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Quick Question – Captcha Misbehaving?

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Quick question:

Has anyone else experienced the following:

1. I write a comment and press the “Post Comment” button.

2. I get a complaint that I haven’t properly filled out the Captcha answer.

3. I go back, double check my Captcha answer, and submit again.

4. Again, it refuses.

5. I triple check and submit again.  Same story.

6. I click out of the window, say, by going back to UD Home (hopefully after remembering to copy my comment to the clipboard), find the thread again, paste in my comment, fill out the Captcha, and — ta-da! — it works fine.

I haven’t done a scientific survey, but I’m suspicious it happens when I have had a thread open in my browser for a long time, say if I open it and then come back a couple of hours later.  Or perhaps if I put the computer to sleep with a thread open and then come back and try to post a comment.  (FYI, I’m in Windows 7, using the Chrome browser).

Anyone else notice similar behavior?

19 Replies to “Quick Question – Captcha Misbehaving?

  1. 1
    AVS says:

    Maybe you just need to brush up on your math skills.
    I know, those questions can be really hard sometimes.
    It’s ok, get ’em next time tiger =)

  2. 2
    scordova says:

    Yes, I have the same problem. I have Windows 7, IE explorer. I’ve had to close the browser and try again.

    It is most prominent when I forget to enter catchpa or entered wrong answer.

  3. 3
    Neil Rickert says:

    I have not had that happen.

    I do come across sites that don’t see what I have entered on a form. It seems to be when the form is filled in by software (password manager) or pasted in. Apparently the site is reading only input areas that have changed, and does not see these areas as changed.

    When that happens, I type an ‘x’ at the end, then backspace over it to delete that character. That usually gets it to recognize what is entered.

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Yes, all the time.

    It happens nearly every time I forget to do the captcha and then go back and fix it. I then have to go back to the home page and load the appropriate page again.

    Make sure you save your comment before doing so because I have lost whole comments because of this.

    I use both Safari and Firefox on the Mac.

  5. 5
    fossil says:

    I work on another website with permission close to administrator which uses WordPress and sometimes strange things happen and like UD we have had problems at times in other areas. Even though it is probably the most used web authoring tool available there are times when I really hate it.

  6. 6
    TimT says:

    I forget to do the captcha question about 4 times out of 5, which annoys me. But apart from that, yes, my answer often is not accepted for reasons that are unknown to me. The worst case was when I left a comment on a news site and filled in the captcha correctly and it wouldn’t accept it for 8 tries. On the ninth time I decided it wasn’t working (slow learner) and gave up.

  7. 7
    Eric Anderson says:

    Thanks, everyone. I hope it was clear, but just in case, I’m referring to times when the Captcha is filled out correctly, not to user error.

    Incidentally, Sal, the reason I switched over to Chrome from IE for purposes of UD is that Chrome at least allows me to go back and save what I wrote if the Captcha is not accepted. After the painful experience of losing several lengthy (and unquestionably brilliant!) comments I had written in IE, I stopped using IE for UD.

    Anyway, it sounds like similar problems have happened to a couple of others as well.

    I’ll keep my eye on it and see if I can identify any more of a pattern. I’m suspicious it has something to do with a page timing reset . . .

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    When you press F5 to refresh the page, you get a new Captcha arithmetic problem. Perhaps the previous one times out.

    -Q

  9. 9
    Robert Byers says:

    YES< YES <YES YES YES
    Its been a pain in the ass for months and months and months.
    I thought it was me as otherwise it would of been noted!!!
    it seems to happen when i linger over the post. Some mysterious time limit.
    Did i say YES.
    It must be some evolutionist trick. NAW they would just let chance do things like that. (Hm of coarse it did)

  10. 10
    PaV says:

    I’m with Querius.

    Obviously, if you forget to put in the answer, or do it wrongly, you’ll have problems.

    But if you have completed the field properly, if you take a fair amount of time to write a response/post, then, if others are also posting in the meantime, you will end up having to save your post, refresh the page, and then paste in your post again, fill out the capcha, and submit.

    It at times is tedious.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    Yup, it happens, and then locks you up.

  12. 12
    vjtorley says:

    I’ve had similar experiences, Eric, but as far as I can tell, they seem to have been triggered by the number of embedded hyperlinks in my comments. I was only able to overcome the problem by chopping the comment up into segments and posting them separately.

  13. 13
    Mung says:

    Hi Eric,

    The captchas appear to be timed as well.

    Write your article in a file on your computer. Refresh the page. Copy and paste. fill in captcha. Post Comment. You’ll probably have no problem.

    Or write your article here, copy it into the clipboard. refresh the page. post.

    Or, if you haven’t been on the page long you should be able to just comment and pot as normal.

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    I don’t even copy and paste anymore. Just press F5 and enter the new answer.

    -Q

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    Thank you for the comments everyone. Yes, the captcha feature is a pain, though I have not had Eric’s specific experience. The alternative is worse — thousands upon thousands of spam comments. When computers learn to do simple math we will be in big trouble — hey there’s an idea for a post. 🙂

    In the meantime, always write all but the shortest posts in another application and cut and paste it into the combox. That way if you do have a captach problem you haven’t lost your post.

  16. 16
    kairosfocus says:

    Make sure the external app is using straight not smart/curly quotes.

  17. 17
    jerry says:

    The captchas appear to be timed as well.

    I started a comment recently and then about 24 hours finished it. I had completed the captcha math the day before but got the not valid captcha comment. Put a new captcha number in and it still balked. Then went back to home page and opened new tab for the page from a comment on home page. It then worked fine.

    Definitely save the comment before posting the comment. Learned that along time ago irrespective of captcha when browser quit on me more than once after a long post.

  18. 18
    Mung says:

    You have to be smarter than the computer, Eric. 😉

  19. 19
    Mung says:

    Hit the back button, then hit F5. Works like a charm!

    HT: Querius

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