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More bloggy boringness…

Sorry, y’all. I got wadded up tonight trying to figure out what’s wrong with my RSS feed. I think the hinky feed my be screwing me up with some listing and tracking sites.

I got, like, twelve thousand hits on the WordPress support forum for “broken RSS feed” but none seem to match my conditions exactly (no error message, okay in some readers but not others). I’m working my way down the list.

So far, the most common problem seems to be that blank lines at the beginning and end of some .php files kill the feed and must be removed, file by file. WordPress is made up of dozens of .php files. Somebody wrote a plug-in that cleans up everything automagically, but that person let his or her domain registration lapse at the beginning of December, so it’s undownloadable.

Why does fixing glitches always go like this?

The main problem is, I find the whole business unbearably dull. And my brain is like Teflon™ for boringness.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from Gromulin
Time: December 21, 2009, 8:15 pm

The moron says “huh?”

I’m pretty computer savvy, as a user that is, but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to use RSS. I tried to subscribe to an RSS feed or two, but never found out where the hell the notification (or whatever the fug you call it) ends up. I once found a defunct RSS feed buried in my work Outlook folders. Still have no idea how it got there.

Classic PEBCAK, I’m sure.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: December 21, 2009, 8:16 pm

Stoatie, troubleshooting always goes like this so that you have to call the company in question and talk to someone with an attrocious Indian access (for free tech support), or to someone like me for paid tech support.

And before the question comes up, I don’t know jack about RSS feeds…….

 


Comment from Pupster
Time: December 21, 2009, 8:30 pm

Ahhhh….

http://tinyurl.com/ylnoudq

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 21, 2009, 8:33 pm

Well, the one kind soul who answered me on the forum said my feed looked perfectly okay, so it wasn’t the “blank line” issue. But that’s almost worse, because now I don’t have ANY idea what to do.

I know it’s broken in Bloglines. I suspect a bad feed is the reason Wikio forever lists me as “indexed but not ranked.” And if an unreadable feed keeps me out of the Webbys this year, I shall wad up my little fists and hold my breath ’til my face turns blue.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 21, 2009, 8:42 pm

Awwwwww, Pups. That brought a tear to Uncle B’s eye.

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: December 21, 2009, 9:23 pm

Well, refusing to be outdone, here is some video of some of my neigbors having a domestic dispute…

http://www.arkive.org/black-footed-ferret/mustela-nigripes/video-08.html

 


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: December 21, 2009, 9:23 pm

Darn spam filters…. :-(

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: December 21, 2009, 11:06 pm

Just a thought: Try validating your feed through http://feedvalidator.org/

The reason it’s ok with some readers and bad with others may have to do with html code in text of a particular item.

 


Comment from jwpaine
Time: December 21, 2009, 11:14 pm

Never mind. I ran your feed through them myself and they thought it was just peachy.

I’m at a loss, but formatting XML sucks, particualrly for rss feeds. I wrote an ad hoc rss builder for one of my sites’ news. It took about an hour to write, and about 5 hours to debug the XML (turned out I was linking to an outdated css file).

 


Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 22, 2009, 1:01 am

If you still want to strip empty lines, then something like

$src = path to the file – can be a URL
$dest = path to where it should go
file_put_contents($dest,file($src,FILE_SKIP_EMPTY_LINES));

should do the trick.

As for XML, well-formed does not mean DTD-conformant and bug-free. You can pass an XML vailidator and still have XPaths pointing off into the ether or namespaces that the parser can’t grok. XML is very powerful, but with great power etc.…

My XML/scripting books take up a foot of shelf space.

 


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: December 22, 2009, 1:17 am

Completely off-topic, but since I can’t find an e-mail addy for teh Weasel, I shall share it here.

The most awesome decanter in the world.

 


Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 22, 2009, 1:56 am

Scott, thank you so much for sharing; I have ordered several for stocking fillers. But check to the right of the Sign of the Scampering Weasel: the blogmistress’s email address en plain air.

I just wish the Energizer Ermine™ header had a home page link embedded in it, Stoaty. I have to do hideous, stump-jawed things like people used to do back in 1993, i.e. hand-edit URLs in the address bar to go to your home page from comments. Or am I missing a big, florid link the size of Al Gore’s carbon footprint? MacOS X Leopard with Safari, since you asked.

 


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: December 22, 2009, 3:05 am

But check to the right of the Sign of the Scampering Weasel: the blogmistress’s email address en plain air.

Well shit

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: December 22, 2009, 3:56 am

I wouldn’t take it to heart – everything web seems to be flaky at the moment – Twitter going belly up at the drop of a hat, Live-Journal comments system delays forcing several people on my blogroll to go to Blogspot instead, and the RSS widget on my sidebar running like a sloth through treacle…

I blame global warming.

 


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: December 22, 2009, 9:44 am

I blame global warming.

And thus, by extension, Bush…

 


Comment from bill emory
Time: December 22, 2009, 9:49 am

dear weasel-
could you compare an archived version of your site from the USA days to the Lime Weasel code? The feed worked back in the USA.

 


Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: December 22, 2009, 10:28 am

Dang and I just ordered Mr. Comptom a nice pewter flask. Man, I coulda had that!!!

Sorry, I got nothing on the RSS feeds thing. I can’t even figure out how to subscribe to one and get it to work.

 


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: December 22, 2009, 11:07 am

David, there’s a “carry me back to ol’ virginny” link right below the comment box that will take you to the home page.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 22, 2009, 11:18 am

It’s going to be something in the WordPress code, Bill. According to Bloglines, the /feed and /atom versions stopped updating May 16 and the /rss version stopped March 7. Probably representing dates I upgraded. On the other hand, doing a search of the WordPress support forums, there are thousands of hits on “feed broken” but most are more than six months old.

Ew. You know, stuffed animals shed.

 


Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: December 22, 2009, 11:23 am

Forgot to add, those badgerkins were cuteness onna stick!!!

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 22, 2009, 11:50 am

Oh. Yeah. The ‘running weasel’ header.

That thing represents a major, major disappointment to me. My plan was to animate all the icons in my sidebar, so they did goofy things when you hovered over them. I thought that would be the coolest. Sadly, it works fine in a hand-coded environment, but it doesn’t work in a WordPress environment At All.

It took hours of searching online and fiddling with the tags used to embed the Flash file before I got it to work the way it does now. Which is half-assedly. It works perfectly in…mmm…Opera and Firefox, I think. You don’t have to click it, just hover. It works okay in Chrome — you have to click it once to make it run. It doesn’t work even a little in IE — those people just see a blank on the inside pages.

Anyhow, I couldn’t make the click take you back to the front because you have to click in some browsers to make it run.

There are just a buttload of issues between WordPress and Flash and it’s a great disappointment to me. I’d love to use more Flash on the site.

 


Comment from JuliaM
Time: December 22, 2009, 2:05 pm

“And thus, by extension, Bush…”

Of course! Without Bush, would there be global warming? Or lost socks in the tumble dryer? Or hungry kittens?

 


Comment from tawny
Time: December 22, 2009, 3:06 pm

Scott – Loving that decanter, finally squirrels have a purpose.

 


Comment from erik
Time: December 22, 2009, 5:35 pm

That thing represents a major, major disappointment to me

It shouldn’t be this way (flash and WP probs). Do you want someone who does this every day to look at it?

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 22, 2009, 6:28 pm

I’ve forgotten what the issues were, erik. It’s been a long, long time since I did that header.

I do recall that I had to find the most pared down, simplified version of the Flash envelope to get it to work at all. And I had different issues putting Flash in the header than I did putting it in a blog post (but I definitely had issues with both).

It was also very much a browser thing — I was an Opera user at the time, which was midway in functionality between Firefox (worked best) and IE (worked worst).

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 22, 2009, 6:29 pm

But thank you! (Forgetting my damn manners).

 


Comment from erik
Time: December 22, 2009, 8:49 pm

It’s different nowadays. The browsers behave a bit better. You have an email!

 


Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: December 22, 2009, 9:34 pm

Or am I missing a big, florid link the size of Al Gore’s carbon footprint? MacOS X Leopard with Safari, since you asked.

David,

I was similarly stumped at one time (Debian 0.96 & lynx) until the Stoatmistress kindly stuck a link at the bottom of the page that says << carry me back to ol’ virginny for me.

ETA: Of course, I see now that Mrs. Peel beat me to it.

 


Comment from d3ft punk
Time: December 22, 2009, 11:09 pm

Three things:

1. I wish, as well, that the image thingee in the top–left would contain the link back the home page. I didn’t get the link–thing at the bottom of the page (nor would I, I surmise) if somebody hadn’t said something about it.

2. Yay! WordPress code! Totally in my wheelhouse! (Not-incidentally, I fiddled with my own code today.) Yeah, the stuff coming from the RSS portion of the WordPress system is kinda dim. People have made efforts to do it better, but it never really makes it into production.

And Bloglines? People still use that?

3. It took me until two weeks ago of nigh–constant lurking to figure out that you were a lady ermine. Or stoat. Muscadine. Whatever.

I am lousy at sexing the weasels.

 


Comment from d3ft punk
Time: December 22, 2009, 11:11 pm

And with that last line, a new header for my site is born

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 23, 2009, 9:46 am

Oh, hey…that’s a good idea. I could totally make the graphic in the upper left go to the homepage.

I had a sidebar graphic for a while identifying me as an weaselle. I should probably put it back in rotation from time to time.

 


Comment from Pupster
Time: December 23, 2009, 12:20 pm

Is the suggestion box open? As long as you have the hood up, could you make the links to the recent comments go to that comment rather than to the top of that post, or is that done on porpoise?

Also, tis the season for Islamic Rage Boy Santa, no?

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 23, 2009, 4:22 pm

Meh. That comment thing is something the code controls, Pups. But just for you, IRB will knock Her Maj off the page for a few days.

And the icon in the upper left WILL take you back to the top page now. Gifts for everybody!

 


Comment from Tiny Pup
Time: December 23, 2009, 4:42 pm

Weasel blesses us, every one.

 


Comment from Scott Jacobs
Time: December 24, 2009, 3:11 am

Weasel be praised!

 

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