Michael J. Swart

February 4, 2010

Forbidden String

Filed under: SQLServerPedia Syndication,Technical Articles — Michael J. Swart @ 10:13 am


I’ve been blogging using the wordpress platform for about three months now and every now and then I’ve come across a certain quirkiness that I’ve finally gotten to the bottom of. I want to warn you about it and maybe save some head-scratching.

Articles with a particular string cannot be saved. When I try to use this particular string, the web server times out.¬†At least in my environment and after checking with Brent Ozar, it’s not isolated to just me.

Here’s the string, I’m pasting it as an image for somewhat obvious reasons:

Some programmer doesn't want you using this string

Some programmer doesn't want you using this string

What’s really odd is that

  • VARCHAR ( works (note the space).
  • varchar( works.
  • CHAR( works.
  • and ARCHAR( works.

If this is a security “feature” it seems like a crummy one. Crummy because it hinders valid work (by us honest sql bloggers) and crummy times two because It’s not particularly effective at guarding against some perceived risk. Especially when the work-around of VARCHAR space bracket works just fine.

It seems like a known issue though: http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/11486

Your mileage may vary. But try it out. See if you can save a draft of a blog post using the forbidden string. Leave a comment back here if you had trouble like I do.


  1. What happens in a comment?


    Comment by Seb — February 4, 2010 @ 11:35 am

  2. OK, I checked that neither in the Name field nor in the text you can leave THE FORBIDDEN STRING.

    Comment by Seb — February 4, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  3. What about in small letters: varchar(

    Comment by Seb — February 4, 2010 @ 11:38 am

  4. Hmmm and with ASCII codes ?

    Comment by Seb — February 4, 2010 @ 11:39 am

  5. The comment above uses A instead of the letter A.

    Comment by Seb — February 4, 2010 @ 11:40 am

  6. This isn’t a bug in WordPress MU 2.9.whatever. It is, as the bug report says, most likely something to do with your apache configuration. You can take a look at http://facility9.com/2009/12/29/getting-the-iso-week-and-year for an example that works.

    I was also able to save a draft post just to make sure that this didn’t come from an earlier version of WordPress.

    Comment by Jeremiah Peschka — February 4, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  7. Yeah, I guess the first sentence implies that I suspected WordPress. I did at first. So I switched to using words like “environment” because I hadn’t pinned that down yet.

    I have less control over my apache server’s configuration. And so if it’s not a crummy feature, then it’s a crummy configuration

    Comment by Michael J. Swart — February 4, 2010 @ 12:55 pm

  8. […] Read more about The Forbidden String at MichaelJSwart.com. […]

    Pingback by Letter to the Editors and Contributors | SQLServerPedia — February 4, 2010 @ 3:14 pm

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