Continuing the trend:

In hopes of making finding and fixing these easier, I just went ahead and pulled all the current blog posts and searched for these unescaped Unicode characters and HTML tags.

Here are the results of that search.

Blog Number Link To Blog List of Unescaped HTML Entities
43 The Overflow #43: Simulated keyboards "…"
44 The Overflow #44: Machine learning in production "…"
49 The Overflow #49: Container orchestration explained "‘"
53 The Overflow #53: Winter Bash is here! "…"
55 The Overflow #55: Great impractical ideas in computer science "‘", "‘", "…"
61 The Overflow #61: I followed my dreams and got demoted to software developer "…"
68 The Overflow #68: Our first piece of hardware? "‘"
70 The Overflow #70: Networked spreadsheets "…", "…"
71 The Overflow #71: Copied and pasted "…"
72 The Overflow #72: From personal trainer to frontend mentor "…"
80 The Overflow #80: Introducing Collectives "…"
84 The Overflow #84 and 85: How Dwarf Fortress is built "…"
91 The Overflow #91: Observability is the future (of your DevOps career) "…"
93 The Overflow #93: No joke—you can buy our copy/paste keyboard right now "…", "…"
95 The Overflow #95: Image search, but for any object IRL "…"
99 The Overflow #99: These principles are still SOLID "…"
103 The Overflow #103: Does modern parenting require spyware? "‘"
105 The Overflow #105: An oral history of Stack Overflow "…"
107 The Overflow #107: Our top five blog posts of 2021 "…"
108 The Overflow #108: Determining dependencies and phantom braking "‘"
109 The Overflow #109: Developers and the Great Resignation "<strike>unicorn blood</strike>"
119 The Overflow #119: Silicon Valley accurately reflects Silicon Valley "&#8230;"
124 The Overflow #124: May the fourth be with you! "&#8230;"
126 The Overflow #126: The 2022 Developer Survey now open "&#8230;"
128 The Overflow #128: The Great Resignation cuts both ways "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;"
129 The Overflow #129: How an average programmer became GitHub CTO "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;"
131 The Overflow #131: Run microservices in no-fail mode "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;"
132 The Overflow #132: The 2022 Dev Survey results! "&quot;", "&quot;", "&#x27;"
134 The Overflow #134: Avoiding the difficulty bomb "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&#x27;", "&quot;", "&quot;", "&#x27;"

Note: this was an automated search so the potential exists that things were missed.

Also maybe we can figure out a way to resolve this moving forward.

  • 3
    I feel like I'm pointing out the obvious, but if its fixable 'trivially' - having someone proof read and QA the post right after publication might be a good idea Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 4:41
  • 10
    Sounds dangerously close to a poke with a sharp stick there, JG - maybe they could just fix whatever insane chain of tooling is creating these in the first place, since it is almost certainly not a human mistake.
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 4:48
  • 1
    @Shog9 I'm told employees are no longer assured of not being poked with a sharp stick + I didn't sign no contract telling me I couldn't (unless it got snuck into the mod agreement :D) . Fixing the tooling would be good too - but there's something to be said for trusting your tooling but verifying :D Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 9:08
  • "Also maybe we can figure out a way to resolve this moving forward" - sure, switch blog host yet again, to something else that support special characters in the posts. ;) Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 11:23
  • 3
    Its wordpress - so its supposed to be well supported and understood ._. Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 11:41
  • @Journeyman well facts tell a different story. :-/ Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 12:15
  • 1
    Re "I just went ahead and pulled all the current blog posts": How? Screen-scraping? https://stackoverflow.blog/2022/page/1 through https://stackoverflow.blog/2008/page/17/ (unstable URLs in the current year, stable but varying in previous years)? Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 14:17
  • 3
    I pulled https://stackoverflow.blog/newsletter/page/[1-13] got all of the title links .fs-headline1 > a then pulled each blog and searched for /&#x?\d+?;/ and <(\w+)?>.*?<\/\1>. Again, I only checked "The Overflow" @This_is_NOT_a_forum Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 14:22
  • 3
    @Henry Ecker: Yes, there is a case for (blind) parsing of (partial) HTML with regular expressions, despite the dogma. Commented Jul 30, 2022 at 14:25

1 Answer 1


Thank you for taking the time to report this problem and list the affected blog posts.

I've spoken with the Marketing team, which runs the blog; apparently, this was due to an error in our content management system. That issue has now been fixed, so this shouldn't happen again in future blog posts – but that doesn't automatically fix these HTML issues in previously published blog posts (i.e. the ones you linked to).

Fixing these issues is still a very manual process. These posts are courtesy reposts of the newsletter for folks who prefer RSS feeds over emails, so going back and fixing these errors in very low-traffic posts at this point is a relatively low priority at the moment.

The Marketing team may or may not go through past blog posts to fix such HTML issues in the future, but for now, I'm tagging this post as .

  • 1
    I'm glad they've gotten a solution moving forward. Thank you for the follow up! Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 21:31
  • @HenryEcker we'll see in the next "The Overflow" blog post, hopefully it's really fixed. Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 7:58
  • @Shadow: No HTML issues in #137.
    – Justin
    Commented Aug 6, 2022 at 8:05

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