In the blogosphere (and on the web) permalinks are sacred. Every broken link is like a demerit against your credibility. Even more so with syndication.
So I spent my day trying to figure out why Movable Type 3.2 occasionally appends an “_1” (an underscore followed by the number one) to the end of a published permalink (a basename in MT parlance) when there is no conceivable collision with any other basename, and without creating a duplicate entry.
We thought maybe Ecto was to blame. But I couldn’t recreate the problem with the latest versions on either Windows or Mac.
I talked to a few of our bloggers, and no one could point to a discernible pattern—other than that it only seemed to happen after an edit was made to an already published post. So I tried multiple combinations of setting a post from Published to Unpublished and then back again. But no game.
I reached out to the MT ProNet list and someone suggested that this may be a “known issue” in MT 3.2:
Turns out this was spot on. Here’s how to reproduce the bug:
- Create a new entry and Save it (the Post Status is irrelevant)
- Click the Preview button and click Save this entry
- Notice that the Basename now has an “_1” appended to it
- Click the Preview button again and click Save this entry
- Notice that that the Basename no longer has an “_1” appended to it
I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I knew my blogging platform was producing unstable permalinks when users preview their posts and resave them. This is a problem on the scale of “our software is breaking the world wide web.” C’mon Six Apart, can I get a little more gumption than “this is a known issue”? This has been a known issue for five months!