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RSS, ATOM, and Related Technologies Forum

Frontpage RSS Desperate Help needed!

 9:17 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi guys...

i have been going crazy trying to add a simple rss page to my website which is done in frontpage 2003, and while im excrutiatinly close, i cant get it working.

The feed is valid (checked with feedvalidator), and i can subscribe to it using things like bloglines and feed demon, but whenever i update the site (and rss.xml) file, no readers seem to recognize that a new story is there.

as an update: I dont have (or want) an rss feed in the true sense of the word. My blog consists of just one main page (index.html). All i want is for readers to be notified when that page is updated. I have written an rss.xml file which i update with the new date whenever i update the index page, but no reader can seem to realize the page has been updated.

Maybe it would help if i post my rss.xml file here for reference? here it is, below:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type='text/xsl' href='rss.xsl' version='1.0'?>
<rss version="2.0" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
<atom:link href="http://example.com/rss.xml" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml" />
<description>Get my latest ravings over at example!</description>
<title>example - My Place To Rant And Rave</title>
<guid isPermaLink="true">http://example.com/index.html</guid>
<pubDate>Mon, 28 Apr 2008 08:00:00 EST</pubDate>
<description>My Latest Posts can be found here!</description>

This is just the latest iteration of the file.. i have tried literally DOZENS of different versions.

My thought was that, if i update the index page (say for ex at 7:30 pm), then i also alter my rss file and change the pubdate to 7:30 (i've also tried making it earler say 7, or later, like 10). Nothing works.

this CAN'T be this hard... what am i missing?

Any help anyone out there can provide would be HUGELY appreciated.


[edited by: jatar_k at 11:19 pm (utc) on April 29, 2008]
[edit reason] please use example.com [/edit]



 12:50 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

no reader can seem to realize the page has been updated.

Most of the examples I've seen for pubDate use GMT. Is it possible the reader softwares are assuming GMT?


 1:29 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmm...im not sure.. i can certainly try that when i do an update tomorrow..

do you really think that could be the problem?


 1:42 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)


No dice.. i just changed made a quick update to index.html at 9:36 pm EST apr 29 and changed the rss.xml file to have a pub date of 30 Apr 2008 01:36:00 GMT and im still not picking up anything...

this is driving me completely batty... i just dont know what else to try...


 2:05 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm guessing here. "EST" & "EDT" are part of the standard, so technically your notation is correct.

Are you sure that these readers are actually fetching your revised feed? You may need to ping some services before they'll go out and fetch the feed. Otherwise you have to wait for them to work through their schedule.


 3:10 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

and how would i do that?

in the header section of my index.html i have the announcer tag which, before i knew to add, readers kept saying i didnt even have a feed, but after i added the code below, that problem got fixed... i thought that this code would be doing the pinging that you are referring to...

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="Slydesblog" href="http://example.com/rss.xml" />


 4:08 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

Most blog software will automatically send out a ping to various sites that will tell all the online aggregators and announcement sites that your site has new information. A quick search on RSS ping [google.com] turns up a bunch.

You're using FP, so you'd have to do that step manually.


 12:54 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmmm.... this is the first i am hearing about an rss ping. maybe this is my missing piece. i had assumed the code i posted in my 2nd post would be doing that, but maybe it doesnt.

i'll research this today and let you know... thanks for the lead!


 3:17 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmmm, im looking up rss ping and am getting alittle confused as to what i need to do... do you have any ideas to point me in the right direction?

Also, i would like to make sure i am doing this right.

if i...

1) change my index.html page
2) change the pubdate on the file i listed above, with the date on the new, changed index.html
3) ftp the files up to my site..

shouldnt this be doing what i want it to do.. or do i not understand rss correctly?

forgive me for these questions, but up until this point i knew NOTHING about rss...


 3:19 pm on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

just 1 quick correction from last nights posts that i didnt catch...

the issue isnt that the rss readers are taking a long time to put up my new posts... they NEVER report an update.. ever. im starting to think that rss ping isnt my problem...


 5:06 am on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

ping [en.wikipedia.org]:
In blogging, ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a weblog notifies a server that its content has been updated. An XML-RPC signal is sent to one or more "ping servers," which can then generate a list of blogs that have new material. Many blog authoring tools automatically ping one or more servers each time the blogger creates a new post or updates an old one.

Looking at your feed again, although it validates, it's not really a standard Atom feed [atompub.org]. For example, you're using the RSS <item> [rssboard.org] instead of <entry>. Perhaps you'd benefit from sticking to either the RSS or Atom format.


 6:10 am on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

RSS Readers do not care about updates to an existing listed URL, that's how how it works. You need to change the listed URL each time you change the content - and your permalink in particular needs to be unique for each new item you add. A permalink means a link which will always refer to that content - index.html will not always be that content because you will change what's at index.html in the future.

You could work around it by using URL arguments or anchors:

blahblah.foo/index.html?rev=45 etc.. or:

Overall I fear that you aren't using RSS for its intended purpose.


 2:17 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

hmmmm vince i THINK i see what you are saying...

if i headed up each story with a tag, when referenced the url with the tag in my rss.xml, do you think that would work?

and following that logic, i would then assume that i would need to make a new ITEM section for each story (and with each tag) that i post?

i agree with you that im not using rss the way its typically used, but unfortunatly with frontpage i cant see how else to do it.

thanks again.


 2:40 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)


I see what your saying... i had no idea i was mixing types... i'm kinda winging this as i go. could you point me to somewhere where i can get the layouts, or better yet samples, from both types of feeds?


 2:41 pm on May 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

scratch that request bill.. i see that you did exactly THAT in your post.. thanks


 1:24 am on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

You may have an easier time of it if you used an RSS feed editor [google.com]. There are many available both free and commercial. You fill in the blanks and the software generates the feed. Perhaps FP isn't the right tool to be making feeds unless you know how to code them from scratch.

I agree with vincevincevince that it sounds like you aren't using RSS in a standard way. You may want to look at the idea of using permalinks [en.wikipedia.org] when you create new content.


 2:44 am on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

guys, vince's idea hit the nail right on the head.

by using bookmarks to mark a new story, then referencing those bookmarks within my rss feed, ive got it working exactly how i have been wanting it to.

thanks again guys for all the super help!


 7:12 am on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Glad to hear you've got it working. Now just make sure that you've got a standards compliant format there...either RSS or Atom. That will help prevent possible complications in the future.


 12:13 pm on May 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

yup, i took YOUR advice on that front.. changed my feed to be 100 percent rss 2.0 compliant, based on the code you showed me (i had no idea i wasnt compliant until you showed me that)

again, thanks guys!

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