OpenBSD website operators urged to fix mind-alteringly bad bug

COMIC SANS has infiltrated the http daemon. Thank Cthulu a patch has been delivered

22 Reg comments Got Tips?

Someone has offered* OpenBSD's maintainers an important peace-of-mind patch for the operating system's HTTP daemon.

It's not a security exposure they've fixed, but something vastly worse: the daemon defaulted to Comic Sans for its 404 “page not found” messages.

You think that's not bad? Here's how Peter Krantz, who fixed the bug, put it:

“For some reason the httpd status pages (e.g. 404) use the Comic Sans typeface. This patch removes comic sans and sets the typeface to the default sans-serif typeface of the client.

“This lowers the number of people contacting website maintainers with typeface complaints bordering on harassment” (emphasis added).

Krantz is being thorough in his defence of sysadmins' peace of mind. The fix removes three fonts from the list, if Vulture South has read it correctly: Comic Sans MS, Chalkboard SE, and Comic Neue.

Clearly, such an egregious bug could not have happened by accident.

As a later poster to the list noted, the choice of Comic Sans was an attempt to solicit donations: the individual who made the choice wanted to "annoy hipsters" into donating to the project.

The "weaponised Comic Sans" joke lasted 14 years. ®

*Bootnote: The patch isn't official, and by misattributing it even humourously to OpenBSD maintainers, Vulture South has apparently committed a breach of Ethics in OpenBSD journalism. ®


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