# Extremely frustrating glitch when posting new threads.

#### Prove It

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Hello everyone.

As you are aware, I have lately been posting answers to emails from my students using the "Questions From Other Sites" subforum here.

There is an extremely annoying glitch that has started in the past couple of weeks. It is now happening every time I try to post a thread.

I am usually able to do one preview of the thread. Then after review, if I try to do another preview or post the thread, I continually get the following error message:

"You specified a tag that was too short. A tag must be at least 3 characters".

This is very frustrating. I do not know how to fix "a tag", so I have to copy all the work I have done, and create an entirely new thread, just so I am able to do another preview or post the thread.

I have attached a screenshot of a typical error.

Please tell me how this can be overcome, or else please do something to fix the problem.

Thanks

Hayden

#### MarkFL

Staff member
Hello Hayden!

First, let me say thank you for sharing your posts here as valuable content, and to apologize for the rather annoying issue you have been experiencing.

I created a test account with the same usergroups as you, and experienced the same error message when trying to preview a post for the second time. I turned off the two latest features we installed (both added within the time period you stated), and the issue went away...then when I turned them back on, the issue was still gone. So, I am thinking something weird happened with the settings when one of those features was updated, but hopefully this fixed it.

Please let me know if the issue is resolved on your end, and if not, I can assure you we will get to the bottom if it and get it resolved. We certainly don't want anyone to have to jump through extra hoops in order to add good content to MHB.

edit: Upon further investigation, I did find a problem with a plugin associated with a recent moderating feature (when moving threads), which I have resolved. Hopefully, all is good now regarding this issue.

#### Euge

##### MHB Global Moderator
Staff member
I actually had this problem when previewing for POTW, but I managed to solve it by scrolling down to the tag list, removing the keywords that are short and replacing them with longer, more appropriate keywords. Also, I remove any dollar signs that appear in the tag list.

#### Prove It

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Hello Hayden!

First, let me say thank you for sharing your posts here as valuable content, and to apologize for the rather annoying issue you have been experiencing.

I created a test account with the same usergroups as you, and experienced the same error message when trying to preview a post for the second time. I turned off the two latest features we installed (both added within the time period you stated), and the issue went away...then when I turned them back on, the issue was still gone. So, I am thinking something weird happened with the settings when one of those features was updated, but hopefully this fixed it.

Please let me know if the issue is resolved on your end, and if not, I can assure you we will get to the bottom if it and get it resolved. We certainly don't want anyone to have to jump through extra hoops in order to add good content to MHB.

edit: Upon further investigation, I did find a problem with a plugin associated with a recent moderating feature (when moving threads), which I have resolved. Hopefully, all is good now regarding this issue.
Hi Mark, next time I post a thread I will let you know how it goes. Thanks

#### Prove It

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Hi Mark,

It was fine up until today, when the same glitch came back.

Hayden

#### MarkFL

Staff member
Hi Mark,

It was fine up until today, when the same glitch came back.

Hayden
Well, I'm sure sorry to hear this...I was hoping it was resolved.

The only way I know of for text to show up in the tag list (without you manually entering it there) is if you give the tags field focus, and then click a symbol/command in our Quick $\LaTeX$ tool.

When this occurs, what kind of text is present in the tags field?

I have tried, on both dev sites, to replicate this issue with no success. For now, the only viable workaround I can offer is to just disable thread tagging for you, which I have done. This is only a temporary measure though, as I need to find out what's causing this and address it, because sooner or later it's going to happen to others. In the meantime, this will hopefully allow you to post new threads and preview your posts with impunity.

#### Prove It

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
Well, I'm sure sorry to hear this...I was hoping it was resolved.

The only way I know of for text to show up in the tag list (without you manually entering it there) is if you give the tags field focus, and then click a symbol/command in our Quick $\LaTeX$ tool.

When this occurs, what kind of text is present in the tags field?

I have tried, on both dev sites, to replicate this issue with no success. For now, the only viable workaround I can offer is to just disable thread tagging for you, which I have done. This is only a temporary measure though, as I need to find out what's causing this and address it, because sooner or later it's going to happen to others. In the meantime, this will hopefully allow you to post new threads and preview your posts with impunity.
I actually don't know what it says in the tags field, I'm not sure where it is, and I definitely don't write anything in it...

#### Ackbach

##### Indicium Physicus
Staff member
I actually don't know what it says in the tags field, I'm not sure where it is, and I definitely don't write anything in it...
Hmm. I was just going to reply that you have to scroll down to find the box with the tags... when... I didn't see it anywhere. I know it auto-populates, which I think is a fine thing and all. It creates tighter searches. But what about pushing the tag box up to the user, and allowing the user to edit it? That might fix the current issue.

#### MarkFL

Staff member
I didn't realize thread tags were being auto-added to threads, and that explains why I had no luck replicating the issue on the dev sites...our SEO product is responsible for this, and it is only installed here on the live site.

I've never run into bad tags (too short) being auto-added to my threads, but another user has told me they also sometimes experience this issue and have to manually edit the tags field to remove the short tags before they can complete their post.

The tags field is only shown when creating a new thread, and a simple template edit can move this field, say to just below the title field, like so:

#### MarkFL

Staff member
I have deleted the plugin preventing the tags field from being displayed for Prove It (as this would only prevent him from removing any bad tags being auto-added) and made the template edit to move the tags field to just below the thread title field for improved visibility. We'll see how this goes...

#### Ackbach

##### Indicium Physicus
Staff member
I didn't realize thread tags were being auto-added to threads, and that explains why I had no luck replicating the issue on the dev sites...our SEO product is responsible for this, and it is only installed here on the live site.

I've never run into bad tags (too short) being auto-added to my threads, but another user has told me they also sometimes experience this issue and have to manually edit the tags field to remove the short tags before they can complete their post.

The tags field is only shown when creating a new thread, and a simple template edit can move this field, say to just below the title field, like so:
I think this is the right idea, but I don't think tags are important enough to be right below the title. I'd shove it a lot farther down the thread creation page....

Hmm. The tag edit field is already there! At least, it is for me as an admin. It's also there for the test account. It's below the $\LaTeX$ Live Preview box. (At least, it was; are you changing things, Mark?) As soon as you hit a preview, you can see the auto-generated tags. The problem is, if you try to edit the tag list before you submit, and then preview again, the same tags get auto-populated. That is, your edit doesn't stick. You can make the edit stick after you've submitted. At least, I, as a thread author, can make the tag edits stick. This works for the test account as well, so it's not an admin-only privilege.

So it strikes me that what's needed is the ability to make tag edits stick before thread submission. That way, you can fix too-small tag auto-populations right away and eliminate further nuisance messages.

#### MarkFL

Staff member
This auto-generation of tags is being done by our SEO product...and since it is the paid Pro version, I really don't want to hack it...breaking the seal would void the warranty.

#### Ackbach

##### Indicium Physicus
Staff member
This auto-generation of tags is being done by our SEO product...and since it is the paid Pro version, I really don't want to hack it...breaking the seal would void the warranty.
What if we post-hacked it? I'd be willing to bet that the SEO product, upon a Preview event, auto-populates the tag list. What if we waited until it finished, and then auto-deleted any tags fewer than 3 characters? Same thing after a Submit event. Could we do that without "voiding the warranty"?

#### MarkFL

Staff member
I have just added a plugin that will remove any tags shorter than the length we have set in "Tag Options" in the AdminCP. I have also moved the tags field back where it was. So, anyone for which the tags was an issue in the past, please let me know if this fixes it.

#### Ackbach

##### Indicium Physicus
Staff member
I have just added a plugin that will remove any tags shorter than the length we have set in "Tag Options" in the AdminCP. I have also moved the tags field back where it was. So, anyone for which the tags was an issue in the past, please let me know if this fixes it.
Nice, elegant solution - tying it in with our setting. That way, if we decide to change the minimum tag length, the new product you added will track with it.

I hope this solves the problem for good! If it does, you might consider publishing this on vBorg, eh? Sounds like this was a short and sweet product to write (now that you have your impressive coding skills more and more refined).

#### MarkFL

Staff member
Nice, elegant solution - tying it in with our setting. That way, if we decide to change the minimum tag length, the new product you added will track with it.

I hope this solves the problem for good! If it does, you might consider publishing this on vBorg, eh? Sounds like this was a short and sweet product to write (now that you have your impressive coding skills more and more refined).
anemone has helped me to find the issue...it seems when $\LaTeX$ with the space command \, is used, this appears as an escaped comma and can cause short tags to be generated. I have added the same code at another hook location, so we catch it on preview and on submit and this seems to complete the job...which anemone has just confirmed. She stated it only happened to her with short posts primarily consisting of $\LaTeX$, and when she sent me the generated tag list, I was able to figure out what was going on. This was a great help!

I haven't actually made a separate product yet, I simply added stand-alone plugins. I will put this together into a product though, with no settings, as we will simply want it to be active once installed. I browsed the SEO product thread at vBorg, and didn't find any complaints about this issue, and I suspect this is because so few sites use $\LaTeX$.

edit: It is now a product, so the plugins are grouped together for better organization.

#### Ackbach

##### Indicium Physicus
Staff member
Excellent! Thank you, anemone and MarkFL , for working on this issue! I think we have a great solution!

#### Prove It

##### Well-known member
MHB Math Helper
anemone has helped me to find the issue...it seems when $\LaTeX$ with the space command \, is used, this appears as an escaped comma and can cause short tags to be generated. I have added the same code at another hook location, so we catch it on preview and on submit and this seems to complete the job...which anemone has just confirmed. She stated it only happened to her with short posts primarily consisting of $\LaTeX$, and when she sent me the generated tag list, I was able to figure out what was going on. This was a great help!

I haven't actually made a separate product yet, I simply added stand-alone plugins. I will put this together into a product though, with no settings, as we will simply want it to be active once installed. I browsed the SEO product thread at vBorg, and didn't find any complaints about this issue, and I suspect this is because so few sites use $\LaTeX$.

edit: It is now a product, so the plugins are grouped together for better organization.
That would explain it, I am very picky with my spacing thank you for fixing (I hope) the problem (y)

#### MarkFL

Staff member
That would explain it, I am very picky with my spacing thank you for fixing (I hope) the problem (y)
I've got my fingers crossed!