Because Young Mister Masher started me thinking about the main blog’s RSS feeds…
And also because Young Mister Punctuation added further fuel to my thoughts…
I have been thinking.
Yeah I know.
The main blog generates a direct and an indirect feed.
The direct feed is the generic http://brennigjones.com/blog/?feed=rss2. The indirect feed is a Feedburner product.
What happens with the indirect feed is that Feedburner sucks in the direct feed address (and all traffic on it) and spits it out via an indirect address of http://feeds.feedburner.com/BrennigJones.
I ran the blog’s direct RSS feed through Feed Validator and it passed, but with two minors.
Then I ran the blog’s indirect RSS feed through Feed Validator and it failed.
I scratched my head.
How is it possible that a website feed can generate an acceptable RSS content, but when that feed is parsed through Feedburner it generates a fail?
Anyway, I stopped scratching my head, fired up an FTP session and renamed the plugin folder, then ran the Feed Validator sessions again.
The results for the direct feed came back with a pass and one minor.
The results for the indirect feed came back with a big fat ‘F’ again.
I reconnected the plugins folder and inspected the .php for each one, looking for rogue spaces outside the < and >.
Then I checked theme-functions.php looking for the same thing.
Then I checked theme-functions.php in the child theme I have running.
I switched themes to a native WordPress template and revalidated the RSS through Feed Validator.
The directly generated theme came back with a big green tick and one minor.
I pinged the indirectly generated theme through Feedburner, made myself a mug of hot chocolate and then revalidated the RSS for that one.
This too came back with a big green tick and one minor.
A theme problem, then?
I changed the theme to a low-impact design I used for a year or so, checked the four plugins I use were good to go and revalidated the directly generated feed.
Green. One minor.
I pinged Feedburner and revalidated the indirectly generated feed.
Green. One minor.
(At this point I had a thought: I bet these changes will make Mister Masher’s Yahoo feed reader’s cup overfloweth)
I downloaded the current version of the Mantra theme (the one I use as my default design template), unzipped it, and uploaded it to the server.
Then I switched the theme back to Mantra and ran the feed validations again.
This is pretty conclusive evidence that there’s a .php problem somewhere in the Mantra product.
Although the problem doesn’t stop RSS publication through the direct feed, somehow it becomes a bigger issue when the direct feed is parsed through Feedburner – and stops the indirect feed from working.
So when Young Mister Punctuation said his feeds had not been disrupted during the last server change, this was (probably) because he is subscribed to the directly generated feed. I need to check this.
And when Young Mister Masher declared feed issues, the last time I did a server swap, it was (probably) because he was subscribed to the Feedburner feed. I need to check on this too.
So, to wrap this up for now: I have switched the theme away from Mantra, to the one I validated both feeds successfully against about half an hour ago.
I have switched the four plugins on.
I have just run a final feed revalidation against both feeds and they both passed (with the same minor).
I will start to debug the Mantra theme tomorrow.
Oh, and I’m unconcerned with the minor that shows up.
It’s the same one every time, and it is related to YouTube’s encoding of embedded content.
So a big fat ‘meh’ to that one.
Tomorrow I’ll debug.
Tonight I’ll drink hot chocolate and watch an episode of Outnumbered.