Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Eating my own dogfood

There’s a phrase used by programmers called “eating your own dogfood” – using the products that you develop on a day to day basis, so you get to see them from a user’s angle. It’s a great way to find bugs or problems with usability.
As those of you who viewed my Bloglines public subscriptions will have seen, I subscribe to my own RSS feed. This is so that if I do something which breaks it or causes quirky behaviour, I’ll know about it.
The feed works fine in my usual aggregator (FeedDemon) but there’s a ‘quirk’ with Bloglines which means that items show as ‘updated’ but actually don’t appear to be. Anyone who’s been reading the feed with full content in Bloglines will know about it. As Phil pointed out, it’s because the summaries included the number of comments and trackbacks attached to the entry, which incremented whenever someone posted a comment. But you wouldn’t see that if you subscribed to the full entries. So having items show as updated for seemingly no reason would obviously be quite annoying, and as such I’ve corrected it.
I’ve also fixed a bug which would cause a PHP parsing error should you post a comment with a name with an apostrophe in it (like O’Grady). MT thankfully includes a global tag attribute which lets you escape quotes for use in PHP strings – see the MT help file.

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