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Thursday, September 21, 2006


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Excellent post Nick. I was a little thrown off by the title because I associate "funky" with "funky RSS" -- you know, the practice of using non-standard extension elements (Dublin Core, content:encoded, etc.) in place of standard RSS elements. Perhaps a better title would be "Fixing broken feeds."

Ah, I'd forgotten about the whole "funky RSS" thing. I've changed the title.

My experience more closely matches Google's: http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2005/12/xml-errors-in-feeds.html

In particular, I would say that the most common XML level error I see is encoding errors - things like smart quotes.

Sam, thanks for posting that link - that's a useful reference. I also see quite a few encoding errors, but I unintentionally left them off my list because I handle them separately from other well-formedness problems.

It's interesting that Google Reader has encountered so many problems with mismatched open/ending tags. I don't run into that problem very often, although that probably says more about the feeds I subscribe to than it does about the feed world as a whole.

Thanks for the tips Nick. I know you used Delphi to develop FeedDemon no? I found that using the TXmlDocument (with msxml for the domvendor) is a lot more slow than using the MsXml directly (using the IXmlDomDocument).


I think you have a problem, with your blog! The names and the text in the comments are not the right one...

Ariel, yes, FeedDemon was developed using Delphi. I also found it faster to use MSXML directly.

Morten, I'm not sure what you mean. Where are you seeing incorrect names in the comments?

I don't disagree with your decision to support broken feeds. There is an uneasy feeling, however, in allowing bad feeds to exist and perhaps encouraging propogation of bad feeds (bad code is most likely being reused and copied). Is there anything that can be done to support but at the same time cleanup the source of bad feeds?

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