Is there a problem with the AskMe RSS Feed? June 29, 2006 7:04 PM   Subscribe

Is it just me, or is the AskMe RSS Feed reported to be broken on BlogLines more often than not?

"The feed URL returns a page that does not look like an RSS feed. This can be caused by the feed URL being incorrect, or it can be caused by a configuration issue with the server hosting the feed. If this error continues, you should check the feed URL and, if it is wrong, subscribe to the correct URL."
posted by AmbroseChapel to Bugs at 7:04 PM (20 comments total)

Nope, it's not just you. It's definitely hosed the majority of the time.

Thanks for bringing this up again; Maybe the squeaky wheel will get the grease.
posted by Gamblor at 7:32 PM on June 29, 2006


This seems to be the biggest bug on the whole site.
posted by achmorrison at 7:40 PM on June 29, 2006

I get nothing for days at a time, and then a deluge, if that helps diagnose the problem.

If I had to hazard a guess, could it be that there are special characters that are causing an error in some posts, maybe? Then once they work their way out of the feed, things start working again.
posted by Gamblor at 7:54 PM on June 29, 2006

I thought the last time this was discussed it was found to be a bloglines problem more than an askme problem.

I have a number of sites whose feeds ebb and flow, like the tides. It's annoying.
posted by graventy at 8:02 PM on June 29, 2006

Yeah, I get this too, and it drives me crazy... :( Thought it was just me.
posted by jonathanstrange at 8:12 PM on June 29, 2006

More often than not, it is bloglines' problem, nothing I'm doing wrong.

Always check the feedvalidator for errors
, and currently, everything is fine.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:21 PM on June 29, 2006

I don't doubt you, Matt, and if it was happening on any of the other sites, or any of the dozens of other feeds I subscribe to, as well, then I'd say it'd definitely a bloglines issue. But, for me, it only happens in AskMe, and it happens the majority of the time.
posted by Gamblor at 8:37 PM on June 29, 2006

Matt, the problem with checking the feed validator is that it only has the last 25 posts.

The last working ask post in Bloglines was 41157 but there have been 64 posts after that. So somewhere before the last 25 posts, the feed was invalid.

Yes, it is mostly a Bloglines problem. But, if it prevents eyeballs from getting to ask, isn't it your problem, too?
posted by achmorrison at 8:47 PM on June 29, 2006

Ferinstance, this question has a bunch of characters that the feed may not be handling correctly.
posted by achmorrison at 8:55 PM on June 29, 2006

And there are a few posts between 41158 and 41196 that have lists in them and some other characters that might not be escaped properly...

Sorry to be grasping at straws...
posted by achmorrison at 9:07 PM on June 29, 2006

I work with XML a lot and the number one problem, the one I always check just on general principles, is dodgy characters from things like Word. The number two is dodgy HTML, and within that, probably dodgy entities.

Anyway, the best way to get a fix on this problem is to watch out for it to fail again, and come back and post on this thread?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:16 PM on June 29, 2006

It's definitely bloglines. I use the AskMe RSS feed extensively with Feedemon and I've never once seen any such hiccup.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:14 PM on June 29, 2006

That might just mean that FeedDemon doesn't validate the RSS. RSS is XML, and if XML is invalid, then it's broken. If FeedDemon accepts broken XML and BlogLines doesn't, that doesn't mean BlogLines is to blame.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 12:04 AM on June 30, 2006

The feed currently validates. It has validated in all the other threads where this was mentioned. If somebody can actually point to anything that would indicate that it is NOT valid, then that would actually be helpful, but lacking any such evidence the problem will just continue until bloglines stops sucking.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:25 AM on June 30, 2006

That's what I just proposed. Watch out for it to fail again, then come back here and post and try to figure out why.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 4:20 AM on June 30, 2006

Rhombold, see this meta thread for an example of when the feed validated, but spit out a few warnings.

The frustrating thing is that it worked flawlessly for months (a year?) then all of a sudden, became erratic. (When the new layout came out?) The fact that no other feed does it for me (and others here) is really puzzling.
posted by achmorrison at 7:17 AM on June 30, 2006

OK, it's busted now, according to bloglines, but the feed (I checked as soon as I saw the "broken" message) is valid according to the W3 validator.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 12:32 AM on July 2, 2006

Yeah...and there were only 11 missing threads in the feed when it broke. None of them looked weird.

This is really frustrating.
posted by achmorrison at 4:46 PM on July 2, 2006

OK, the last "good" AskMeFi post in the Bloglines RSS feed is #41335 at the time of writing.

When I URL-hack to #41336, it's missing.

Could it be something as simple as that, or just a coincidence?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 10:03 PM on July 2, 2006

I think that was a coincidence. It came back last night, but broke again sometime this morning. :(
posted by achmorrison at 9:37 AM on July 4, 2006

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