Sunday, May 07, 2006

Parse This 

Since I don't have the time haven't taken the time to get proficient in HTML, it seems inevitable that I learn more by having to debug crap.

A perfect example was this morning:

I go to catch up on my blog reading, and I notice the RSS feed for this site doesn't load in Sage. I get an XML Parse Error.


OK, so off I go to the Blogger help pages.


The best analogy I can give is trying to get help diagnosing car trouble and instead all the help you get is "This is what a hammer and a screwdriver look like." Thanks Blogger.

They at least provided a link to the Blogger help Google group, which suggested that I turn off XML, republish, turn it back on, republish. OK, done.

No dice.

Hmmm, OK....So I did what a seasoned websurfer does: I entered the error message into google and looked for something relevant in the results. I found a couple of useful tidbits, and discovered what a feed validator was.

Fine, are we close yet?

I put the blog URL into the feed validator, it spits back that there is a problem buried deep in the text of an old post. Oh, goody.

After five or six iterations of cleaning the offending text, rerun feed validation, finding a new error, repeat; I finally got the error back to one line:

which I can't fix because I'm not allowed tweak the HTML for the Blogger XML. Grrrrr!

While this is going on, I read some advice that writing blog text in Microsoft Word is baaad. Apparently MS Word adds some funny scripts that gets XML all aflutter. Won't be writing any more posts in Word then.

I tried one last time, and for some reason the feed worked, even though I wasn't able to work on the last bug. Hey, as long as it works, I'm happy.

Let me know if you can't get the feed. Apparently it was just a Firefox problem, IE always worked fine. One poster suggested that it may be a Version War between Atom and Firefox.

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