Feedburner Experiment: 1st Report

Well, I can see two minor and one major issues already:

Minor Issues

  1. my feed updates right away; feedburner introduces a lag of unknown size
  2. my feed includes the graphics (e.g. the mars item); feedburner, no doubt for bandwidth reasons, doesn't. But it doesn't tell you it's not there either…

Not-so-minor Issue

  1. My feed was 100% of the post; feedburner truncates.

Maybe this won't be a very long experiment.

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3 Responses to Feedburner Experiment: 1st Report

  1. Eric says:

    Hey, thanks a lot for giving this a try. I’m one of those FeedBurner guys, so any feedback you can give us after your experiment would really help us out.

    I just wanted to try to address your points and maybe get a little more information about the issues you’ve been having. Your first point, that there’s a lag, is certainly true. Right now, we cache the content of your feed for 30 minutes before we’ll hit your site to refresh. This is pretty much hard-coded in there right now, but we’ll soon make that publisher-configurable, as well as respect any ttl or syndication hints that you might have in the feed. We’ll also support the XML-RPC ping interface so you can ping FeedBurner to refresh the content right from Movable Type.

    As to the other points, could you elaborate? I’m looking your “burned” feed in FeedDemon right now and it looks great. Are you maybe talking about what it looks like when you click on the feed in a browser, with the “Browser-Friendly” service? Any hints you can give us as to where you’re seeing this truncating behavior would really be helpful to us. Please feel free to email me directly if you’d like to take this off-line.

    Thanks again for giving it a shot, and I hope you find the services useful!

  2. Michael says:

    I see the truncation at http://feeds.feedburner.com/discourse — isn’t that the text of the feed itself? I also don’t see the picture there.

    But I’m starting to think the actual feed must be different…since when I go back and look at the whole feed in my newsreader it seems whole…although that’s mostly before I started the redirection (only short and non-graphic stuff since then), so I’m not sure what that means.

  3. Eric says:

    Alright, let’s see if we can figure out what’s going on here. I’m taking a look at the original source feed and the “burned” version of the feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/discourse in a feed reader and it looks the same to me … the mars image shows up and all of the text appears identical.

    Now, if I look at that feed in a browser by just clicking on it, I see the “browser-friendly” view, which applies a stylesheet to your feed so it looks half-way decent (instead of a bunch of raw XML), and that indeed doesn’t show the image. That’s a current limitation of how CSS works, but if you “View Source”, you can see that all of the text is there, so it’ll show up just fine in an rss reader.

    One other thing I took a look at was the difference between your RSS 1.0 feed and your RSS 2.0 feed and it appears the the Movable Type template that you’re using to generate the RSS 2.0 feed is stripping out all if the HTML, including your Mars image. I’ve had that happen to me if I use <$MTEntryExcerpt encode_xml=”1″$> instead of <$MTEntryBody encode_xml=”1″$> for the description element.

    Sorry, now I’m rambling … I just wanted to see if any of that helps and let you know that if you’re seeing any truncation or image stipping, it’s certainly not intentional! Please let us know how things work out.

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