It Just Doesn't Work - RSS
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Copyright 2003-4 Randy Charles Morin
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Sat, 13 Nov 2004 05:19:08 GMT
It Just Doesn't Work

I've reproduced most of the problems that were encountered by the flustered Blogger user. The first and most trivial problem is that the regular Atom produced by Blogger is invalid. The problem relates to the <info> element, which contains xhtml even though the content type is text/html.

<info mode="xml" type="text/html"><div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">This is an Atom formatted XML site feed. It is intended to be viewed in a Newsreader or syndicated to another site. Please visit the <a href="http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=697">Blogger Help</a> for more info.</div></info>

This is not a biggy, but don't worry, things get a lot worse. The next problem happened when the user tried to enhance his feed w/ FeedBurner. Feedburner changed his Atom timezones and since the feed:modified must have the UTC timezone, his Atom feed became invalid for a new reason.

<modified>2004-11-12T20:50:42-06:00</modified>

Don't worry, things are going to get worse. By the way, the CEO of FeedBurner is Dick Costolo, who doesn't know it, but I helped him become a rich person. I had a big say in purchasing his previous company; SpyOnIt. I was in charge of alerts at 724 when we purchased SpyOnIt. SpyOnIt was a great company (I was their biggest user) and I think FeedBurner is looking almost as good.

At one point, FeedBurner was stripping the author, modified, issued and id element from the entry element. This one I was never able to reproduce, but I know he had FeedBurner's SmartFeed turned on, because it was responding in RSS 2.0 to my validator and Atom to the FeedValidator.org.

Finally, after a few red herrings, the frustrated blogger removed a couple special characters from his Blogger post and everything just sort of clicked. He's a little happier and has considered starting a help the RSS end-user type of blog/FAQ.

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