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AlBlue’s Blog

Macs, Modularity and More

Blogger buggering up atom feeds

Atom 2007 Crap

My atom feed is atom.xml, and yet recently Blogger has been breaking that. Only yesterday, it was wrapping everything in an <html> block (which meant that no feed parsers could use it). Fortunately, I'm glad to say that that problem appears to be fixed, but it's a bit of an emabarrassment when you can't even get a feed format right that you've been pushing for.

It's still serving the content up incorrectly though:

$ wget --server /atom.xml
Resolving done.
HTTP request sent, awaiting response...
 1 HTTP/1.0 200 OK
 2 Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
 3 ...

So it's not being served correctly as application/atom+xml. Worse, it's not even being served as an XML type.

Lastly, even though all of the posts that I write are valid XHTML, the content that's being served out in the feed is now being sent out as HTML instead, which means that > and < are being written out as &lt; and &gt; each time. Admittedly, this is better than RSS, in which it's a bit of a random guess as to whether the content is encoded in this way; at least the atom feed (correctly) tells the parsers which is which. But you used to be able to include a CSS stylesheet that would let you view a feed in an HTML browser, by virtue of styling individual elements; now, you can't do that (and blogger don't add that stylesheet to the feed any more). It's not a big deal, and it's still within the Atom spec, but if you've already got a bunch of valid XML what's the point?

Oh, a quick note about advertising and spam; I do delete both spam and advertising comments on my blog, so don't bother leaving spamvertising here. Frankly, I don't know why Blogger doesn't have a 'report spam' button against comments (in much the same way that you can delete comments) and let them build up a network about what a spam comment looks like. After all, that's how they train GMail; why not do the same for blogger comments too? I bet that highly prolific spammer 'Anonymous' wouldn't be back ...