Broken RSS Feed July 16, 2006 2:24 AM   Subscribe

Borked last night and Borked the night before/Going to get Borked tonight if we never get Borked any more./When we're Borked we're sick as we can be/'Cos "Syntax Error on line 1" is much too much for me.
posted by AmbroseChapel to Bugs at 2:24 AM (13 comments total)

The AskMe RSS feed was broken:
  • on thursday
  • on friday
  • today (sunday) early
  • again, later on sunday
Yes, I've got a monitor on a cron job checking it every hour.

When people have complained about the feed being broken at BlogLines, there's been a chorus of "BlogLines is crap!" but really. The feed is broken a lot.

I believe some people think BlogLines is making things harder than they need to be because when it encounters a broken feed it doesn't re-check for twenty-four hours or more.

I can see how that might be a problem. But surely the bigger problem is that the feed has been broken four times in four days?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:29 AM on July 16, 2006

If you have a cron job running, do you have any idea what time of day the feeds start to bork up? I'm just wondering if there is some other maintenance routine or any specific thing to look at that might make this problem easier to fix.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:08 AM on July 16, 2006

Just to clarify, it isn't just bloglines. I have a thunderbird session that I rarely restart, and the AskMe feed fails there too, all the time (thunderbird, XPSP2).
posted by Chuckles at 7:43 AM on July 16, 2006

Fine, I'll fix it to make sure it doesn't write a bad file to the feed, but really, when the feed is broken, it is broken for all of a few minutes until the next post comes along and replaces the file with a working one.

So yes, I will repair the point of failure on my end, but I can still say that Bloglines should re-check for the existence of a working file at least once an hour instead of keeping a broken one for a day or more. Me, I'm just a designer that learned enough programming to build the site I wanted, but Bloglines is an enormous internet-scale application used by hundreds of thousands. Bloglines should work more like an email server and check and recheck for messages when it encounters an error.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:00 AM on July 16, 2006

There, I just put in a fix. AmbroseChapel, email me if you see another error in the next couple days.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:10 AM on July 16, 2006

"Me, I'm just a designer that learned enough programming to build the site I wanted"

Check out the modesty on Matt!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:32 AM on July 16, 2006

Your Bloglines world frightens and confuses me.
posted by occhiblu at 8:51 AM on July 16, 2006

do you have any idea what time of day the feeds start to bork up?

11AM, 10AM, 6AM, 4PM and 5PM, (Sydney time) so no pattern from that sample. As you can see from Matt's post, at any given time, a new post can break it. So when it was broken at 4PM and then broken at 5PM, it could have stayed broken for an hour (no new posts for an hour on a Sunday morning), or broken and fixed ten times over.

Thanks Matt.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 1:51 PM on July 16, 2006

"Me, I'm just a designer that learned enough programming to build the site I wanted"

I always thought it was the other way round....
posted by davehat at 1:35 AM on July 17, 2006

Borked again, at 8.30 AM Sydney time (22.30 GMT). Should I forward the email to Matt, to Jessamyn?

I can just put you on the monitor's mailing list if you want.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:02 PM on July 17, 2006

You can email me to fix the feed on a one-time basis, but if the fix mathowie put in isn't permanent, you'll need to email him that. do not put me on the monitor's mailing list, thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:15 PM on July 17, 2006

It was just an idle threat, don't worry.

If it requires me to get the email, then forward it to you, by the time you've read it, the feed might be fixed again.

The feed is locked in a box with a canister of poison gas, and any new post may or may not pop open the canister, but feed readers don't currently accept the new HTTP status code "599: State of Quantum Uncertainty"...
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:59 PM on July 17, 2006

For the record, the feed was broken again:
  • 11.30 AM Tuesday
  • 7.00 PM Tuesday
  • 8.00 PM Tuesday
    posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:10 PM on July 18, 2006

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