot activity, and the user experienced half an hour of IP ban. I also got my own IP banned couple of times, after testing and configuring the site (apparently, it looked like a spambot hacking the site configuration). But those anti-spam measures always triggered a complete IP ban, you couldn't even read any content because your browser had no access to the site. But this is not the case with this "saving new content"-bug. It just crashes you back to a previous screen, but allows you to continue browsing the site, and you can even re-try posting the same comment after a second. So, that's why I have been thinking that maybe this is not because of the webhosting service having some too strict anti-spam measures.

But I don't know. So, in case some of you are interested in bug-hunting, let's do some testing. I still wonder if the bug is purely time-sensitive, or if there is a regular pattern to it. If it is purely time-sensitive, then one day the exact same comment could be saved but would crash some other time. But, if there is a pattern, then we can find what triggers the bug. This is what user Paulo Jorge said in his comment (the comment was posted under the previous entry "Coping with winter", I cut & pasted the comment here so we have all the fresh bug-hunting stuff in one place)

At some point I started to notice occasional problems when writing a new blog entry. Sometimes it happened that I wrote a new post, hit "save" and -poof- the site crashed back to the previous page and all the text was gone. No error messages, not a White Screen of Death, but just the page where I was before choosing "new blog post" in my admin menu. That seemed to happen randomly sometimes, and most of the time everything was fine. So I thought it might be just some glitch which will correct itself.

Alas, the problem has not vanished all by itself. It seems to be lurking around, and every now and then users also report similar problems with saving a comment. The site runs on Drupal 7, and I've been searching Drupal forums & issues, but can't find other people reporting similar problems. Which means either that there aren't other Drupal7 sites experiencing similar problems, or that I suck at searching =)

So far the only pattern I have found is that this problem occurs when saving new content. So the workaround is to save a short dummy content first, and then edit it. So, what ever the bug is, it seems to be restricted to adding new content.

From a general bug-hunting point of view, there are at least three possible sources of error:
1. the php running the site (ie. Drupal7)
2. the database storing the data (MySQL)
3. the server hosting both the database and the php.

If it was 1. I'd expect an error message either in the php error log, or in the drupal's internal error log. But browsing both of those error logs, I can't find a single message which could be related to this bug.

If it was 2., ie. a problem with the database (or with the php - database interaction) it would be strange for it to work with SQL update but now with SQL insert. Then, on the other hand, I have no idea if there is a MySQL error log somewhere on the server. I tried to look for it but couldn't find one. (yes, I've been too lazy to contact the webhosting service. And I'm not that experienced with any of the server side programming, I'm just learning as I go.)

Well, I've also been suspecting 3. as I know that the webhosting service has a whole pattern of automated spam-prevention measures. I remember that in the beginning I had to contact them couple of times, asking them to relax a rule or two for our site. For example, if a new user created an account, and first headed to write a private message using the message system for registered users, that was taken as an indication of spambot activity, and the user experienced half an hour of IP ban. I also got my own IP banned couple of times, after testing and configuring the site (apparently, it looked like a spambot hacking the site configuration). But those anti-spam measures always triggered a complete IP ban, you couldn't even read any content because your browser had no access to the site. But this is not the case with this "saving new content"-bug. It just crashes you back to a previous screen, but allows you to continue browsing the site, and you can even re-try posting the same comment after a second. So, that's why I have been thinking that maybe this is not because of the webhosting service having some too strict anti-spam measures.

But I don't know. So, in case some of you are interested in bug-hunting, let's do some testing. I still wonder if the bug is purely time-sensitive, or if there is a regular pattern to it. If it is purely time-sensitive, then one day the exact same comment could be saved but would crash some other time. But, if there is a pattern, then we can find what triggers the bug. This is what user Paulo Jorge said in his comment (the comment was posted under the previous entry "Coping with winter", I cut & pasted the comment here so we have all the fresh bug-hunting stuff in one place)

(just a placeholder for the comment)

I've been thinking about this, and indeed the "lesser than" and "greater than" symbols might be trouble. As, there is a filter which allows some html tags and rejects others. And since special chars are used to mark a html tag, some combinations might make the filter crash in an unexpected way. At the moment this is my best guess.

Anyhow, if we get this narrowed down, I hope it becomes clear if this something I can fix myself, or if I have to contact either the webhosting service or the drupal community. So, feel free to post test comments under this blog entry. I think we could test at least the following guesses:

At some point I started to notice occasional problems when writing a new blog entry. Sometimes it happened that I wrote a new post, hit "save" and -poof- the site crashed back to the previous page and all the text was gone. No error messages, not a White Screen of Death, but just the page where I was before choosing "new blog post" in my admin menu. That seemed to happen randomly sometimes, and most of the time everything was fine. So I thought it might be just some glitch which will correct itself.

Alas, the problem has not vanished all by itself. It seems to be lurking around, and every now and then users also report similar problems with saving a comment. The site runs on Drupal 7, and I've been searching Drupal forums & issues, but can't find other people reporting similar problems. Which means either that there aren't other Drupal7 sites experiencing similar problems, or that I suck at searching =)

So far the only pattern I have found is that this problem occurs when saving new content. So the workaround is to save a short dummy content first, and then edit it. So, what ever the bug is, it seems to be restricted to adding new content.

From a general bug-hunting point of view, there are at least three possible sources of error:
1. the php running the site (ie. Drupal7)
2. the database storing the data (MySQL)
3. the server hosting both the database and the php.

If it was 1. I'd expect an error message either in the php error log, or in the drupal's internal error log. But browsing both of those error logs, I can't find a single message which could be related to this bug.

If it was 2., ie. a problem with the database (or with the php - database interaction) it would be strange for it to work with SQL update but now with SQL insert. Then, on the other hand, I have no idea if there is a MySQL error log somewhere on the server. I tried to look for it but couldn't find one. (yes, I've been too lazy to contact the webhosting service. And I'm not that experienced with any of the server side programming, I'm just learning as I go.)

Well, I've also been suspecting 3. as I know that the webhosting service has a whole pattern of automated spam-prevention measures. I remember that in the beginning I had to contact them couple of times, asking them to relax a rule or two for our site. For example, if a new user created an account, and first headed to write a private message using the message system for registered users, that was taken as an indication of spambot activity, and the user experienced half an hour of IP ban. I also got my own IP banned couple of times, after testing and configuring the site (apparently, it looked like a spambot hacking the site configuration). But those anti-spam measures always triggered a complete IP ban, you couldn't even read any content because your browser had no access to the site. But this is not the case with this "saving new content"-bug. It just crashes you back to a previous screen, but allows you to continue browsing the site, and you can even re-try posting the same comment after a second. So, that's why I have been thinking that maybe this is not because of the webhosting service having some too strict anti-spam measures.

But I don't know. So, in case some of you are interested in bug-hunting, let's do some testing. I still wonder if the bug is purely time-sensitive, or if there is a regular pattern to it. If it is purely time-sensitive, then one day the exact same comment could be saved but would crash some other time. But, if there is a pattern, then we can find what triggers the bug. This is what user Paulo Jorge said in his comment (the comment was posted under the previous entry "Coping with winter", I cut & pasted the comment here so we have all the fresh bug-hunting stuff in one place)

(just a placeholder for the comment)

I've been thinking about this, and indeed the "lesser than" and "greater than" symbols might be trouble. As, there is a filter which allows some html tags and rejects others. And since special chars are used to mark a html tag, some combinations might make the filter crash in an unexpected way. At the moment this is my best guess.

Anyhow, if we get this narrowed down, I hope it becomes clear if this something I can fix myself, or if I have to contact either the webhosting service or the drupal community. So, feel free to post test comments under this blog entry. I think we could test at least the following guesses:

a) contents with a link crash
b) contents with special characters like and crash - if so, what are the exact characters making the trouble
c) if you spend a long time writing your comment, something time-outs and the site crashes when you try to save

now I'm going to copy this text to clipboard and to hit save - let's see if it goes through

AND I'M AN IDIOT =)

All the time in the longer version of the blog post had one "lesser than" symbol, although it was my intention to remove all of them when testing. And I thought I did. After the text crashed, I copypasted it again, read it through trying to find some more suspicious special characters I could delete. Hehe, I read it several times and never noticed that it still had that one "lesser than" symbol in it.

So, again, this is pretty much the case described in this post (now I test with a link, I copypaste and URL here without manually adding html tags, as the site should auto-convert all addresses into links)

http://www.enormouselk.com/?q=erkkasblog/zen-and-art-computer-programmin...

It was funny to read all your comments and process of bug hunting xD It brings back a lot of frustrating memories (hate debugging). When I started working with php I had to do this kind of debugging a lot, even today with debugging tools sometimes is the only way.

Four years ago met Python and some nice frameworks with amazing debugging tools, since then never looked back to PHP. And never used Drupal (but heard nice things about it). Because of that I cannot help a lot, because I don’t know how Drupal works, and I am very rusty in PHP. But after our conversation in facebook I had an idea, but not sure if it is possible or really works. For context, in Facebook you said:
“Ah, but how to fix the bug, I think it is drupal-spesific. I hope to find something searching their forums, and I could also try adding mere "<" into the list of allowed tags.”

1) Allowing the tag “<”, depending if Drupal have other security checks in place, can be risky, because one could insert javascript () or an iframe with risky content in the comments, compromising security (but not sure, depends on other stuff). But if the site has other security checks and it is safe, then this could be a good idea and solution disabling this filter.
One idea that should make it all ok, if possible to make (not sure, because don’t know how Drupal works), is to insert, before the filter mechanism, a piece of code that converts every “<” and “>” char in the comment, to entity format (for example, the html entity code for “<” is “<” ). This way, the “<” char would still be visible as “<” to the users when reading the comments, but internally, the filter mechanism will not recognize “<” as an html tag, because it will be in safe entity code format (“<” = “<”).
For instance, this code could make that quick, if inserted right before the code that makes the filter mechanism:
$converted_comment = htmlspecialchars("original comment", ENT_QUOTES);
Here is the document of this code: http://php.net/manual/en/function.htmlspecialchars.php
(Note: but this code also converts quotes and the “&” char to entity format (“&”), which could break something in Drupal (I am thinking in the filter that converts URL’s to html format, since some URLs can have the “&” char. So the best way and bug free would be to use the str_replace code directly instead, for example:
str_replace("<","<","original comment");
str_replace(">",">","original comment");
Code documentation here: http://www.w3schools.com/php/func_string_str_replace.asp )
PS: sorry if you know already all this and are used to PHP, I know you are very good in programming low level – Unreal World FTW – but no idea if you work with PHP so gave too many details and links)
PS2: maybe Drupal has already a plugin that one can install or an option to convert some chars to entity format.

2) Second idea: But this kind of error should not be happening in a tested CMS like Drupal, it must be specific to the filter code. I don’t know if the filter mechanism is like a plugin that one installs in Drupal, if so, try to uninstall it and install other with same functionality (I worked with Joomla in the past and it worked like this, no idea if Drupal is the same). Pr maybe the filter plugin is old, if possible maybe trying to update to newer version. In last resort, if possible (don’t know the level of accessibility of the plugin and freedom to programme directly inside Drupal), you can edit the filter mechanism code directly in it’s php file, and bug hunt the problem, it is a problem of login, since it needs an exception for when it does not find the closing tag “>” aborting the filtering. But this approach needs one to code in PHP and bug hunt the code, and that can be hard and time consuming (if you post the code of the filter mechanism I can try to help, but I don’t code in PHP for 4 years now, very rusty xD ). The first solution would be best, this is last case idea.

3) Third idea: You can post this problem in a website like http://stackoverflow.com/ It is highly probable that you already know this site. These guys are amazing, they saved my life a lot of times, it is like a social network of informatics that help solve posted questions/problems.

Sorry for the long text. Don’t know if any of this is of some help. Just tried to make a brainstorm and write every idea, in hope that it inspires a solution indirectly. In fact all this could not work, the problem could be entirely different, can be a lot of different things. If I can help with something feel free anytime.
Good luck, hope to hear good news soon :)

Ah, you are correct about the security. The whole point of the text format filter is to block all the possible malicious tags. I tried playing around with the filter settings, but it didn't make a difference.

As I can't find several other people reporting a same kind of issue, it sounds more like my drupal installation is somehow corrupt. I quickly checked my filter module, and it seems to be intact. But, maybe it isn't the filter module in itself, but some other part of the drupal core. I have to do more testing in the evening. Ah, and I posted a question on Drupal forums, hoping that someone would point me to the obvious solution which has been right front of my eyes all the time but I just fail to spot it =)

EDIT: nah, I just compared all of the core module files - the ones I have match identically to the ones shipped with a fresh download of Drupal core. I was hoping for this to be a simple issue like one missing line in one single file :/ well, the bughunt continues =)

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When posting this entry (and the comments), I thought that this will give the non-programmers a glimpse of what bughunting looks like =)

Hello World!
I contacted the webhosting company, they replied on Sunday evening after nine pm. I like how they have customer support all week through. So, does it work now with some valid html tags. And a single < ?

EDIT: OK, now it works perfectly! So, after all, it was because of the webhosting company having automated security measures. They replied that older versions of drupal used to have a security vulnerability, and they had a rule to tackle that problem. But since the vulnerability is fixed in the drupal version I'm using, they just disabled the security rule on our site. The company is Hostingpalvelu.fi and I like them =)

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