Monday, June 30, 2008

Buggy Blogspot Blog List

Okay, that answers that question.

Blogspot's new Blog List feature appears to be built for displaying a blogroll -- and keeping it current. That means it needs a list of feed URLs, not site URLs. Only two problems:
  1. It doesn't tell you that you should give it feed URLs.
  2. It doesn't properly detect feed URLs using pages.
For example: WordPress has been providing auto-detect hooks for feeds for years. Somehow, when confronted with http://speedforce.org/, Blogspot is unable to parse the code and locate the feeds at:
  • http://speedforce.org/feed/
  • http://speedforce.org/feed/atom/
  • http://speedforce.org/feed/rss/
Instead, it guesses that the feed must be at http://speedforce.org/rss.xml -- that's where Blogspot would put it, after all -- and tries to parse that as a feed. And since it can't find a channel with a link, it uses the (broken) feed URL itself as the site URL.

So by second-guessing you, it not only fails to get the information that it wants, but breaks the information that you gave it. Nice, huh?

Fortunately, if you tell it to add http://speedforce.org/feed/ it seems to work.

Now I'm trying to figure out why it fails on that site, but not on K2R or Parallel Lines (also WordPress blogs). I thought it might be the long HTML comment at the beginning of the file, but even after rearranging the entire HEAD section to make sure the autodiscovery code fell within the first 1024 characters, Blogspot still can't seem to find it. Maybe Blogspot caches the results. I'll try again later tonight.

Um... Hi

This marks my... what, 7th weblog?  Most of which I don't actually do anything with.

Really, this only exists for the sake of troubleshooting.

Last week, two blogs tried to put Speed Force on their blogroll and ended up with rss.xml appended to the URL, breaking the link (and resulting in lots of 404 hits to /rss.xml/favicon.ico as well!).  One I figured was a fluke.  Two, with the exact same problem?  Had I messed upmyself somewhere where I was trying to promote the site?*

The second blogger told me he'd entered the URL exactly as http://speedforce.org/, but the link turned into http://speedforce.org/rss.xml.  Very strange... butboth blogs were hosted on Blogspot.  I figured rather than try to do tech support, I'd just set up a blog and try it myself.

So that's what this is for: testing. I don't expect I'll post here very often.  Look for me at Speed Force or K2R.

*This did actually happen.  I used to link to K-Squared Ramblings in most of my forum signatures, and I replaced all the ones on comics-related sites with links to Speed Force.  On one, I left the /journal/ directory in by accident.  Fortunately I think only one person clicked on it before I fixed it.