It’s just data

Bloglines Breakages

Bloglines: Psssssst. Hit m. You’ll thank me later

Not exactly.  I used to have a bookmarkNote: do not click on that link if you are an active Bloglines user unless you want all your unread items marked as read — and for the last week or so, the accelerator keys stopped working for me.  Now I understand why.

Instead of breaking things that used to work, I’d really appreciate if Bloglines could handle basic things like whitespace, links, relative URIs, and plain text.  Oh, and fix a few security holes.  And be a bit more responsive.

Otherwise, I’ll continue to wave my arms and gesticulate wildly.  Expect more stunts.


I definitely agree with you regarding everything you wrote about Bloglines, but was it really necessary to include a link in your post that marked all of my feeds as read without any warnings? And while Bloglines should have given me a warning, you still hold some responsibility because you knew what would happen.

Posted by Sam Greenfield at

Like many others, I thought Bloglines was the best feed reader available when it came out.  I used it for about 2 years.  But then it got sold to Ask, and I haven’t been back.  It seems as if it’s almost totally unmaintained.  I’m sure that’s not the case, but the founders gave almost personal service when I reported problems before.  Now, problems remain perpetually unfixed.  It’s sad to see what was such a great service being so neglected.

Posted by Scott Johnson at

Sam - for a few minutes, I couldn’t figure out what you were talking about.  None of the demonstrations of the security issues were designed to have that effect.

Then it dawned on me - you must be referring to my bookmark.  While I had complained about that over two years ago, I had forgotten about that side effect.

I’ve added a note.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Is there a consensus on a replacement for Bloglines as an online feed reader?

Posted by Wade at

From your old Bloglines post: “HTTP GETs are not idempotent”

You don’t mean that. Idempotence means doing something twice (or more) will have the same effect as doing it once, so I think Bloglines is idempotent already. GETs are also meant to have the property that doing them once does nothing in the first place. Your complaint is actually that GETs are not “safe” (in HTTP spec language).

(Yes, I’m being an asshat)

Posted by Graham Parks at

Yes, I’m being an asshat

<grin>

What Bloglines is doing is certainly not safe.  I’d also argue that it is not idempotent either, given that entries may have come in during the interim.  But I will grant you that this argument is weak, as it could also be applied to DELETE, which is to be treated as being idempotent.

In any case, in the 2+ years since I wrote that, I have certainly learned a lot.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Get vai post?

Nimimerkki VV kysyi, mitä tarkoitin seuraavilla 101-listani kohdilla: hakulomakkeet käyttävät getiä, eivät postia ja getiä käytetään vain, kun pyyntö ei muuta tilaa. Lomakkeen lähetystapa voidaan HTML:ssä valita form-elementin method-attribuutin...

Excerpt from Satunnainen Björklund at

Sam, thanks for the change. :-)

I actually sent a note to Bloglines a week or so ago regarding how they display your feed. Basically, newlines in feeds are not treated as whitespace by Bloglines, so your posts look something like:

[...]I used to have abookmark—Note: donotclick on that link[...]

I received a generesponse.

Posted by Sam Greenfield at

newlines in feeds are not treated as whitespace by Bloglines

Reverse engineering what Bloglines is doing, here’s what I think is going on, for content type="xhtml":

The bad parts of this are the stripping of whitespace and the treating of the character portions of the content as if they were HTML.  If they were escaped prior to being treated as HTML, this would not be an issue.

With the current implementation talking ABOUT markup is somewhat... dangerous.  As an example, take a look at how this comment gets mangled.

I received a generesponse.

Until today, that’s all I am aware of anybody having received from Bloglines in recent times.  Today I got emails from three separate individuals on the Bloglines team.  That being said, the emails did not make me feel better.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

The bad parts of this are the stripping of whitespace and the treating of the character portions of the content as if they were HTML.

This is the part of the process when morons are supposed to go read the spec.  (I’ve read it.  As specs go, it’s pretty good.)  And maybe skim a few test cases and some conformance tests.

Truth be told, though, I’m glad they tackling the security issues first.  I mean, I wish they’d been paying more attention all along, but given that they’re playing catchup, I’m glad they’re tackling security issues first.

On a related note, I wonder what effect [img src="http://www.bloglines.com/myblogs_display?all=1"] has?  Probably the same effect as clicking it, right?  Only no notification.  Later, you realize you’re missing news and don’t know why.  Now I wonder about putting that [img] in a syndicated feed...

Posted by Mark at

I’m glad they’re tackling security issues first.

My issue wasn’t that they were prioritizing security issues first.  That I can agree with.  What bothers me is that they are prioritizing fixing the access keys issue on a page that they don’t advertise over fixing the other issues listed above.  Issues that have been reported by many people, and over an extended period of time.

I wonder what effect [img src="http://www.bloglines.com/myblogs_display?all=1"] has?

Thank you for the use of square brackets instead of angle brackets as this is exactly why these other issues are so troublesome to me.  Had you used angle brackets, they would have been properly escaped and would have displayed correctly on my page.  It would have been carefully and unambiguously encoded in my feed.  Only to be mangled by Bloglines to have EXACTLY the effect you fear.

People can’t even TALK about markup without putting Bloglines users at risk.

And this is not unique to Atom.  Post this text at the beginning of ANY message to ANY Yahoo! Group.  All subscribers to the RSS 2.0 feeds that Yahoo! produces for that group will be affected.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Bloglines Still Not Repsonsive

...and other feed readers still don’t get the basic features right. What’s a heavy reader of feeds to do? This promise regarding Atom 1.0 support has gone totally unhonored. I can think of no meaning of “as soon as possible” that means...

Excerpt from Stephen's Statements at

Couac

Bloglines a encore fait face à des soucis ces derniers jours. A côté de ça, ils travailleraient sur de nouvelles fonctionnalités... Pour l’occasion, Sam Ruby y va de sa petite volée de bois vert, pointant certains problèmes toujours en attente de...

Excerpt from just call me pep at

Couac

Bloglines a encore fait face à des soucis ces derniers jours. A côté de ça, ils travailleraient sur de nouvelles fonctionnalités... Pour l’occasion, Sam Ruby y va de sa petite volée de bois vert, pointant certains problèmes toujours en attente de...

Excerpt from just call me pep at

Nav Keys

Inspired by Bloglines (*), which apparently in turn was based on work by Matt Kruise, I’ve added navigational key support to Planet Intertwingly and to the index and comments pages on my weblog. Press ‘j’ to go to the next entry, or ... [more]

Trackback from Sam Ruby

at

“Today I got emails from three separate individuals on the Bloglines team.  That being said, the emails did not make me feel better.”

I’ve tried communicating with bloglines support before. They did not make me feel better either.

I got the impression that some of their support people had no real technical understanding of feeds or syndication.

Posted by Darryl at

Is there a consensus on a replacement for Bloglines as an online feed reader?

I’m not sure whether there will ever be a true consensus now that there are so many players in this space, but I use Google Reader these days and absolutely love it.  Sure, it’s beta and has some occasional glitches, but it suits my needs just fine.

Posted by Scott Johnson at

Bloglines Still Not Responsive

...and other feed readers still don’t get the basic features right. What’s a heavy reader of feeds to do? This promise regarding Atom 1.0 support has gone totally unhonored. I can think of no meaning of “as soon as possible” that means...

Excerpt from Stephen's Statements at

Kicked To The Curb

I’d been using Bloglines for my online feed reading for quite a while. I have Macs at home (so I had bought NetNewsWire), but a Linux system at work, and there was no cross-platform feed reader that really suited me. So I went web-based, and at the...

Excerpt from The Luney Bin: H. Wade Minter at

Bloglines doesn't handle inter-element white space properly

If you’re reading my blog via Bloglines , you may have noticed that some of my posts look terrible, especially when they contain code snippets. I am sorry for that, but it’s not my fault. Bloglines doesn’t handle white space...

Excerpt from Tom Moertel's Weblog at

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