SharpReader 0.9.7.0 is now available at sharpreader.net.
Changes since the last version are:
The Microsoft RSS Blog just announced that Vista will only accept RSS feeds that are well-formed XML.
I agree with Nick, who commented "This is the right thing to do, and I'm glad you're doing it - thanks". I'd like to add some emphasis to that statement though: "This is the right thing to do, and I'm glad you're doing it - thanks".
See, neither Nick's aggregator nor mine requires well-formed XML. This is because there are a lot of non-well-formed feeds out there, and the typical aggregator user doesn't care about XML specs, they just want to see the feed content. And if you're requiring well-formed XML, something as small as a single "&" in a single post will invalidate the entire feed, for as long as that post remains in the feed (which can be weeks depending on the update frequency of the feed).
Microsoft being more strict than us has the following positive results though:
My hosting company ran into some issues this weekend that, besides causing a two day outage for both my blog and for sharpreader.net, also potentially caused some email to get lost. If you sent me anything on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you may need to resend it - I'm not sure how much is lost for good and how much will be redelivered later :-(
Also, if anyone has any positive experiences with hosting a 50+ Gb/month site at a reasonable price (I currently only pay $17/month), please let me know. This wasn't the first outage I've had, nor do I expect it to be the last. Maybe it's time to move on.
update: looks like my hosting company still has some issues to be worked out; I can't send any emails through outlook for getting some weird "503 valid RCPT command must precede DATA" error (though sending through the web-based interface seems to work fine), and for some reason my movable type install is not showing any of your comments. Comments have not been lost though, as I can see them through the MT admin interface, and am also getting the email notifications (i'm actually getting those twice now... weird) - I just need to figure out why it's not rebuilding the pages correctly...
update 2: email issue has been fixed - for some reason I had to use some outlook setting that wasn't needed before their servers crashed... now all I need is to figure out what's going on with MT...
update 3: turned out that all comments were in a pending status and needed to be manually approved (the email notifications conveniently failed to mention this though). My MT-Blacklist was setup to only force moderation on old posts, but since the crash-recovery it now seems to force it on new ones as well. Oh well - I'm long overdue for an upgrade to MT 3.2 + SpamLookup anyway; guess it's time to stop procrastinating (but not tonight).
SharpReader 0.9.6.0 is now available at sharpreader.net.
Changes since the last version are:
Over a month after I first noticed large amounts of downloads of SharpReader0940, the requests are still pouring in. Since the file in question has long been removed, it does not create any major bandwidth issues anymore, but I'm still getting tired of all the entries in my error- and access-log.
I therefore decided to go through my access-log once more in order to block the IP-addresses of the worst offenders. In doing so, I noticed a few interesting things:
Since all these requests still have a firefox/mozilla UserAgent, I'm thinking it's probably some kind of firefox plugin that's misbehaving; maybe a built-in test-case that due to some bug ends up downloading this file or something.
Anyway, I've included the now-blocked IPs below. If you find you can no longer access sharpreader.net, you may want to check if you're coming from one of them. Also, if anyone from IBM reads this that may be able to shed some light on the traffic coming from their system (Sam? Mark? you there?;-), I'd appreciate the info.
My sharpreader.net domain ran out of bandwidth earlier today. Checking the access log showed that this was due to a huge amount of downloads of SharpReader 0.9.4.0 - a version that's not even actively linked to from sharpreader.net.
All of these downloads have http://news.bbc.co.uk/rss/newsonline_world_edition/front_page/rss091.xml as the referrer, and all (except for a single MSIE request) have some version of Mozilla/5.0 (firefox/gecko) as the useragent. The BBC RSS feed does not contain any links to sharpreader0940.zip either.
I have no clue as to what is causing this. There are over 1000 unique IP's; some of which only request the file once, others multiple times in either random or fixed intervals (oftentimes as close as 2 minutes apart).
If anyone reading this has any idea on what may be going on here, please leave a comment below - thanks.
I just realized that I've accidentally let my sharpreader.net domain expire - oops!
I'm trying to get this resolved ASAP and get the site back up.
UPDATE: though my ISP/Registrar never actually responded to my support request, someone obviously did read it as the site is back up again. Would've been nice if they'd sent me a reminder email before this happened though...