Various sites out there are Just Not Right this weekend. And not all in the same way.
First thing I saw was an expired-certificate warning. Which appeared to be a legitimate warning, as the certificate displayed had indeed expired quote some time ago - leaving me with the question of why, if that's the certificate currently being served up for that site, Chrome 69 wasn't warning me and Chrome 70 is.
And a couple more: certificate warnings (various problems with the certs in question), and the site comes up as a not-here-yet page - Apache default page, or a "contact the webmaster" page.
What the actual...?
Hokay. Let's try a different browser. Brave 0.25.2: same. Firefox 52.9.0: same.
And I don't think these are all on the same hosting service, either. They're certainly not all on the same server.
Don't see anything about it on El Reg nor Slashdot. Maybe some local weirdness with DNS? But how would that cause this...?
Huh. Boot up a VM (oops; I did an apt-get upgrade on my earlier-this-year Mint VM yesterday, and today KDE doesn't work right), run Firefox, look up one of the b0rked sites: it's there. Try it again on the physical workstation: Apache test page.
Er. Did the most recent apt-get upgrade on the workstation mess up some important library? Guess I'd better save-as-draft, reboot, and re-examine the situation.
One reboot later (and the reboot took far longer than it should have, suggesting something weird in the system configuration): not much change. Switching to a different user gets the same results, so it's not something messed up in my home-directory hierarchy. The Mint VM does start up KDE properly, though. Aaand...
Huh. If I open my blog, and click certain links in the blogroll, I get the same errors on the VM. If I yahoo (that being the default search engine in Firefox in Mint) the destinations, and click on the same dang URL from the search results, I get the normal site. If I copy the URL from my blogroll and paste it into the location bar, I get FUBAR.
Now here's a funny: if I paste (for example)
https://esr.ibiblio.org/ into the location bar, I get the certificate error and the garbled site. If I change it to
HTTP://esr.ibiblio.org/, I get the proper site. Ah... but it's actually using HTTP, not HTTPS, so no certificate and no security. And... hello! All of the offending blogroll items are in my list as HTTP, not HTTPS. Hovering over the link, as presented in Chrome, shows HTTPS.
Looking at the source for my main page, I see that... all the links in my blogroll have been transformed, willy-nilly, into HTTPS, regardless of what I had in the original list.
Thanks, Typepad. Thanks a smegging bunch-a-rooney.
Update: Oh, this gets even more fun! Looking at the published post, I saw that the HTTP in the second version of the ibiblio URL above was appearing as https. Had I neglected to delete the 's'? OK, fix that... and Typepad changes the
haich-tee-tee-pee right back to
https. In plain text, not an actual link. Evil! Changing it to upper-case avoids this... for now. Note how I spelled it out, back there: Typepad apparently does not allow having that actual four-lowercase-character string in text, and will automatically change it, regardless of context.
And, AHA! Looks like if I change the protocol name from the forbidden lower-case word to HTTP in the TypeList, the affected entries in the blogroll don't get munged. Yet. Off to do that now.