Weird Web Server Issues

March 1st, 2009 by Potato

I have not been thrilled with the consumption of Domain Direct by Hover. I figured that I was handling the hard stuff of having a website with the server, database, stylesheets, content, and that the process of pointing people to that (domain forwarding, nameserver) should just work. For the most part it did under Domain Direct — there were some twists, such as the fact that the IP of my server isn’t truly static, so every now and then I’d have to update all the pointers, and that the one time a year that would happen would invariably be when I was on vacation. Also due to the way the forwarding was made “transparent”, the URL of a specific page wasn’t shown in your address bar, so anyone wanting to put in a permalink to a specific page would have to build it themselves by hovering over the title of a post and adding the /?p=XXX part themselves. This didn’t seem to be a big issue since I seemed to be the only one who referred to anything here.

Anyhow, things worked, even if there were some work-arounds needed, and then Hover came along and broke things. They were lambasted for it, and fixed things, so that now things look to work just as before, except for the favicon.

Oh, and something I just found out about: the RSS feed.

The thing is, I have no idea why the RSS feed isn’t working properly. The real strange thing is that if I try re-subscribing to the feed in the Google Reader, I get some posts, but nothing past mid-January (right when Hover took over). That was weird, since my own RSS subscription is working fine. Now how on earth the feed could deliver some posts, instead of working or not working was beyond me. I could get all the up-to-date posts with the un-forwarded RSS feed (the IP address directly). Finally I tried another reader and there’s nothing — the RSS URL is invalid. It’s not forwarding correctly. Google just has a cache somewhere.

So, that explains my weird web server issues. It gives me one more reason to move to a professional host instead of doing it myself, but unfortunately I don’t have the time to manage a move right now nor the financial inclination to do so.

One way to get the RSS feed is to subscribe to it via the IP address. This is of course not the preferred solution since my IP can change at any time without notice, breaking the feed. You’d then need to come back here to get the new address and re-subscribe. What a pain. The other way is to try to figure out what Hover is doing to break the RSS feed (answer: frames). Since I elected to turn on the frames to hide my IP address (so only appears in the address bar, which looks a little more professional IMHO), I suppose all I can do is elect to turn them off to make the RSS feed work. You may have noticed that I’ve already implemented this (unless I’ve changed my mind since posting).

To subscribe to the RSS feed, simply add
into your feed reader of choice
(Google Reader, Thunderbird, your iGoogle homepage, etc). It should work now — please let me know if it doesn’t! (oh, and for the comments feed)

3 Responses to “Weird Web Server Issues”

  1. Potato Says:

    And speak of the devil… not an hour after putting this up Rogers went down (second time in a week! grrr, and the price increase starts today too) and my IP changed when it came back up. If you’re seeing this then everything has re-forwarded properly; if your feeds stopped updating, try resubscribing!

  2. Michael James Says:

    All of your February posts suddenly appeared in my reader last night, but another problem I noticed before persists. When I click on the headline of a post inside Google Reader, it normally takes me to the blogger’s web site, but that doesn’t work for your feed. I get a 404 Not Found error. In the case of trying to jump to the post I’m commenting on right now, my browser was trying to get to without success. I’m guessing that the extra “/blog” might be the problem, but I’m not sure.

  3. Potato Says:

    Yes, I see where that extra /blog/ is coming in, but I have no idea how to get rid of it without breaking the whole site. Thanks for pointing these issues out Michael… Three and a half years into it and we’re just getting around to beta testing! :)