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.

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