When I tried to subscribe to my own RSS, actually Atom, feed I realised it was broken.

I have no idea why, and I’m about to live blog my way through fixing it.

I just googled “RSS validator” and the first result is one of those old W3 validator websites that give you a nice badge to add to your page if it passes the validation.

So I’m going to head over to http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cgi and see what it tells me…

RSS Validator Warning Screenshot

What?! If my feed is valid why can’t I see my new posts using Newsify?

Looking better at the report I see that there is actually some yellow there…

Self reference doesn’t match document location

Reading the help for this warning I see that when rel=self than the href attribut is expected to contain a resource equivalent to the containing element.

Looking better at the highlighted line I notice that the URL there is incorrect.

<atom:link href="http://mokagio.github.com/tech-journal/tech-journal/feed.xml" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/>

should actually be

<atom:link href="http://mokagio.github.com/tech-journal/feed.xml" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/>

And I have a confirmation of that by comparing my feed with NSHipster’s one.

How did this happen?

So, this tech-journal of mine runs on Jekyll. The feed.xml template uses this line to generate the Atom link:

<atom:link href="/tech-journal/feed.xml" rel="self" type="application/rss+xml"/>

In my _config.yml I have:

baseurl: "/tech-journal"
url: "http://mokagio.github.com/tech-journal"

Why did I do this? No idea… but it’s an easy fix:

baseurl: "/tech-journal"
url: "http://mokagio.github.com"

I just pushed to GitHub, and verified that I can now fetch my articles with the RSS reader app. Mission accomplished.

The validation still gives the location warning

For the sake of curiosity I just run the validation again and the warning is still there. What the heck?!

But there’s actually an answer for this:

curl http://mokagio.github.com/tech-journal/feed.xml

<head><title>301 Moved Permanently</title></head>
<body bgcolor="white">
<center><h1>301 Moved Permanently</h1></center>

There you go, there must be some GitHub Pages redirection involved that confuses the validator.

Food for thought

This live blogging experiment hasn’t gone really well, and I’m kinda bored now, so this posts closing section is just gonna be those questions that I don’t feel like investigating at the moment

  • What’s the difference between RSS and Atom?
  • Is the redirection actually the reason for the validation warning?
  • Why did it set url and baseUrl in such a silly way?