I was editing an answer on a StackExchange site ATTiny2313 ISR stack usage and noticed a problem with the Blockquote button in the WMD editor, as follows:

  1. Paste in a large chunk of text (a paragraph or two).
  2. Select the text that you pasted.
  3. Click the blockquotes button ["].

What normally happens is that the text gets repaginated, and then prefixed with '> ', but if you have a large paragraph, particularly one where the entire paragraph has no linefeeds, the editor will freeze until the JavaScript engine decides that it's hung.

If you manually repaginate and prefix with '> ', it works as expected (which is how I built up the referenced answer).

I have observed this on Firefox 3.0/3.5 on Mac OSX 10.5.8 and Ubuntu Linux.

[ Updated ]

I replicated this on Stackoverflow.com, as follows:

  1. Generate and copy 5 paragraphs of Lorem Ipsum.
  2. Pick any open question and paste the text into the answer field.
  3. Select all of the first paragraph and click the blockquote button (this will work).
  4. Select all of the third paragraph and click the blockquote button (this will hang).

The problem seems to lie with having non-quoted paragraphs in between two blockquoted sections. I think the editor is trying to link up both blockquotes, but is getting hung up on the separating, non-quoted paragraph.

[ Update #2 ]

John Smithers reports that this is a duplicate of an existing bug, and upon reading that bug, I tend to agree. Unfortunately, the answers to that bug don't seem to apply (I can reproduce the bug, with or without Firebug), and with that bug marked 'status-norepro', I doubt anyone is going to work on it. So what's the correct thing to do here?

Additional testing has shown that the bug is dependent upon the amount of text being quoted -- one or two lines works ok, but an entire Lorem paragraph is large enough to set it off on the fastest machine I have available (2.93GHz Core 2 Duo).

Comments about pre-existing prefixes ('> ') are misnomers; with the blockquote button, it's a toggle (like bold or italic): if there are no prefixes in the selected text, it should prefix the whole block; if there are prefixes, it should remove them. If there are prefixes in the whole text, but not in the selected text, then there shouldn't be any effect.


2 Answers 2


This is probably a bug here as well. Can you post a text block that we can use as a repro?

  • The problem occurs, if a blockquote already exists. See my comment to your answer here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/9807/… Nov 12, 2009 at 10:28
  • I've mostly repro'd this using the Lorem Ipsum text that was suggested. Nov 12, 2009 at 18:59
  • 1
    The mostly, has to do with the fact that I had go on to blockquote the fifth paragraph before there was a noticeable pause. Nov 12, 2009 at 19:02

What you have described in your update is a dupe.

The culprit are exisitng the quote signs ">". If you delete them, it works. The blockquote button has trouble, if these characters already exist in the text.

  • But the quotes don't exist in the selected text. I'm trying to establish multiple, separate blockquotes (because they represent text from different quotes). If I deleted the existing quotes, I'd be undoing the first blockquote when I go to establish the second. Nov 12, 2009 at 13:21
  • They exist. You introduced them with step 3. So step 4 does not work anymore. That's the bug. Nov 12, 2009 at 13:43

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