Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Bloglines Funkiness

I’ve had no less than 5 emails about this since last night…
Bloglines is currently having problems with my Atom feed. Two distinct problems seem to be occuring:

  • New posts are not showing up until quite a long time after they’ve been posted
  • The whitespace around HTML elements isn’t being respected (so ‘This problem is annoying’ would appear as ‘This problemisannoying in Bloglines)

The first problem has been acknowledged as a known issue on Bloglines’ news page and is affecting a number of feeds as well as my own (Ed Bott is following the issue). That should hopefully be fixed soon.
The second problem relates to me switching the Atom feed from escaped HTML to XHTML. For some reason Bloglines does not parse this correctly – it’s a problem that other feed parsers do not seem to suffer from. The feed itself is therefore not at fault.
I can, of course, ‘fix’ the second problem by reverting back to escaped HTML but I’m not really inclined to since the feed itself is fine – the problem is at Bloglines’ end. Since this is part of the Atom standard, it is entirely possible that other feeds will also adopt this so I’m sure Bloglines will fix this sooner or later. Since the development of Atom has been out in the open it’s not like Bloglines couldn’t have seen this coming.
If you guys want me to fix the feed then please say so, otherwise bear with me until Bloglines updates their parser. Thank you.


  1. Just so you know I’m not having the huge delays problem anymore, the Whitespace thing is still there but I consider that a very minor issue!

  2. I’ve been reading your blog for a few weeks, since Chu Yeow mentioned it in a comment on my site. I have to say the Bloglines bug has annoyed me a little, but I don’t think you should work around it. Bloglines is developing quick enough that we should expect that this bug will be fixed soon.

  3. I suggest you keep the site like it currently is and wait for Bloglines to fix it, as you say it’s at their end!

  4. Not a problem for me if there are no space. I just thought it was a mistake that you made. I guess I should have known better.
    Bloglines has been going down hill ever since it was bought by “ask Jeeves”. I had a sinking feeling that bad things would happen to it, but I was hoping. I found an aggregator that syncs the web feeds between clients on several machines, however, it doesn’t sync the fact that you have read a post on one and don’t need to read it again on the ohter. Bloglines is the only “decent” aggregator that does this.
    I wonder if someone has done to a web feed aggregator what others have done with Firefox. Put the aggregator on a thumb drive so that you can take it with you where ever you go. That would solve my problem of knowing what posts I have read. I’ll have to look into that.

  5. Neil, you should consider using FeedLounge once it hits Beta. I’ve got a slot in the Alpha test, and it’s absolutely wonderful. Blows Bloglines out of the water. I love it.

  6. I agree that you shouldn’t change your code. Let them figure it out on their end – for the greater good of future XHTML coders.
    P.S. I can’t believe I didn’t read this post last week. Sorry for the OT elsewhere.

  7. I’m still using Bloglines solely because it’s Sidekick-friendly. I did notice the whitespace issue but I wasn’t particularly annoyed by it – just figured it was a glitch somewhere, which is exactly what it is. 🙂