Google just announced a fix for a vague bug that was causing Google Docs to crash when users typed in the same repeated word. This bug has puzzled software developers and generated all sorts of speculation from the Hacker News developer community. The Google Docs crash appears to have been caused by typing “I. I.I.I…etc.” In a document that was able to crash the Google app.
As reported this week by Docs user Pat Needham on the Google support pages, by typing “and”. on the Docs page in Chrome will just crash Google Docs.
This discovery inspired a bug search campaign to find other words in the same pattern that caused the Docs to crash. That is, by typing the trigger word five times, each word is followed by a period and a space. Users claimed to have found other words that could cause Docs to crash, including “Therefore”, “Anyway”, “But”, “Who”, “Why”, “Besides”, “However”, “Dear “, “Although”. , “Besides”, and “More than that”.
User Hacker News decided to automate the search for these words. “I started going through the entire vocabulary in batches of 500 words to see if each batch of 500 words caused behavior, then I did a binary search on the batch to find the problematic word(s). I found that First, Second, Third, and Fourth caused an error, while Fifth and above did not,” wrote Joshua David.
However, the flaw was quickly fixed by Google because was unable to reproduce the crash. About two hours after the issue was reported, Google informed users on its support page that it was investigating the issue.
Dear Google Docs users, We are aware of this issue and are currently working on a resolution. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention and sharing it with us. We will keep you informed!” — wrote a Google employee.