Friday, July 28, 2006

Fixing RSS feed issues.

I use RSSBandit as my feed reader, and it is awesome. I noticed, however, that it was having issues with the forum feeds from ASP.Net. A typical feed from there looks like this (not sure what that Mode=0 does... anyone care to document that). This works fine the first time I hit the page, but subsequent to that CommunityServer (which is what runs on) will always return a 304 Not Modified HTTP status code. This is clearly a lie when the forum has new messages. For a while, I would just tweek the feed url changing the Mode parameter to 1 (no idea what this does), do a refresh, and then change it back. This would cause a URL mismatch, so we would get the feed from the server anew.

This got a little old after a while, so I fired up Fiddler and verified what I needed to tweek to insure the fetch succeeds. If I zap the If-Modified-Since and If-None-Match header elements from the request headers, then I'll always get back the feed. This is somewhat bad manners, of course, but until the folks at Telligent fix the problem in CommunityServer and the folks at Microsoft update the software at, I'll just have to keep poking them.

The code for Fiddler's script looks like this:

// up in the top of the class Handlers
public static RulesOption("Fix &RSS")
var m_RSSForum: boolean = true;
// in OnBeforeRequest
if (m_RSSForum
    && oSession.url.toLowerCase().indexOf("/rss.aspx")>-1)

Now that I run Fiddler all the time, this just works (which I do to strip ads from everything I surf). I hope this helps you.

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