Give Us This Day Our (More or Less) Daily Feeds

I was in the middle of writing a note to friend and fellow blogger Bruce Garrett a couple of days ago when Eddie remarked from the other room that his Dell computer wasn’t being helpful in the least in allowing him to subscribe to my weblog using its RSS capability. So I thought I would see if Bruce had any thoughts about Eddie’s difficulty:

ME TO BRUCE: …I was interrupted just now by Eddie, who is having trouble subscribing to my blog’s RSS feed. Eddie’s a PC guy working with Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. My web-enabler says that RSS feeds are a cross-platform program. But when Eddie clicks on my blog’s "Subscribe to this blog" link, he just gets the blog’s source code.

I know that your own blog is now RSS enabled. On my Mac (using Safari on MacOSX 4.0) when I click on your RSS link I get the trimmed down version of your blog, but Eddie gets source code. Do you have any insights of what may be going on?

Two responses from Bruce arrived on successive days.

BRUCE TO ME: You asked about why Eddie is getting only source code while you’re getting the posts off the RSS link on my blog and I’ve been trying to understand how that might be happening, and to do that I’ve had to dive into the mechanics of the whole RSS thing because I really don’t understand it.  I just asked my new web host to enable RSS when we moved my blog to WordPress and he did it.  That’s how I got mine set up.

So I’m still digging, which is why I haven’t answered yet.  This is why I’m making a pretty good living doing computer work.  I had an employer once who complemented me on my "stick to it-ness" and I didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t work ethic, but more like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder when it comes to computers.  My thoughts just get sucked into the algorithms and I have to understand what the f*** is going on here…  A shrink could probably help me with it, but it’s paying my bills.

Then, the next day:

BRUCE TO ME AGAIN: What’s happening is the stylesheet isn’t being picked up by the Windows browsers for some reason.  I get the same result with FireFox on Windows.  What Eddie is seeing is the xml, without the style sheet applied.  Not sure why that’s happening at this point.

I suppose I could just give in and ask my web host to fix it.  He’s a Mac guy too and so he probably didn’t notice.  The reason I didn’t notice at first was that I don’t use the RSS feed.  But I just got into trying to figure this thing out. 

I’ve been doing this to myself for years with Cricket.  We have students here at Johns Hopkins who play it during the warmer months.  I’ve been watching them for years, trying to determine what the rules are, from how they’re playing.  Not much luck so far, except I think it has something do to with knocking that twig off those three upright wooden posts behind the batter.  I still haven’t got a clue how they score the damn thing.  I could just ask, but I’m determined to figure it out for myself.  Some days I’m watching them, and I catch myself thinking that Cricket is one of those dry jokes the British like playing on people.

Some of you who are reading this may have thoughts of your own to offer — whether on RSS feeds or Cricket.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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0 Responses to Give Us This Day Our (More or Less) Daily Feeds

  1. Well, I use a PC, XP and the Maxthon browser (which uses IE 6 and gives more functions like tabbed browsing), and your RSS feed works perfectly for me.

    I just tried it in Firefox, and everything’s ok, too.

    Your blog is probably hate by American computers, but French ones really like it.

  2. Well for what it’s worth to both of us, the RSS Feed validator at says both our feeds are good, although it’s complaining about what look like a couple of minor issues with yours (try it for yourself and see). So the search continues. I’m wondering if this isn’t a browser end issue instead. Maybe some optional setting that’s preventing the style sheet from being applied. Or maybe Safari just understands RSS better then either IE or Firefox…