It’s just data

Benched, again

Nick Sieger: So if you’re living on the edge using the newly minted ActiveResource fetching XML from remote resources like a champion, you just got benched as soon as you tried to fetch XML that had normalized entities inside.

It continues to surprise me how many of the same people who are attracted to the elegant syntax of the Ruby language exhibit a somewhat cavalier attitude towards producing interoperable markup.

For those who are curious, this bug is REXML ticket #44., and here is the string that the original author of this ticket was trying to insert into his document:

int *intp = &aninteger;

The flip side of this is software that performs extra escaping “just in case”.  Many blogging tools do this.  Try entering the following into the title of a post:

< and & are problem characters

Now preview your feed using IE7 or FF2 or your favorite news reader, like Bloglines or Google Reader.  Even these many years later, the correct way to express that title in RSS 2.0 is still a matter of debate; but if you have an Atom 1.0 feed, each should render this string identically, and if what you see is not what you entered, then your blogging software has a bug in it.