Hurm.com News Feed Index

I started experimenting with a News.Hurm.com news index that grabs RSS news feeds from other web sites and displays them on a page of my own design. Heidi Pollock's article at Webmonkey, "Getting Your Piece of the Pie," makes setting up the MagpieRSS scripts easy.

Now I just have to figure out why the Freeborn Press feed isn't pulled first-pass (it's under my domain like the most of the feeds-in-testing) and why the feeds from MacPhoenix.com and CityofHeroes.com won't show up at all. (I know the newsfeed files exist online...but is the source server somehow blocking my newsfeed grabs?)

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Read Comments (7)

Nobody commented at 2:55 AM on May 18, 2005:

I think the City of Heroes news feed is failing because there's an unescaped " character in their most recent article title, which compels the system to fail.

(And maybe the MacPhoenix feed is similarly failing because it has a ' character in its most recent blog entry?)

I'm presuming this situation will fix itself when that site posts its next article.

Jonathan commented at 4:08 PM on May 19, 2005:

Actually, I have an apostrophe (#8217;), not just a hash mark, in the title of my latest entry, and that is indeed why the feed fails. I had this same problem with the "Blogging Myself" box on my own site.

Do you have control over the PHP that runs this feed? If so, all you have to do is put ".=" on the string that grabs the titles and entries. So, if the string was $title, you'd put "$title .= whatever code," rather than "$title = whatever code." This drove me crazy for months.

Jonathan commented at 4:16 PM on May 19, 2005:

And now, I'm wondering if you're pointing to the right place, since I removed the apostrophe. Are you sure you're grabbing http://www.macphoenix.com/creative/blog/index.xml (or index.rdf)? I don't have an RSS feed, but maybe I should.

Jonathan commented at 4:22 PM on May 19, 2005:

heh... okay now I have an RSS 2.0 feed... at http://www.macphoenix.com/creative/blog/rss1.xml

Nobody commented at 5:34 PM on May 19, 2005:

thanks for looking into things from your end, Jonathan. I was pointing to http://www.macphoenix.com/creative/blog/index.xml but when I get home I'll switch to your new RSS 2.0 XML feed. Hopefully that'll fix it.

If not, I can look into the PHP and see if I can figure out where the .= goes.

Nobody commented at 3:53 AM on May 21, 2005:

Jonathan, I updated my grabber to point to your new RSS feed, but things still don't work. I also tried to find the $title string, but there wasn't any.

Looks to my unskilled eyes that it grabs everything on the target page, stores it into an array, then provides the element that a second PHP script asks for (if that element is available).

I *did* find some spot where they translate common ampersand-based entities into normal characters, but couldn't figure out how to make it translate single and double hashes into escaped single and double hashes. Which I think is probably what would fix things.

(Also, the City of Heroes feed works, probably because the offending title, the one with the double-hashes, scrolled off.)

Jonathan commented at 3:19 PM on May 21, 2005:

I checked the error log on my site and originally, the there was a underscore after the file name, "index.xml_"

Now it appears that is pointing to the root directory looking for index.rdf, which is not there.

So try "http://www.macphoenix.com/creative/blog/rss1.xml"

And in my next web life, I will not bury my blog three levels down. I apologize for that.

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