What can you do when you’re presented with the error that the feed is invalid? Usually this is an error on the site that has the feed. We at Feeder try to stay as compatible as possible with all feeds we come across, but some have such bad inconsistencies that it’s impossible to interpret the results.
What does invalid mean?
RSS and Atom are two different open standards for defining what a feed should look like. A feed is a file that a server lets anyone download, and just like regular text it expects a certain grammar. Feeder’s servers download and read these files for you, extracting the posts that it specifies and pushes them with lightning speed to your reader.
What usually happens is that the programmer did not account for all edge cases that might happen in the real world. An example would be adding a period (“.”) in the middle of the sentence. It could render a completely different sentence! Misspelling words can also have dire consequences.
What can I as a user do?
At Feeder we would like to account for all edge cases in the world, but that’s simply not possible. Therefor, the only way is to let the owner of the site know that their feed is invalid.
We have written a guide “Validate my RSS file” describing common errors and fixes. We recommend you to visit the site in question, find a “Contact us” link, or perhaps a Twitter or Facebook page, and post the guide to inform them that it’s broken. Also don’t forget to pass on the feed link in question.