I've just attempted to post an answer to a question of my own. When I attempt to post that answer, however, I get a message ‘An error occurred submitting the answer’, with no further explanatory details.

Possibly relevant things:

  • I mentioned a code.google.com link as a bare URI rather than a Markdown link. I tried editing this to a Markdown link, but that made no difference.
  • I thought it might be something to do with the format of the Markdown, but it works in an offline Markdown reader, and renders fine in the SE preview, so there's nothing obvious here.
  • I drafted the answer externally to TeX.SE and pasted it in, ie, the text appeared obviously faster than I could type.
  • I tried deleting the text and re-pasting it, and fiddling with the text after pasting, in case the system was trying to detect keystrokes.
  • The answer is quite detailed (about 1500 words); I have a modest but non-zero reputation on TeX.SE.

Other meta.SE responses to similar questions are not particularly helpful, suggesting generic network problems, corporate firewalls, HTTP vs HTTPS, and other hand-waving. The only suggestion that seemed plausible was the ‘cut-and-paste’ problem. But I'd expect that problem to go away if I simply waited for a little and tried again, but it's been 15–20 minutes so far, and nothing's changed.

I'm seeing ‘draft saved’, so whatever problem there is isn't a network problem or something obviously intrinsic to the content.

The lack of an explanation – what error occurred? – makes me uncertain what to try next. I'm tempted to say that the lack of further details would constitute a bug, but if this is some sort of anti-spam test, then I can see the rationale for being deliberately vague about the details.

  • Also, I'm manifestly able to post a question on tex.meta.SE, so that's a data point! Commented May 16, 2021 at 12:33
  • ...aaaand the problem's gone away. About 24 hours after first trying, I discarded the 'draft', reloaded the page, pasted the text in again, and it posted without problems. I'm going to leave the question up, though, since (a) there does seem to be an unexplained problem here, which searching suggests does sporadically affect other SE sites; and (b) the lack of any further explanation other than ‘an error occurred’ is notably unhelpful. Commented May 17, 2021 at 9:53
  • I've posted my share of super-long answers on this site, often cut-and-pasted, but usually what I get is not an error, but just a captcha (with a cute TeX lion) to confirm I'm not a bot. Do you have some browser extension blocking Google reCAPTCHA, by any chance? Note that these anti-spam measures look at various signals for "typical" human behaviour, so simply pasting and waiting 15–20 minutes and hitting submit may not be enough to pass as human (a human would be moving the mouse in a certain way, typing, etc). Commented May 30, 2021 at 8:33
  • I don't use any blockers, beyond the behaviour which is implicit in Safari's anti-tracking features, and I do see Google capchas here and there, so it doesn't sound like that can be it. I think I once or twice deleted a full stop and re-entered it, but that might not count as human enough to satisfy an anti-spam trap. Falling foul of such a trap does sound like the most reasonable explanation so far, albeit a little to vague to be really satisfying. Commented May 30, 2021 at 16:47


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .