I encountered something similar a few years ago, when I was still sending my debugging statements for a cgi script to the web browser. In trying to figure out why "<b>03</b>" was not equal to "<b>03</b>", it took looking at the source to figure out that, due to a bad regexp, I was actually getting "<b>0</b><b>3</b>". In the browser, though, they looked identical.
in reply to Unbelievably Obvious Debugging Tip
Use of this advanced computing technology does not imply an endorsement
of Western industrial civilization.