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No-follow a bastard child of grep

During the blog's outage, I continued to follow the debate on whether "nofollow" was useful, harmful, neither or both. Right now, I don't feel like catching up with that. I'm sure anyone who's interested in fighting comment spam has seen most of the arguments. Except this one:

I noticed several hours ago that for some reason the trackback section of my index page was no longer marked up properly. ... The discovery was followed by a series of progressively more outlandish attempts to coax recalcitrant code into revealing itself, without success. What really hurt was how the comments, which were encased in the exact same html code structure, performed flawlessly. Then I remembered I had installed the new "nofollow" Movable Type plugin earlier in the day. I removed it, and my problems were gone
More about "nofollow" here.
I briefly considered being a hero and repairing the plugin, but then I saw the grep pattern that adds the "nofollow" rel attributes to comment and trackback links, and it is a monster, so I'll settle for flagging this bug. ...

One or two people in that harmful/useful debate have expressed amazement over the speed at which the concept was rushed into becoming a de facto standard by Google, Yahoo, MSN and major blog software developers. If the implementation was equally rushed, it's no surprise that the plugin is buggy.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 26, 2005 12:15 AM.

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