Some Diary news feeds are behind the times

Some Diary news feeds are behind the times

A couple of weeks ago, I introduced a news feed for this website.  It
has been taken up by several sites.  However, much to my annoyance, some websites
don’t see to be keeping the feeds up to date.  In fact, the only website which has a
current newsfeed is The FreeBSD ‘zine
(thanks Jim).  Please don’t misunderstand me.  I don’t blame the website owners
for this problem.  I’m quite sure the source of the problem is squarely with the feed
itself and not with the websites upon which the feed is available.

The sites which are
out of date are:

I’m not sure why this is happening.  But it may be more than a coincidence that
these sites are all stuck on the same set of articles.  Perhaps the ‘Zine is working
off the correct news feed and the others are not.  But that doesn’t make sense to me
because there is only one news feed and that seems to be working just fine.  Witness
how the ‘Zine is keeping up.

Netscape is sending me automated messages.  Replies to that address are going
unanswered as I try to seek more information as to the nature of the problem they are
experiencing.  It’s rather frustrating to be told "yes, we are having a problem
with your news feed" but not being told the nature of the problem.  It’s rather
like saying "Doctor, I’m sick, heal me" but not providing anything in the way of

If you are using one of the above news feeds and not getting your recommended daily
allowance, please be patient.  I am trying to get it fixed.

And if you do want regular updates

In the meantime, you may wish to subscribe to The FreeBSD Diary
Announcement mailing list.  This is a low volume
moderated mailing list.

Problem solved (added on 31 March 2000)

After sending a message to, I received a very helpful
message back from Jimmy.  He pointed me at
which will validate a news feed input.  When I went to that location and supplied the
URL to my newsfeed, the following error was displayed

Encoding Error: Non UTF-8 character in document    

I couldn’t figure this one out at first.  But I did a fetch of the URL and
examined it in vi.  Here’s what I saw:

  <title>The Polls oh no how slashdottish</title>
  <description>The Polls oh no\xa0how slashdottish</description>

As you can see, there is a \xa0 character in one of the titles.  Not
good.  I corrected this problem, resubmitted the URL and it worked fine.  I have
no idea how that character arrived in my file.  I must have done it, but I have no
idea how I did it.

My thanks to Jimmy at Netscape for showing me that URL.  Much appreciated.

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