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 Post subject: New RSS feed URLs
PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 10:19 am 
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For those of you reading Chiff and Fipple via RSS:

I've installed a newer phpBB mod which provides RSS feeds of the whole forum, individual forums, and individual topics. The one that I've been using up until now (with feed URLs that look like http://chiffboard.mati.ca/rss/forum-topics.xml) has always been slow and resource-intensive, which is why I've provided cached, static XML files generated every 15 minutes or so instead of pulling everything out dynamically.

This new one looks to be a good deal better and faster, so I'm asking everyone to use it instead. The Image icon at the bottom of the main page, individual forum's index pages, and individual topic pages links to the RSS feed; there's also tags in place for your web browser to pick up the RSS feed URLs automatically. Please don't retrieve the feed more than <s>once per hour</s> <b>once per half-hour</b> (this wasn't meant to change from before, sorry).

Please let me know if there are any problems with the new feeds.

(If you have no idea what I just said, you might find the BBC's RSS intro to be a good starting point.)

Cheers,

-Rich


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:09 pm 
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Thank you for supplying the feeds! :)

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 12:53 pm 
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Cool! I used to use the old feeds, but didn't find them as useful as I'd hoped (though I have RSS feeds set up to all my favorite places like fark, digg, slashdot, etc)...i'm looking forward to giving the new feeds a spin!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:51 pm 
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Ermm, I click on the Image and get "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below." Is this my fault? I've Win XP and Firefox 1.0.7.
Also have an extension called Bookmark's Full Titles which is invaluable. Sometimes you can't read the whole Live Bookmark.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:56 pm 
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Kevin L. Rietmann wrote:
Ermm, I click on the Image and get "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below." Is this my fault? I've Win XP and Firefox 1.0.7.


No, the icon on the page is a link to the RSS feed; do with the resulting URL what you'd do with any other RSS feed URL for your feed reader. Or does something different usually happen for you?

-Rich


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:25 pm 
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In Firefox 1.5, that same symbol shows up in the address bar, where you type the URL. If you click that, it will subscribe the feed for you. I don't know if this capability exists in any capacity whatsoever in IE.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 4:34 pm 
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I have no idea what any of that means, but it's either about technology that I won't be able to live without in two years, or it's meant for people who are still using Tandy computers.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:28 pm 
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Wanderer wrote:
In Firefox 1.5, that same symbol shows up in the address bar, where you type the URL. If you click that, it will subscribe the feed for you. I don't know if this capability exists in any capacity whatsoever in IE.


Right, different things. In the address bar, it's a feature of the browser -- on a webpage, it's just a graphic that's a link. The Image icon is just replacement for the old Image icon.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 9:22 pm 
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Also, because I expect someone will ask: The per-forum feeds provide one item for each of the last 15 topics, and the content of the item is the latest post in that topic. So you can't outright <i>read</i> the forums over RSS, but you can tell when there's been updates that might interest you.


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 Post subject: Re: New RSS feed URLs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:13 am 
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rich wrote:
This new one looks to be a good deal better and faster, so I'm asking everyone to use it instead.

[...]

Please let me know if there are any problems with the new feeds.


Rich, the new feed is behaving oddly. When I look at the feed in Bloglines I either see 200 posts or I don't see any at all. But when I pull it up in XMLSpy I'm seeing 15 entries right now.

I think the problem might be that the time zone isn't set right. I see:

<pubDate>Tue, 17 Jan 2006 08:05:53 +0000</pubDate>

...which would put you in Ireland. :)

The time listed, however, is in Pacific time (GMT+8).

I don't know if that's the full problem, but it might be what's confusing Bloglines.

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 Post subject: Re: New RSS feed URLs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:34 am 
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Craig Stuntz wrote:
rich wrote:
This new one looks to be a good deal better and faster, so I'm asking everyone to use it instead.

[...]

Please let me know if there are any problems with the new feeds.


Rich, the new feed is behaving oddly. When I look at the feed in Bloglines I either see 200 posts or I don't see any at all. But when I pull it up in XMLSpy I'm seeing 15 entries right now.


Bloglines will show you all of the unread posts it has ever seen, up to 200 -- not just the last 15 that were in the feed last time it checked. (It keeps the text around, etc.) So if you haven't read via bloglines in the last few hours, you'll see 200 there, and when you've read them, you'll see zero. You can get read ones back by asking for "last session", "last 6 hours", etc.

I've never used XMLSpy, but it sounds like it's only showing you what's in the feed at the moment it checks. That should still work out fine, since the per-forum feeds show the last 15 topics, and 15 topics in even the busiest forums nets you about 18 hours worth of posts. (The Uilleann forum seems to be the exception there, where it only gets you one <i>hour</i>, but I'm not about to crank the feed up to the last 360 entries just to hit the 24-hour mark on that one forum!). It won't work so well for the sitewide feed, but I don't want to include hundreds of posts in the feed just to make it span a day or so.

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I think the problem might be that the time zone isn't set right. I see:

<pubDate>Tue, 17 Jan 2006 08:05:53 +0000</pubDate>

Well, that's a different problem, but the timezone's been consistently off by a few hours all along; that should only affect the way that Bloglines displays the time of the entries. (After all, Bloglines would be perfectly capable of handling the feed if we were in Ireland.) I'll fix that in a bit, but for now I'll leave it until we're sure that the feed alone isn't breaking anything; having timestamps go backwards in time might just confuse things further so that we can't see if the other problem exists.

I'm not exactly sure how to best use an RSS feed to read a busy forum, although I'm using it to know when there are updates to the less-busy ones. (I saw your post to this thread via Bloglines, for instance.)

-Rich


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 Post subject: Re: New RSS feed URLs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:46 am 
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rich wrote:
Bloglines will show you all of the unread posts it has ever seen, up to 200 -- not just the last 15 that were in the feed last time it checked.

I understand that. The problem is that Bloglines got it wrong, which it generally doesn't do (I use Bloglines heavily), and I'm trying to figure out why.

rich wrote:
I've never used XMLSpy, but it sounds like it's only showing you what's in the feed at the moment it checks.

Correct. I wanted to remove Bloglines from the picture and look at only the contents of the feed.

rich wrote:
Well, that's a different problem, but the timezone's been consistently off by a few hours all along; that should only affect the way that Bloglines displays the time of the entries. (After all, Bloglines would be perfectly capable of handling the feed if we were in Ireland.)

Maybe I wasn't clear: The time is wrong. If Bloglines were in Ireland the time should have read as 3:05 p.m + 0000. at the time of that post. The adjusted time is not determined by the time itself nor the time zone by itself but rather by the combination of them. If either one doesn't match the other then the adjusted time read by a client (i.e., a RSS reader) won't be right.

It isn't clear to me that having the time wrong would only affect the time displayed on the entries. Bloglines may be determining what you have already read by the publication date. Since the time in the feed is off by eight hours, it could explain why Bloglines seems confused as to what I've already read.

I don't know if this is what's causing Bloglines to misbehave, but it's the first thing I saw that didn't look right.

Anyway, thanks for looking into it.

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 Post subject: Re: New RSS feed URLs
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 11:05 am 
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Craig Stuntz wrote:
It isn't clear to me that having the time wrong would only affect the time displayed on the entries. Bloglines may be determining what you have already read by the publication date. Since the time in the feed is off by eight hours, it could explain why Bloglines seems confused as to what I've already read.


Could! Let's see what happens now.

-Rich


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:05 pm 
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Rich, the time or the time zone is still off. Right now (13:03 -0500 where I'm sitting) it's showing 13:03 -0800. So either you're on the Pacific coast and your clock is wrong or you're in Eastern time and your time zone isn't set right.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:16 pm 
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Craig Stuntz wrote:
Rich, the time or the time zone is still off. Right now (13:03 -0500 where I'm sitting) it's showing 13:03 -0800. So either you're on the Pacific coast and your clock is wrong or you're in Eastern time and your time zone isn't set right.


Are you checking while you're logged in?

-Rich


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