Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Blogspot Atom feed problem maybe from Word?

I’ve been thinking that the problems I’ve been having with RSS Bandit reading some Blogspot blogs has to do with the fact that Blogspot (and Blogger) are at Atom 0.3 instead of Atom 1.0. Maybe my initial diagnosis was wrong.

I was trying to find a solution to recommend to some of the bloggers (since they tend to be less technical than me). The blogs where I’ve been having problems (i.e. http://foldsoc.blogspot.com/ and http://adedesigns.blogspot.com/ ) are both from Blogspot, and I’m getting errors in RSS Bandit. To convert Atom feeds into RSS, some bloggers use Feedburner. (I think that this approach is now irrelevant, but it could be a simple solution). I entered a URI into the front page of Feedburner, and got the following error message.

The URL you entered does not appear to be a valid feed. We encountered the following problem: It appears that you have used a Microsoft Office tool to edit your post. This can cause problems. See http://forums.feedburner.com/viewtopic.php?t=593 for the solution to this problem.

This message suggests that the blog author edits using Microsoft Word, and then copies-and-pastes into Blogspot. In particular, http://forums.feedburner.com/viewtopic.php?t=593 reads …

If your feed has these XML tags in it:

(David’s note: WordPress won’t render the characters properly!

It is very likely that your feed will be considered invalid by FeedBurner, Feed Validator, and possibly some RSS news readers. The upshot is that FeedBurner will stop updating its version of your feed until the validation problem is repaired.

The tag is usually introduced by a copy-paste of original text from Microsoft Word or another Office application; …. The best way to avoid this problem is to avoid composing and copying content from Word into your blogging tools. …

This was simple enough to do with the pages in question: surf over on Firefox, and then use View … Page Source … in the menu bar. Search on the offending characters, and sure enough, they showed up on the source!

So, I need to send out some e-mail, and find out if these bloggers will clean up their code!

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