I edited the title of the question Quelle est la signification de l'expression "une fille indigne" ? Comment l'utilise-t-on au quotidien ? from the moderator dashboard. Original title:

Une fille indigne -- Qu'est que c'est? Comment on le utilise dans le conversation quotidien?

New title:

Une fille indigne — est-ce une allusion ?

Now the page is caught in an infinite reditect loop from https://french.stackexchange.com/questions/10871/une-fille-indigne-%e2%80%94-est-ce-une-allusion%c2%a0 to itself.

Other posts exhibit the same behavior: https://french.stackexchange.com/posts/8962/revisions, https://french.stackexchange.com/posts/10870/revisions. On the other hand, Comment dire « go take a flying leap » en français ? and What do French tennis announcers say when the game is tied at 15 or 30 ?, which have similarly constructed titles but were edited earlier, are fine. It looks like titles ending with U+00A0 NO-BREAK-SPACE followed by U+003F QUESTION MARK used to be silently rewritten to U+0020 SPACE followed by U+003F QUESTION MARK, and now they are no longer mangled. It's nice not to have typographical errors silently introduced by the system, but it would be nicer if that didn't prevent the page from loading.

(Note that an unbreakable space — it should be a thin space but most people type U+00A0 or have software that does it for them — before a question mark is normal typography in France. All that English text with no space before the question mark looks weird to us.)

  • I rolled back the edit for now. We're looking into it. – Adam Lear Jun 10 '14 at 19:55
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    Someone divided by zero. Again. – Adam Davis Jun 10 '14 at 19:57
  • @AnnaLear Some other cases, all recent edits that added some non-ASCII character to a title: french.stackexchange.com/posts/8962/revisions french.stackexchange.com/posts/10870/revisions Questions that have had similar titles for longer seem ok, e.g. french.stackexchange.com/q/9281 french.stackexchange.com/q/9804 It may have to do with the recent examples having a proper unbreakable space before the final question mark instead of a breakable space like in the working example. – Gilles Jun 10 '14 at 20:39
  • @AnnaLear I'm sure that french.stackexchange.com/q/9804 had an unbreakable space when I edited it. It's nice that you stop silently introducing typographical errors, but it would be nicer if that didn't prevent the page from loading. – Gilles Jun 10 '14 at 20:40
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    @Gilles Ah, so redirect loops aren't a welcome feature addition to our sites? You don't say... – Adam Lear Jun 10 '14 at 20:45
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    This seems like it might be the same issue that we ran into at Japanese Language two years ago: meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/q/899/3437 – senshin Jun 10 '14 at 20:51
  • Normal edits to the title break the link as well. – Stéphane Gimenez Jun 10 '14 at 21:02
  • Gilles: you should mention that this bug was introduced today. – Stéphane Gimenez Jun 10 '14 at 21:07
  • @StéphaneGimenez Actually, the underlying bug is probably at least three years old. What seems to have changed today is that some other code (the bit that converted unbreakable spaces to breakable spaces) was removed, which suddenly made the bug likely to occur on French Language. – Gilles Jun 10 '14 at 21:18
  • @Anna if it ends with a unicorn it's welcome. – ShaWiz Jun 10 '14 at 21:29
  • It should be working now; any glitches, let me know. – Marc Gravell Jun 11 '14 at 11:09
  • @MarcGravell meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/260198/… (did I make a mistake by editing it?) – ShaWiz Jun 11 '14 at 14:28
  • @ShadowWizard nah, you're alright; apparently it was a trailing LTR; investigating – Marc Gravell Jun 11 '14 at 14:32
  • @MarcGravell thanks, worth checking how many other questions got it or similar unicode stuff that will cause endless redirection. (You probably got better search tools for this :)) – ShaWiz Jun 11 '14 at 14:35

This is another occurrence of web-servers and web-frameworks struggling with utf-8 encoded urls; for previous episodes, please see here and here. Well, it looks like it doesn't like these urls either (it comes in as though it were truncated without the whitespace/punctuation pair, hence it tries to redirect to a canonical url). We recently enabled utf-8 urls network-wide, which is why it has suddently appeared. I have disabled this again while I investigate.

Incidentally, you can't repro this on most sites: we have a flag that changes how whitespace-followed-by-punctuation is handled in question titles - and it is only enabled on language sites.

But: I have access to the low-level http request, so I'm working on a way of completely ignoring all the framework binding layers, so that we just read the raw data directly. When I have this deployed, I will re-enable the utf-8 url support.

  • Any updates on this? – Braiam Mar 1 '15 at 16:49
  • @Braiam changes were made relating to this at the time, and UTF-8 titles are enabled everywhere (and have been for a long time). Are you seeing an issue? If so: where? – Marc Gravell Mar 2 '15 at 7:42

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