Friday, May 22, 2009

Blogger Limits: Comment Length

Recently, we see perplexed queries from bloggers
I published a comment of over 8000 chars a few days ago, but now I get this message:
Must be at most 4,096 characters.
(for HTML, at least). Still, the Help Database says nothing about this limit.


And checking the referential Blogger Help: What are the limits on my Blogger account?, we indeed see no such limit mentioned.


Oh no, what to do now?



This is, possibly, a new limit initiated with recent changes to Blogger. I personally can't see how you would type anywhere near 4,096 characters in the tiny comment entry box, let alone 8,000 characters.

I got curious, and I generated an example. Here is 4,093 characters of text.

[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?
[33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.[2]
[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?
[33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.[2]
[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore


Isn't that a mouthful? Why would you want a comment that long? How would you have the patience to type that into the little comment entry form, that you can edit only once? Make a single mistake, and you have to delete the comment, and re enter it.

Wouldn't it be more reasonable to write a blog post, in your own blog? Then post a comment summarising your blog post, with
For more information see my blog post.

For more information see <a href="http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/05/blogger-limits-comment-length.html">my blog post</a>.



That's the ticket.



Be kind to the other readers, particularly if the blog uses inline comments - write a short comment, linked to your blog. Don't write a book, attached to somebody else's blog.

(Update 6/3): Under the well known principle of "First come, first served", this totalitarian protection is now termed "The Paladin Limit".

(Update 5/28): A non quotable comment by Blogger makes it possible that this limit, though restrictive, was necessitated by comment spamming of uncontrolled limits, creating spam comments that could not be deleted.

>> Top

21 comments:

Garry Knight said...

How do you enter something 4 times as long as this post in the comment entry box? Copy and paste.

Susan said...

The limits on my Blogger acct > the limits of my reader's interest.

Chuck said...

Write a short summary, and point to your blog, where you write your complete article. Don't write a book, attached to somebody else's blog.

For more information see my blog post.

For more information see <a href="http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/05/blogger-limits-comment-length.html">my blog post</a>.

Art A Layman said...

Experiencing the same problem on Robert Reich's blog, the character limit. On his blog there are a number of posters who, on occasion, type more than 4,096 characters. Most of these are typed, not copy and pasted articles.

Now I don't have my own blog so the recommended options here don't work for me. Further, we do get a few bloggers who have blogs in his site who post all or part of an entry and then link to their blog as well. Many of us do not follow the link preferring to read what's posted on RR's blog. Other suggestions?

BTW, I did correspond with RR and he knew nothing about the change.

Adam said...

How about Blogger doesn't dictate how long our readers comments are. What a ridiculous notion to have a conversational feature like a comment thread filled with links back to each person's rebuttal on their own blog.

I can't think of anything more asinine.

Chuck said...

Adam,

From what I heard, the limitation was put into place because of the undeletable spammy comments that were causing the bX-gc7ujn / bX-crozx2 errors.

Recently

Peter said...

A forced limitation on comment length, without allowing the blog owner to decide for him- or herself is idiotic.

Chuck, based on your comment above, you seem to believe that no one, anywhere, on anybody's blog, should be allowed to write long comments. What, exactly, gives anybody the right to dictate such terms to other people's conversations?

The solution to problems induced by software engineers is not to limit the speech of others against their will. The solution is for the software engineers to get their act together and do their job.

Peter said...

And I also want to add that this idea of blog-comment conversation by posting on separate blogs is not remotely helpful to people who want to have detailed conversations between more than two people, on issues that may only concern the participants.

Why should I post a response on my blog if I only want to discuss the issue with people in the comments on another blog, and my own blog readers would not be interested?

You're advocating the opposite of what Twitter recently did by making replies visible only to the people who are part of the conversation. You're saying that people who read my blog should be forced to plow through my responses to comments on other people's blogs, even if those responses do not fit into the theme of my blog or would be of no interest to my readers.

Chuck said...

Peter,

Everything in life has limitations. This is a new limitation. Learn to live with it.

Move on.

paladin said...

Hi, Chuck!

Would it be at all possible for me to make an official request that the new 4096-character limit be formally named "The Paladin Limit", in honour of my 4096+ character (typed!) comments? :)

Chuck said...

Paladin,

In the absence of other claims, I'll give you first shot at the title.

Help me out here - what's the synonym for "dictatorian", that applies to facist restrictions like this? It, to, ends in "-ian".

paladin said...

In the absence of other claims, I'll give you first shot at the title.

I'm honoured! :)

Help me out here - what's the synonym for "dictatorian", that applies to facist restrictions like this? It, to, ends in "-ian".

Hoo, boy. Maybe "authoritarian" or "totalitarian"? "Machiavellian" doesn't seem to have the right flavour...

Frankly, I laughed out loud when I discovered the limit for the first time; "Darn! They busted me at last!"

Chuck said...

That's it - "totalitarian".

theotherbed said...

An 8,000 character comment is a problem inherent to the commenter, not the system.

Breathe. Edit.

I'm with Susan on this one.

Penny Manning said...

Spammers are being allowed to ruin everything. How is reducing character allowance going to stop anyone from spamming? Doesn't make sense to me. Neither does making the URLs unlinkable in the CoffeeShop Forum. That's not really going to stop spammers, just those who are too tired to go through the extra steps to check out someone's blog.

Err...does Bing have blogs? I'm thinking it's time to move on from Blogger--BESIDES, the Blogger templates aren't all that special, anyway. Penny

Chuck said...

Penny,

The problem here is not the spamming, by itself. The problem is that hackers found a coding flaw in Blogger code. Comments made exceeding a certain size would cause corruption in the Blogger database, and could not be deleted.

Rather than rewrite their code, Blogger decided to limit the size of comments, so the coding flaw could not be exploited by the spammers.

Hobo Mama said...

I sometimes hit the character limit when responding to comments on my own blog. I want to respond within the comments b/c that's where the conversation is happening, rather than move the discussion to a new post and possibly not have people follow me there.

But I can live with that. I can break up my comments into parts if I have to. But what's irking me right now, and how I came across this in researching the issue, is that according to Word, my current comment/tome is 3,930 characters with spaces, and yet Blogger still won't let me post it.

Chuck said...

Hobo,

If you're having a problem with 3,930 characters, not being able to use even that close to 4,096 characters, that's something that should be discussed in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken. Peer support is what you need, and that's where you get peer support.

Chuck said...

[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?
[33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.[2]
[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem. Ut enim ad minima veniam, quis nostrum exercitationem ullam corporis suscipit laboriosam, nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequatur? Quis autem vel eum iure reprehenderit, qui in ea voluptate velit esse, quam nihil molestiae consequatur, vel illum, qui dolorem eum fugiat, quo voluptas nulla pariatur?
[33] At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus, qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti, quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint, obcaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa, qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio, cumque nihil impedit, quo minus id, quod maxime placeat, facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet, ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat.[2]
[32] Sed ut perspiciatis, unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam eaque ipsa, quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt, explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem, quia voluptas sit, aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos, qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt, neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum, quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci[ng] velit, sed quia non numquam [do] eius modi tempora inci[di]dunt, ut labore et dolore

Brendan said...

@Hobo Mama: I agree that it's worth posting this problem you have experienced in the Blogger Help Forums. I started a thread on this precise issue and I encourage you to add your voice.

I have noticed that when I get the 414 page in response to a long-ish comment, I can open the same post in a new tab or window and see that the comment has, in fact, posted, despite the error message. (Probably less than 4096 characters in these cases, but I've never counted.)

Also, let me add a vote in support of having long comments on blog posts. Sometimes a discussion gets interesting and the people participating have lots to say. I see nothing wrong with that, and I am always grateful to those who put the effort into expressing a complex set of thoughts. (And yes, as others have mentioned, I suspect most people are smart enough to use an external editor to compose longer responses. I know I do -- I only had to get burned a few times before I learned.)

I can accept that not everyone wants long comments on his or her blog, and to that I say, fine: your house, your rules. But people who do value brevity above all else should be equally respectful of others with different senses of what makes a worthwhile comment.

Denny Martin said...

Occasionally I like to have a meaningful discussion with one of my commenters that require more than the 4k characters. Just curious. If I asked them to finish their thought on another blog, they'd tell me to pound sand.