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Ok, Who Borked My Feed?

Oh right, that would be me. For those of you picking this up in feed readers (surprisingly few of you, percentage-wise), you may have noticed that things were a little quiet around here. I didn’t, but maybe you did.

Anyway, the blackout was triggered by my application of a WordPress plugin for Text Link Ads that somehow managed to render my feed invalid. The invalid feed in turn poisoned my Feedburner feed, and thus – as far as you knew – I’d dried up and blown away.

Thanks to a friendly ping from Sam Ruby (thank you, sir), however, I was able to a.) discover that I had a problem and b.) fix said problem. Updates should be flowing freely at this point, and you really haven’t missed much.

While I’m on the subject, some technical feed trivia for those into such things (meaning that most of you should change the channel now). My current feed setup is this: default WordPress 2.1.3 feed (RSS 2.0) is input to FeedBurner, which transforms it on the fly to Atom 1.0. When first setting up on WordPress, I’d used this plugin to output Atom from WordPress, but alas FeedBurner cannot process Atom Threading Extensions (see RFC 4685), meaning that I lose the comment count if I don’t output the default feed which supplies the “wfw:comments element” that FeedBurner is looking for.

If I want to output to Atom from WordPress then, I have two problems: first, outputting the comment counts to the feed, and second getting FeedBurner to recognize the thread elements. Problem one is easily solved, from what James Snell tells me. Problem two is more complicated. My choices seem to be a.) sacrifice my comment count, b.) write a FeedFlare element that will handle RFC 4685, or c.) persuade someone at FeedBurner to support it.

At this point, I’m most inclined to go with option d – let people pick up their Atom 1.0 feed from FeedBurner – but it would be nice to be able to output Atom from WordPress. If anybody feels inspired to write a FeedFlare, this looks like a good place to start. Otherwise, I’ll have to do take a hack at it myself. And none of us want that, trust me ;)

Categories: RedMonk Miscellaneous.

  • http://gfmorris.net/ Geof F. Morris

    Hey SOG, why are you running out of the now-unsupported 2.1 branch when 2.2 is now the one getting bugfixes and such? There are security holes in 2.1.

    You still updating to SVN?