Feeling stupid

Back on February 16, 2006, I posted this entry about a workaround for preventing Flock, which is based on Firefox, from opening two tabs when you click on a link from an email. At the time, I thought the fix I had proposed had solved that problem.

However, I began to notice that the problem didn't seem to be solved. Flock again started opening two tabs (instances of the URL) when I clicked on links from emails I received. I thought the solution I had posted back in February didn't work. So I went to the trouble to look up the solution I remember having found for it back in 2004, and I reapplied that solution. That fixed the problem.

After I made that February post, Lloyd Budd, who is in charge of QA for Flock, had commented on my post and said that he had posted my workaround in bug #1577. Since I assumed that my workaround really didn't work, I went to Flock's Bugzilla and posted a comment that my solution that Lloyd had pointed to didn't work. And I then entered direct links to the fix I had just applied that did solve the problem.

It was only after I had made that note in Bugzilla that I re-read my original post from February. To my great embarrassment, I realized that the fix from the February post was the same one I had just reapplied. Since it was the same thing as before, I then had to post an "eat crow" entry in Bugzilla, asking that everyone disregard my most recent entry there. (You can't delete a post in Bugzilla, so far as I know.)

So then, why, it is legitimate to ask, did the fix stop working?

I believe the answer is that each time the program (Flock in my case, but it would be true of Firefox too) is updated (reinstalled), it is registered once again as the DDE messaging handler for the filetypes HyperText Transfer Protocol and HyperText Transfer Protocol with Privacy. So with every update, you have to go back and change those settings to eliminate this glitch. I'll have to remember that in the future, but I doubt that will be a problem because not remembering it this time led to my feeling really stupid.

John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "If all else fails, immortality can always be assured by spectacular error."

I suppose the moral to this story is that I should leave the software debugging to the pros, or at the very least I should read over my own solutions and try to reason out what is going on before I post comments to Bugzilla. Will I learn those lessons? I can only hope so.


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