Neal Sheeran

Rants, Raves, and Geekery

Tinkering Under the Hood


My Elsewhere sideblog is currently broken. I fixed an error with the RSS feed, but still have to clean the rest of the mess up. I’ll get to it tomorrow. Must sleep.

Update: Should be fixed now. While poking around, I noticed that the RSS feed for my sideblog wasn’t behaving correctly. When using a feedreader, clicking on the title of the post led to a permalink for that post on this site versus the external link that was the subject of the entry. I hadn’t even modified that template from its Movable Type default because I don’t use it.

A quick Google search got me this post, but I couldn’t get it to work. I dug a bit deeper and it seems that the way I was creating the posts was the culprit. The Title field contained an a href that linked to the external site and displayed my title. The snippet of snarky commentary was contained in the Entry Body field. Although this seemed logical, I think the feedreaders (NetNewsWire, Google Reader, Bloglines) choked on the title (or more specifically, the field) containing an a href.

I changed my input format to putting the plain-text entry title in the Title field, the desired URL in the Entry Body Field, and the commentary in the Entry Extended Field. I then changed the appropriate tags in the RSS template to match. The Movable Type quick post bookmarklet doesn’t conform to this, but fortunately the MarsEdit one can be customized. Mine automatically puts the URL in the Entry Body field, I then fill in the Title and Extended Entry.

Here are the applicable tags from the RSS 2.0 template file:

<title><$MTEntryTitle remove_html="1"$></title>
<description><$MTEntryMore encode_xml="1"$></description>
<link><$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$></link>
<guid><$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$></guid>

And here is the template code for displaying the Sideblog on the site, based on the new setup:

<dl class="sideblog">
<MTEntries lastn="15">
<dt><a href="<$MTEntryBody$>"><$MTEntryTitle></a></dt>

Yes, I had to go back and change all my previous Elsewhere entries to match this, but that took less time than figuring out the solution to the problem. A situation that was helped by being lazy the past year and not posting much. I’m sure there was a better/easier way to fix this, but once I got it to work, I quit looking.