Got a couple of good comments on my last post about NewsGator Syncing that I thought were worth following up on. Firstly, Greg Reinacker points to the article I had in mind about how NewsGator polls the feeds, and Andy pointed me to this forum posting about it which shows how to see why feeds aren’t updating.
When I go and look at my feeds I find a whole bunch reported as having errors from the source of the feed – obviously why they’re not updating. There’s just one problem, even Andy’s comments are marked as broken:
Comments for Andy's blog All Error from the source of the feed 6/22/2008 12:37
So Andy, when did you break your comments feed, how do you plan to fix it given that it’s hosted by WordPress.com and what do you think the chances are that it was a temporary error that’s now caused NewsGator to barf and stop pulling down your comment feed?
It gets worse:
Google Blog Search: EditLive All Authentication failed 5/16/2008 1:17:27 AM
So did Google screw up or did NewsGator? I think you can toss a coin on that one. After going through and pinging all my feeds there’s suddenly 41 new items from those dead feeds dating as far back as February that NewsGator was hiding from me.
I think Greg’s posted summed up the problem with the current approach nicely:
Something I’ve been thinking about is some kind of status page or something where someone can type in the name of a feed, and we’ll display status for that feed (including why it’s in the penalty box if it is)…we’ve resisted doing this because it’s just one of those things our users shouldn’t have to worry about.
User’s shouldn’t have to worry about this! NewsGator needs to do a much better job at pulling feeds back out of the penalty box or better yet, get rid of the penalty box altogether. There are just way too many feeds out there that are broken in some way and way too many ways that a site might time out because of connection problems between NewsGator and them or a maintenance window or whatever. I just want to read the news when it comes through and I want NewsGator to stop getting in the way and make that happen.
PS: Apologies for the number of comments that have been incorrectly marked as spam, the anti-spam system isn’t working out too well and the feed that notifies me of marginal comments to review was being eaten by NewsGator (they had some down time a while back so it obviously got permanently moved to the penalty box).