Ad-haters’ lucky bug

Yesterday my team encountered a quite unexpected bug with the web application we are developing. 

To put it simple, certain pages just mysteriously blanks out when viewed from my Firefox 2.0 and IE7 browsers, which is not repeatable on other developers’ workstations. It was a late bug in our current test cycle and got us nervous.

At first we hardly got any clue. Then I suddenly realized that since I’m a Firefox add-on junkie, the culprit could really be one of my beloved add-ons! Hunting down this clue, we finally got it – It’s the Adblock Plus plugin!

So the story is actually very simple. Those pages which disappears have URLs containing sensitive strings that ABP automatically blocks! Something like “*advert*”. So when I saw them blanking out, they were actually blocked by ABP. And that’s the same story with my IE7, since I have IE7 Pro installed with ad filtering…That’s simply what ad-haters do.

Yeah, I know you would say I should run a clean environment for testing. Our testers do. That’s why they didn’t find this issue earlier and I ran into it. Cheers!