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Things look quiet here. But I've been doing a lot of blogging at dan.langille.org because I prefer WordPress now. Not all my posts there are FreeBSD related. I am in the midst of migrating The FreeBSD Diary over to WordPress (and you can read about that here). Once the migration is completed, I'll move the FreeBSD posts into the new FreeBSD Diary website.

Some Diary news feeds are behind the times 30 March 2000
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A couple of weeks ago, I introduced a news feed for this website.  It has been taken up by several sites.  However, much to my annoyance, some websites don't see to be keeping the feeds up to date.  In fact, the only website which has a current newsfeed is The FreeBSD 'zine (thanks Jim).  Please don't misunderstand me.  I don't blame the website owners for this problem.  I'm quite sure the source of the problem is squarely with the feed itself and not with the websites upon which the feed is available.

The sites which are out of date are:

I'm not sure why this is happening.  But it may be more than a coincidence that these sites are all stuck on the same set of articles.  Perhaps the 'Zine is working off the correct news feed and the others are not.  But that doesn't make sense to me because there is only one news feed and that seems to be working just fine.  Witness how the 'Zine is keeping up.

Netscape is sending me automated messages.  Replies to that address are going unanswered as I try to seek more information as to the nature of the problem they are experiencing.  It's rather frustrating to be told "yes, we are having a problem with your news feed" but not being told the nature of the problem.  It's rather like saying "Doctor, I'm sick, heal me" but not providing anything in the way of symptoms.

If you are using one of the above news feeds and not getting your recommended daily allowance, please be patient.  I am trying to get it fixed.

And if you do want regular updates
In the meantime, you may wish to subscribe to The FreeBSD Diary Announcement mailing list.  This is a low volume moderated mailing list.
Problem solved 31 March 2000
After sending a message to support@netscape.com, I received a very helpful message back from Jimmy.  He pointed me at http://my.netscape.com/publish/help/validate.tmpl which will validate a news feed input.  When I went to that location and supplied the URL to my newsfeed, the following error was displayed
ERROR:
Encoding Error: Non UTF-8 character in document    

I couldn't figure this one out at first.  But I did a fetch of the URL and examined it in vi.  Here's what I saw:

<item>
  <title>The Polls oh no how slashdottish</title>
  <link>http://www.freebsddiary.org/polls.html</link>
  <description>The Polls oh no\xa0how slashdottish</description>
</item>

As you can see, there is a \xa0 character in one of the titles.  Not good.  I corrected this problem, resubmitted the URL and it worked fine.  I have no idea how that character arrived in my file.  I must have done it, but I have no idea how I did it.

My thanks to Jimmy at Netscape for showing me that URL.  Much appreciated.


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