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RSS add-on updated — now W3C-validating & tending to be bugs-free from specific chars

Author Paul
Lead Developer 
#1 | Posted: 24 Nov 2021 20:42 
A few of our customers recently reported they were experiencing problems with RSS feeds, which take me to more deeper studying of this add-on. Actually from the very beginning, it was superficially investigated and developed.

The first thing I've studied, is that an RSS feed doesn't establish a friendship with specific HTML entities; only some of them like are allowed, like the numeric entities and a few exceptions which are:


In the most recent miniBB version 3.5 there was an introduction of a few experimental punctuation improvements; for example the short dash surrounded by two spaces would automatically become a long dash (replaced to & mdash; by default) — if such an entity would be met in the RSS code, an RSS feed would become thoroughly not valid.

It's quite possible that in the future there will be new introductions to the auto-punctuation in messaging, so trying to avoid any possible bugs like this, I've introduced the code avoiding it — there is a new function called 'sanitizeRssTxt' in rss.php.

I've also tried to make it compatible with W3C RSS Validator. For this, the content of <lastBuildDate> was updated to a proper format (as well as the value of «Last-Modified» header); I've also added the <guid> tags leading to direct forum entries (messages) via the 'msg.php' script.

I've actually didn't find a lot of documentation regarding the <guid> contents. A few feeds I've studied make them similar to <link>, at the time appears they are something different and not permanent. If they should look differently, report in this thread.
Now for me it seems the miniBB news RSS feed validates properly; using this tool you could also check your forums RSS to make sure it doesn't contain errors. If it does — make a screenshot and report below.

As for the message text limitations (when they are set up) — they were improved, too. The script will try to split the content of <description> tag by words at first, and then will gradually analyze it word-by-word and cut off when the length reaches the limit defined in `$maxTxtLength`. This should provide more appealing to the description tags, long messages should cut off on a sensful word, not a random char.

Finally, the old code containing a `$premodDir` option (for the older Pre-moderation code) is now completely removed.

To sum up all the above, the updated RSS add-on is about this:

— comes in UTF-8 mode by default (and attempted to replace all specific entities to UTF-8 chars);

— compatible only with the recent Premoderation add-on versions (2.x);

— produces valid RSS in W3C RSS Validator;

— compatible with miniBB 3.5 and greater — but if you have some earlier release, you could install msg.php from the recent package and avoid using the older Premoderation add-on v1, that's all about the version limit.

Upgrading guide: besides of overwriting rss.php with the newest version from the free package, also take a look at the contents of rss_options.php$contentFeed. Follow the fresh architecture from there and update it in your options; the atom:link is about self-referencing to the initial RSS script.

Watch your own RSS feed and report here if you find new bugs.

Author Steve Shaw
#2 | Posted: 30 Nov 2021 12:20 
Working so far...


Author danielak
#3 | Posted: 23 Dec 2021 14:04 
Ok. Good advice. It seems to be really working so far.

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 RSS add-on updated — now W3C-validating & tending to be bugs-free from specific chars
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