More on RSS

My web host and indefatigable weblog enabler Jason Bergman has taken a look at the problem my hubby Eddie was having (as described in my March 24 post) subscribing to my blog’s RSS feed. His analysis: "The RSS issue is due to a lack of a plugin for Internet Explorer. Unless you’re using a program that can actually read RSS, you’re going to get the source code." Which, of course, describes the response Eddie was getting when he clicked on the Subscribe to this weblog link on his Dell PC.

"Tell him to use Firefox!" Jason advised with an emoticonned grin. 🙂

Bruce Garrett, meanwhile, had come to the same conclusion. "If Eddie is using IE," Bruce wrote, "then he’ll still have a problem.  This is from Microsoft itself:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/IE/community/columns/rss.mspx

"Although some sites provide information about what RSS is and how to access it when they offer RSS on their sites, many do not. If we do the logical thing and click on the button when using Internet Explorer 6 or earlier, and we do not have an RSS reader or [an appropriate] plug-in installed, all we will see is code. IE 6 needs a plug in to work.  IE 7, when it comes out, won’t."

Got it, Mr. Gates!

"So Eddie can either find a plugin for IE 6 that he likes (there’s one called Pluck out there that people seem to like), or wait for IE7, or download and use the current version of Firefox."

Firefox again! I sensed a trend in personal preferences gathering.

Jason did offer an additioned insight: "If there’s anyone complaining about compatibility with RSS readers, there is a second feed being generated by your blog at this URL:

http://www.howardcruse.com/cruseblog/atom.xml

"It’s generated automatically. That’s a specifically Atom-based feed. By default your blog is showing the index.xml file, which is a straight RSS 2.0 feed. Atom is an alternative format that is prefered by some people, although generally it tends to be less compatible, as it’s a newer format. If you want, you can either switch the default to that, or link to it as a secondary feed. I don’t bother myself, as any reader that can read Atom is 99.9% certain to be able to read the other one. But you never know."

Somehow I don’t think I’m going to fool around with any default settings, though, since in that last paragraph Jason forged way beyond the boundaries of my Level of Incompetence. Babe in the HTML woods that I am, I’m far too dependent on the kindness of my geek friends to venture too far out on my own.

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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2 Responses to More on RSS

  1. One reason I run FireFox is that it works pretty much the same on Windows, Mac, and Linux and I have a job that requires me to be fluent in all three. I have all three here running at Casa del Garrett, and I’m moving around between them all the time here, and so I tend to gravitate to software that runs on them all…like FireFox, and Open Office. I actually don’t like Open Office all that much…but it’s portability across platforms saves me from a lot of frustration fumbling around for the right way to do something when need to bring it up on whatever machine I happen to be running at the time.

    The point being that just because someone else likes a particular application, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily like it too. It’s how you work and what You need your software to do for you that’s important. I always tell people to use the software their most comfortable with, that does what they need. We need to make our machines more like us, instead of our becoming more like them.

  2. Elayne Riggs says:

    Hmm, I haven’t had any problems with Bloglines (my aggregator) seeing your Atom feed at all… now MINE, on the other hand, Bloglines seemed to misplace for about three days…