Monday, November 03, 2003

RSS = NQSSS, Part 5 

(Really Simple Syndication = Not Quite So Simple Syndication)

Another RSS Aha Moment: Using Escape Characters

While scouring the Net for more info on RSS I came upon an informative article by Stephen Downes titled "How to Create an RSS Feed With Notepad, a Web Server, and a Beer." In addition to enjoying Stephen's kindred wit (seemy Chicken Soup blog where I suggest a highball), I finally found the missing ingredient for polishing up my RSS feed.

Here is a pertinant excerpt from Stephen's article:

Even though my RSS file was validating fine, it wasn't until I started looking at the feed through a news aggregator (in this case I used Bloglines.com) that I even noticed that all of my apostrophes were coming out as weird characters. The validator belched on the ampersands, but didn't let out a wimper about the apostrophes.

There are more Escape Characters used in HTML than Stephen's article covers, but the characters he discusses are certainly the most prevelant. For a list of other escape characters, see the Breaking Par Web page on the topic.

Now I am a regular "escape" artist.

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