Blogger NEW + Firefox 2 = ‘Exceptional’ Error!

I was reading through some of my latest blog entries and realized that it has been long since I had posted a bug! So, I thought it was time to test something. This time I selected Blogger to test it’s compatibility with Firefox 2. I chose them because, both Blogger and Firefox are known to be very reliable and robust in their own areas. And still, few days back I had noticed an unusual Blogspot Server Downtime, which had resulted in non-availability of all blogspot blogs that are hosted on blogspot servers. Here is a screenshot of the 502 Server Error. This was something I had never witnessed before and was unusual, considering the fact that blogspot is owned and hosted by Google! The error message told me that it was a ‘Temporary Google Server Error’ and to try in another ‘30 seconds’! But the server was (or rather ‘servers were’; as it takes several servers to maintain millions of blogspot blogs) down for at least 2 hours. [Could be more too. I had tried during a period of almost 2 hours and the server was down!]

However, I was to test the browser compatibility of Blogger with Firefox 2. For those who are new to Browser Compatibility Testing, this can be a small introduction:

In Browser Compatibility Testing, we compare the way a website/web page looks and behaves on different browsers. The testing focus is primarily given to how different browsers interpret the web page’s code (HTML). We also test whether the browser recognizes and supports certain special HTML codes like the rendering of iframes, javascript snippets etc.

While testing, I found out a crash resulting due to an exception when creating a new post in Blogger using Firefox 2 as my browser.

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Log in to your Blogger NEW account using Firefox 2 as the browser.
2. Click on the New Post link on the dashboard.
3. Copy-paste a blog entry from a MS Word document! [This can be a quite common user scenario when the user writes and saves a blog entry as a MS Word file and later uses the text from the MS Word file to create a new blog entry in Blogger.]
4. Now in the Blogger window select the entire text (Ctrl+A) in the blog entry edit area [please refer the
5. Click on the drop-down menu for fonts and select a different font. I had selected ‘Georgia’. But it appears to me as if the crash is reproducible for the other available font types too! Selecting a different font should give you the
crash. If you are unable to get a crash by changing the font type, change it to another font. Soon you should get the crash!

The crash report says: “An attempt to modify formatting failed unexpectedly. A possible solution may be to save your post as a draft and reopen this post and apply formatting again. [Exception…]”. I saved the post as a draft and tried to apply formatting again after reopening the post (as suggested in the crash report); but in vein! Every time I tried, I kept getting the same crash. So finally I had to give up and use Internet Explorer to get the desired formatting before posting the blog entry.

1. Copying from MS Word and pasting the text into Blogger formatting window looks like an important step to reproduce the crash.
2. Selecting all the text by using (Ctrl+A) also seems to play a major role in reproducing the crash.
3. This crash does not happen in Internet Explorer. So it looks like a compatibility issue of Blogger with Firefox 2.
4. The crash report fails to help the user at several points.
a) At first look, the crash reports does look like a bunch of garbage (mostly contains technical looking information) and can be scary for a novice non-techno-savvy user!
b) Although the crash message contains some log information (stack dump!), how it could help the end user in avoiding the crash is still debatable.
c) Though the report tells the user on how to recover from the crash, however, the information does not facilitate recovery! So error report fails on the functionality aspect.
5. This crash is also reproducible while editing an existing Blogger post!

This crash is still reproducible (as on the time of posting of this entry). So, go ahead and try if you can reproduce it or not! Let me know your test result via commenting.

Happy Testing…

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About Debasis Pradhan

Debasis has over a decade worth of exclusive experience in the field of Software Quality Assurance, Software Development and Testing. He writes here to share some of his interesting experiences with fellow testers.


  1. Hi Debasis,

    Nice Article. I have an query that I have given interview for Software Tester. Interviewer asked me question about browser compatibility. His question something like as following
    How you report error if error occurred in two or more browsers and How you prepare test cases for that?

    Please answer me this question

  2. Hi Debasis,

    I have received mail from my friend. That mail is about failure of Microsoft calculator bug
    Bug is that

    When user try on ms calculator 2704/50 ans is fine
    When user try on ms calculator 2704/51 ans is fine
    When user try on ms calculator 2704/52 then there is bug! ans is not correct. Amazing!
    How it is happening.
    Please give your views on it.

  3. Hi Debasis,
    I think i got answer to this question.
    2704/52=52. This is ok. Is it right? please give your comments.



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