I uploaded xml files in the Google products for the UK, US and German markets for Google products under my Merchant centre. I created xml RSS 2 files in Frontpage 2003, and their encoding is utf8. The UK and US files work fine, and listings show in products. My german ones also work, and show in listings, but im having problems with the encoding. I must stres I am not html or xml literate,
I just cobbled together some xml files using samples, and this feed generator,
UK Site Builder Ltd
and after much work, created something that works. The feed generator is a UK based one, and it is very basic, I had to add may more attributes manually after I spent some time learning the format.
I am having problems with the german feed because of the special characters. I have discovered that when I use german text, it returns “invalid xml” errors and similar messages on these characters
I do not speak German, I just created the file, and for the “descrtiption and title” attributes, copied and pasted german text into the xml file. But then the xml wouldn’t validate in my dashboard, it told me there were errors, I suspected the special characters, and tried an experiment, (I used their english looking counterparts) and the feed went through. However this was just an experiment, which proved my encoding is wrong. I substituted the above characters with the English equivalent , which means the words are misspelt in German, and won’t show up the product in a search, I used
A o u a o u b
for these german characters
ä, ö, ü, Ä, Ö, Ü, ß
As substitutes, just to get the file in, and now it is showing in results i want to get the xml right so that people can find the product using proper german spellings.
this also means that I couldn’t use this attribute,
I had to take it out. I think that is the “size” attribute in German.
I’m puzzeled because this isn’t supposed to be happening if the coding is utf8. Also I want to stress, that im in the UK, and use the usual english keyboard, and the german text I used in the description and title wasn’t typed in, it was copied and pasted.
The beginning of my xml file looks like this
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
<description><![CDATA[german text description]]></description>
Therefore I have 4 questions
1. Does it make a difference to encoding if the characters are typed in or copied and pasted in? I don’t where the german characters are on my keyboard, I havn’t looked, as I didn’t think this was the problem (copying and pasting instead of typing)
2. How can I solve this problem? I tried reloading the xml document as utf 8, (which it already was) and still same problem. On my page in the text I can see the german characters.
3. Is this generator any good? It’s very basic, and only generates the UK feed. Does anyone know of a good FREE google products feed generator? I don’t need a shopping cart,
4. In the beginning of the xml code there are three lines called Title, Link and Description. After that the Item begins, and in the Item there are also Title, Link and Description lines. What I want to know is that should these values be the same as the ones in the item? I only have one item in my feed, but what if I add more? What is the purpose of these 3 top lines before the first item code is added in? For as far as I can see, the items have this code too. So I need to know should this be the same as the ones in the Item or can they be different.
Thanks in advance for any help. I need specific instructions, as im not html literate, I use the editor Frontpage 2003,