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Delayed start and new RSS feed size restriction

Friday, September 08, 2006

All: 2nd day in a row - sorry about this. What's happening is that as we grow we encounter more and more and more source feeds. Every now and again one throws us for a loop. Yesterday and today several new feeds have given us trouble. One is dynamically generated but the script generating it was broken, causing the server we were polling to effectively go into an infinite loop, sending us an infinitely large feed. It's a similar problem today with other sites. Unfortunately, they don't make servers with infinite amounts of memory, which caused the glitch and the delays.

So, as of now an important policy change has been made on our servers to permanently deal with us. We will only read the first 512kb of any feed from now on. Any feed that size is basically broken as far as I'm concerned, but since there are "broken" feeds out there we're making this change immediately to enable us to serve everyone as best we can.

Anyway, the fix is in, today's poll is practically complete, and the mails will be flying out any minute now. Promise :-)

Update

The mailings did indeed go out; later on we found an issue with certain older feed formats that prevented entries from going out anyway - now fixed. We have also implemented a number of minor changes to better support the current Blogger beta. If you're using FeedBlitz with Blogger beta you should get much more consistent performance from now on.

   

4 Comments:

Blogger Clyde said...

I'll take your word on this one but I am curious, what does 512kb translate into for those of us without a clue?

Say, if you have a feedburner feed with a sentence or two excerpt per item, how many items might that be, roughly?

Or any similar comparison would help.

Sounds like a smart workaround for the problems you describe.

Clyde Smith
http://www.prohiphop.com

2:25 PM, September 08, 2006  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

hi Clyde:

Half a megabyte is a LOT - for most people it will be hundreds or thousands of entries, and blogging platforms typically keep feeds fresh, automatically removing old items according to your settings. Like I said, probably only "broken" feeds will be like this. But even for these, since we take the top 512k, assuming your feed is sorted in reverse chronoolgical order (almost all are) we'll still get to your most current data and the updates will still be ok.

5:44 PM, September 08, 2006  
Blogger 'Thought & Humor' said...

I really like what you do but the latest two
mailings from you have left out the pictures
on my blog. Will they return in the future in
my blog updates???

10:50 AM, September 23, 2006  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Pictures are lost if you truncate the feed at the source (e.g. blogger or FeedBurner) or in FeedBlitz. Blogger has a defect where sometiems the blogger RSS will flip into truncated mode all by itself, even though your settings still say full feed. If this is your issue, change the feed setting to short, republish the index, set it back to full and republish again. That will fix it. I really hope they fix this in their new version!

If this doesn't apply to you please check the knowledge base or contact support (which is the place everyone should go for technical questions).

1:43 PM, September 23, 2006  

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