Going through new questions with new tags in Moderator Tools, I clicked on a tag "machine.config", and got the following error:

XML Parsing Error: no element found
Location: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/machine.config
Line Number 1, Column 1:

The URL is https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/machine.config.

BTW, the same happens for "web.config". I suppose it's the dot.


Brad makes the point about which tags you should use instead... but that doesn't address the fact that it really is a bug. You shouldn't be able to "break" SO just by feeding it a tag of a particular format.

It's not a particularly major bug, I'll grant you... but definitely one to fix.

I don't believe it's the fact that there's a dot though - I believe it's ASP.NET trying to prevent people from getting the actual machine.config/web.config etc.

Other interesting finds:

When it's broken, in Chrome I don't get an XML parsing error - I just get an empty page, with no data at all even when viewing source.

  • Yeah, the XML parsing error is Firefox's response to an empty page served as XHTML (application/xml). – Shog9 Jul 26 '09 at 18:45
  • Interesting. In IE I just get a 404 error. – John Saunders Jul 26 '09 at 19:06
  • man. thank you, guys. ive spent weeks on a similar problem on my system. thank you! – Mina Apr 2 '12 at 15:25

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