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RSS Feeds offline???

    Question

  • I'm subscribed to 18 different TechNet forum RSS feeds. All 18 of them have been inactive since last Thursday morning (the last items received at 7am PT 3/13/2014). My RSS reader is reporting "No New Items" for any feed, yet there are new items in those forums.

    Any information on the state of RSS for TechNet Forums?


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Monday, March 17, 2014 1:08 PM

Answers

  • It seems to be an instance-specific corruption with my RSS reader.

    It might help to know what that is.  FWIW I was assuming that you were seeing a problem with IE but I know that others have reported having problem symptoms with using Outlook as their feed reader.

    This is what the TechNet Forum sidebar found for a feed URL using your  WSUS  as the only criteria.  Is that the same thing?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverwsus/threads?outputAs=rss

    Perhaps they changed the name?   <eg>



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:02 PM
  • So.... it's not the feed, as I learned last Friday.

    It seems to be an instance-specific corruption with my RSS reader. The same reader is working perfectly on another system, but on my primary system it's reporting that it's not seeing any unread posts.

    And then there's a feed error which contradicts that and claims:

    Refresh feed '<strong>Forums\TechNet\WSUS</strong>' failed with error: An XML comment cannot contain '--', and '-' cannot be the last character. Line 2, position 43

    which also is not accurate, because no such character sequences exist in the RSS feed.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1:41 PM
  • Go figger... today I'm able to sync the RSS feed from TechNet.

    Question: Is there any reason why the network could impact the success of retrieving an RSS feed. Or, stated another way, on the network where it doesn't work, is there any reason a lone ISA 2006 server could interfere with an RSS feed? (Proxy is not enabled.)

    Also, one other thought... since RSSBandit leverages the IE engine for message display, is it conceivable that this issue could be tied to the version of IE installed?


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:50 PM
  • See: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206084108AADBjDe

    The feed there is showing me URLs.  Is that not enough?

    BTW the other one you had me try is still working after a refresh.  Now 81.

    Otherwise, it looks as if the only problem is the one line message from IE about DTD?

    ICIM, this is on IE11 on Surface Pro 2.



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    URLs?   A feed is not URLs.  An RSS feed is an XML document that is acquired periodically via an RSS reader.  Yes you can anchor anHTML document but that is not an RSS feed.  It sounds like IE 11 on Surface Pro does not have an RSS reader.

    I can get the RSS page in IE 11 but it only updates occasionally due to the error.  It may stop updating for days. All other RSS pages from Microsoft work correctly.  Only TechNet Forum pages fail and all RSS feeds from all TechNet forum sites fail.  TechNet blog sites all work correctly.

    This was broken more than a year ago but fixed.  It worked until about a month ago then started giving the DTD error and hasn't worked since.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Friday, May 9, 2014 5:58 PM

All replies

  • So.... it's not the feed, as I learned last Friday.

    It seems to be an instance-specific corruption with my RSS reader. The same reader is working perfectly on another system, but on my primary system it's reporting that it's not seeing any unread posts.

    And then there's a feed error which contradicts that and claims:

    Refresh feed '<strong>Forums\TechNet\WSUS</strong>' failed with error: An XML comment cannot contain '--', and '-' cannot be the last character. Line 2, position 43

    which also is not accurate, because no such character sequences exist in the RSS feed.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014 1:41 PM
  • It seems to be an instance-specific corruption with my RSS reader.

    It might help to know what that is.  FWIW I was assuming that you were seeing a problem with IE but I know that others have reported having problem symptoms with using Outlook as their feed reader.

    This is what the TechNet Forum sidebar found for a feed URL using your  WSUS  as the only criteria.  Is that the same thing?

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverwsus/threads?outputAs=rss

    Perhaps they changed the name?   <eg>



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:02 PM
  • >>It seems to be an instance-specific corruption with my RSS reader.

    It might help to know what that is.

    The reader is RSSBandit, and this morning my 2nd installation encountered the same failure as my 1st installation did ten days ago.

    others have reported having problem symptoms with using Outlook as their feed reader.

    That may be relevant information! I'll set up a couple feeds in a couple instances of Outlook and see how that goes. I'm definitely using the correct feed URL, and getting the same XML Failure from the reader ... allegedly seeing double-hypens and/or hyphens in the XML.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Thursday, March 27, 2014 10:28 PM
  • allegedly seeing double-hypens and/or hyphens in the XML.

    Check to see if your feed reader is trying to look at any XML-StyleSheet which may be associated with the feed?  IE doesn't do that I learned recently but other readers could.

    C.f.

    https://mondaybynoon.com/beginning-to-style-your-rss-feed/

    (BING search for
        xml stylesheet rss feed reader
    )

     


    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, March 28, 2014 3:50 AM
  • Check to see if your feed reader is trying to look at any XML-StyleSheet which may be associated with the feed?  IE doesn't do that I learned recently but other readers could.

    It's a thought.. but I haven't a clue as to how to do that.

    What I also know though is that FeedDaemon Pro 4.5 also cannot recognize TechNet RSS feeds (as of a few minutes ago), so I'm no longer convinced that it's a *reader* problem.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Friday, March 28, 2014 5:18 PM
  • FeedDaemon Pro 4.5 also cannot recognize TechNet RSS feeds (as of a few minutes ago).

    Same symptom or something else?

    E.g. the StyleSheet factor might be something different in the feed (or perhaps a recent security update?) that is causing their StyleSheet to go off the rails.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms950799.aspx

    (BING search for
        xml stylesheet rssbandit
    )

    I don't know how we could do a search for such a generic term that would capture the right context.  And it might not be a patch involving RSS anyway but something related.

    As usual BING is clueless compared to Google when it comes to unusual ideas.  I tried to modify my original query after finding out how Google interpreted it.  And still BING couldn't figure it out.

    update ("really simple syndication" | RSS) site:support.microsoft.com

    There was one!  Don't know how significant this would be though...

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2925466/en-us 

    (Above search by Google  filtered by  "Past Year".  That was added in Feb. Cum. IE update.)

     

    BTW did I guess the right feed?  Also, how many records are you trying to get?  If there is a problem record early in that number you could try cutting down to avoid the problem one.



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Saturday, March 29, 2014 3:27 AM
  • FeedDaemon Pro 4.5 also cannot recognize TechNet RSS feeds (as of a few minutes ago).

    Same symptom or something else?

    Apparently something else.... I get a simple message "FeedDemon was unable to locate a valid feed for this site".

    Then, in a moment of pure lucidity I removed the '#' from the end of the URL, and FeedDemon recognizes a feed... but cannot find any articles (a la RSSBandit).

    FeedDemon uses validator.w3.org to validate RSS feeds, and validator.w3.org pretty much complains about the same things that feedvalidator.org does.

    http://feedvalidator.org/check?url=http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverwsus/threads?outputAs=rss#

    http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi?url=http%3A%2F%2Fsocial.technet.microsoft.com%2FForums%2Fen-US%2Fwinserverwsus%2Fthreads%3FoutputAs%3Drss


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Friday, April 4, 2014 10:23 PM
  • FeedDemon uses validator.w3.org to validate RSS feeds, and validator.w3.org pretty much complains about the same things that feedvalidator.org does.

    Those were useful.  But to me it looked like FeedValidator was nitpicking while the W3C Validator makes it look like the standards have changed and TechNet RSS needs to be updated if people want to use a validator.

    Can you tell RSSBandit to bypass or ignore validation?



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, April 4, 2014 11:12 PM
  • Can you tell RSSBandit to bypass or ignore validation?

    It's not a validation error.. it's a raw sync error. RSSBandit thinks it's seeing invalid characters in an "XML comment" (see above highlighted message) and refusing to read the content from the feed. All 18 feeds, in fact, or any other one I try to subscribe to. This suggests that the issue is actually in some common data somewhere.

    And, no, I don't see anywhere that I can tell the reader to ignore such issues.

    What's interesting is that after it failed on the second system, I left those feeds in place, and on ONE day (one refresh cycle on 3/31) it managed to retrieve data from all 18 feeds, and then began failing again.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Monday, April 7, 2014 2:27 PM
  • RSSBandit thinks it's seeing invalid characters in an "XML comment" (see above highlighted message) and refusing to read the content from the feed. All 18 feeds, in fact, or any other one I try to subscribe to. This suggests that the issue is actually in some common data somewhere.

    The idea is that application of a standard may influence what is handled or how the program making the request reacts to violations of that standard.  We see the same thing in IE.  E.g. the user's User-Agent string requests responses according to a standard, say HTML5, but then it turns out that the site is really backward and needs to use a Compatibility override to indicate that what is being received should be treated in some other, possibly looser (e.g. "Quirks"), fashion.

    BTW did you try using Outlook for this problem feed?  What happened with it?  Also, how was it set up?  E.g. if it is like WLMail (which would be another possible alternative feed reader) you can set it up so that IE does the caching and then WLMail just formats from the cache.  I think I saw once that Outlook can do the same thing but I'm not in a position ATM to check (getting a Surface Pro set up).  We already know that IE doesn't object to this feed.   <eg>



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Monday, April 7, 2014 4:50 PM
  • BTW did you try using Outlook for this problem feed?  What happened with it?

    Yeah.. actually I did... just now. Most amusing.

    Outlook cannot process the RSS content from (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverwsus/threads?outputAs=rss). The link may not point to a valid RSS source.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Monday, April 7, 2014 10:37 PM
  • Go figger... today I'm able to sync the RSS feed from TechNet.

    Question: Is there any reason why the network could impact the success of retrieving an RSS feed. Or, stated another way, on the network where it doesn't work, is there any reason a lone ISA 2006 server could interfere with an RSS feed? (Proxy is not enabled.)

    Also, one other thought... since RSSBandit leverages the IE engine for message display, is it conceivable that this issue could be tied to the version of IE installed?


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014 5:50 PM
  • Just a status update...

    RSSBandit on my notebook continues to successfully sync the feed.

    RSSBandit on my desktop is incapable of doing so.

    The *only* difference of note between the two systems:

    - The notebook is running IE11; the desktop is still on IE9 (IE is the rendering engine used by RSSBandit, but that shouldn't affect RSS syncs)

    - The desktop has an instance of Office 2010 that is intentionally behind on patches (trying to isolate a problem with the Hotmail Connector)

    Otherwise, they're both fully patched Win7SP1 x64 systems.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:36 PM
  • Question: Is there any reason why the network could impact the success of retrieving an RSS feed. Or, stated another way, on the network where it doesn't work, is there any reason a lone ISA 2006 server could interfere with an RSS feed? (Proxy is not enabled.)

    Just to close this loop.. the notebook successfully syncs the RSS on both networks, so its definitely NOT the network.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:40 PM
  • DTD were removed from the feeds. Now they are all back.

    DTDs are not supported by any modern RSS readers.  Some may ignore the DTD.  NoMicrosft products will work with a DTD.

    See: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206084108AADBjDe


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Friday, May 9, 2014 12:38 PM
  • See: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206084108AADBjDe

    The feed there is showing me URLs.  Is that not enough?

    BTW the other one you had me try is still working after a refresh.  Now 81.

    Otherwise, it looks as if the only problem is the one line message from IE about DTD?

    ICIM, this is on IE11 on Surface Pro 2.



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, May 9, 2014 3:53 PM
  • See: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080206084108AADBjDe

    The feed there is showing me URLs.  Is that not enough?

    BTW the other one you had me try is still working after a refresh.  Now 81.

    Otherwise, it looks as if the only problem is the one line message from IE about DTD?

    ICIM, this is on IE11 on Surface Pro 2.



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    URLs?   A feed is not URLs.  An RSS feed is an XML document that is acquired periodically via an RSS reader.  Yes you can anchor anHTML document but that is not an RSS feed.  It sounds like IE 11 on Surface Pro does not have an RSS reader.

    I can get the RSS page in IE 11 but it only updates occasionally due to the error.  It may stop updating for days. All other RSS pages from Microsoft work correctly.  Only TechNet Forum pages fail and all RSS feeds from all TechNet forum sites fail.  TechNet blog sites all work correctly.

    This was broken more than a year ago but fixed.  It worked until about a month ago then started giving the DTD error and hasn't worked since.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Friday, May 9, 2014 5:58 PM
  • The issue is actually even more subtle than I expected.

    If I run with my live account login set to always stay logged in then the feed fails.  If I logout of the site the feed works.  THe page feeding the RSS for logged in accounts is staging the document incorrectly.  THe page used when the user is logged out does not send a DTD header.  The error is due to the DTD statement in the header of a logged in page.  THis header would not exist on an HTML 5 page.  HTML 5 doe notuse DTD headers.  The logged in page has not been upgraded to HTML 5 when IE 11 is detected.

    I suspect there is a bug in the code that does browser detection . The RSS pages delivered are definitely different when logged in.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Friday, May 9, 2014 7:06 PM
  • DTD were removed from the feeds. Now they are all back.

    Well.. no... not for me. RSSBandit on my desktop machine is still failing and feedvalidator is still showing the same numerous errors in the feed.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:49 AM
  • The error is due to the DTD statement in the header of a logged in page.  THis header would not exist on an HTML 5 page.  HTML 5 doe notuse DTD headers.  The logged in page has not been upgraded to HTML 5 when IE 11 is detected.

    I suspect there is a bug in the code that does browser detection . The RSS pages delivered are definitely different when logged in.

    So maybe this really is related to the installed instance of IE. RSSBandit leverages the IE engine. On the working machine I have IE11 (HTML5) installed; on the not-working machine I still have IE9 installed.

    I will upgrade to IE11 tomorrow and see what happens.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    Saturday, May 10, 2014 12:51 AM
  • DTD were removed from the feeds. Now they are all back.

    Well.. no... not for me. RSSBandit on my desktop machine is still failing and feedvalidator is still showing the same numerous errors in the feed.

    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

     

    No - DTD were removed but now the DTDs are back.  That is why your RSSBandit is failing.

    Try this.  Delete the feed.  Log out of the forum.  Close RSSBandit and restart RSS bandit. 
    Add the feed back in.   It should work. Now log into the forum.  The feed will begin failing at some point.

    No - DTD were removed but now the DTDs are back.  That is why your RSSBandit is failing.

    Try this.  Delete the feed.  Log out of the forum.  Close RSSBandit and restart RSS bandit. 
    Add the feed back in.   It should work. Now log into the forum.  The feed will begin failing at some point.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Saturday, May 10, 2014 1:17 AM
  • The error is due to the DTD statement in the header of a logged in page.  THis header would not exist on an HTML 5 page.  HTML 5 doe notuse DTD headers.  The logged in page has not been upgraded to HTML 5 when IE 11 is detected.

    I suspect there is a bug in the code that does browser detection . The RSS pages delivered are definitely different when logged in.

    So maybe this really is related to the installed instance of IE. RSSBandit leverages the IE engine. On the working machine I have IE11 (HTML5) installed; on the not-working machine I still have IE9 installed.

    I will upgrade to IE11 tomorrow and see what happens.


    Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCSA, MCITP:EA, MCDBA
    SolarWinds Head Geek
    Microsoft MVP - Software Packaging, Deployment & Servicing (2005-2014)
    My MVP Profile: http://mvp.microsoft.com/en-us/mvp/Lawrence%20R%20Garvin-32101
    http://www.solarwinds.com/gotmicrosoft
    The views expressed on this post are mine and do not necessarily reflect the views of SolarWinds.

    The issue is really about how the forum handles discovering the browser version.  Yes all RSS feeds use the underlying browsers sandbox.  It is browser technology.

    When I am logged in I get the DTD.  When logged out the RSS work fine.  I can set Outlook up as a reader and attch to the feed while logged out. This works for a while but eventually I have to reset it. 

    Someone needs to find out why the DTD is being sent.  I suspect there is one server in the farm that has old code.


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Saturday, May 10, 2014 1:21 AM