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ASCII code instead of symbols in summaries

Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:23 pm
by prairieprog
Yesterday and today I updated my Professional Edition to the 2.2.1 and now the 2.2.3 beta. Neither seems to convert certain ASCII code for characters and the like in excerpts in the browser window in Awasu itself. [Because the boards apparently automatically convert ASCII code, I use a descriptive phrase in brackets below rather than the code itself]. Thus, what appears in the excerpt in the browser pane is:

to those like me who grew up in the 60[ASCII code for apostrophe]s/70[ASCII code for apostrophe]s/80[ASCII code for apostrophe]s.

rather than

to those like me who grew up in the 60's/70's/80's.

that actually appears if I launch the browser in Awasu to go to the site itself. I did not encounter this in 2.0. I presume this is easily corrected but am not sure how to fix it.

Re: ASCII code instead of symbols in summaries

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:56 am
by support
prairieprog wrote:Neither seems to convert certain ASCII code for characters and the like in excerpts in the browser window in Awasu itself.

This is most likely a problem in the feed itself. Can you post the URL of the feed and I'll take a look at it. It would be a good idea to run it through the Feed Validator as well.

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 3:38 pm
by prairieprog

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:26 pm
by support
prairieprog wrote:It happens in more than one feed, including Awasu's own blog today, and on a variety of platforms and feed types.

They're all OK for me :-)

We've received the odd report of weird things like this happening by people who are running certain types of software on their computer, in particular, things like popup-blockers or ad-strippers. These programs run in the background on your PC watching for anyone trying to download stuff from the net. They intercept these requests, strip out any ads or popups and then pass on what's left to whoever originally asked for it. However, they're often written with normal web pages in mind, not feed XML, and the latter is far less forgiving of any errors these programs might introduce into the feed XML than a browser is of errors in an HTML page.

If you're not running anything like this, here are a couple of things to try:

(*) Upgrade to 2.2.5 (this is the latest beta). 2.3 is coming out soon and you're going to have to upgrade anyway so might as well do it now :-)


(*) Take one of the feeds (preferably Awasu's if it's still happening) and manually update it. Open the channel's Properties dialog, go to the Details tab and SHIFT-click on the Show feed button. A window should open (probably in Notepad) that contains a pile of what looks like junk (it's the actual feed XML last received by Awasu for that channel). Save it somewhere.

(*) Open the channel in Awasu, right-click somewhere in the browser window and choose View source. Another window will open up. Save this file somewhere as well.

(*) Email me the two files.

Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:00 pm
by prairieprog
I am e-mailing the files.

AFAIK, I don't have any such programs running (except to the extent IE7 is the default browser for Awasu and it has the built in pop-up blocker. What is odd, though, is that the problem does not appear in other channels, which I would presume it would if a pop-up blocker or ad stripper were running in the background.

I will be upgrading to 2.2.5 shortly. I have been doing the upgrades one day at a time just in case I come across problems (such as this) with any particular upgrade.

Posted: Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:47 am
by support
prairieprog wrote:I am e-mailing the files.

Thanks for those.

This is a cute problem :roll: If you're not technical, you can just scroll down to the end of this post where I say I'm not sure what to do :wink:

A lot of the feeds you posted are coming from WordPress blogs which appears to have a bug in that it is using <tt>&amp;#8217;</tt> to represent a quote, even though it is wrapping the item descriptions in CDATA markers. The other non-WordPress feeds are making the same (or a similar) misteak.

I won't go into the gory details but Awasu is smart enough to know whether an item description is plain text or a piece of HTML and encodes it accordingly when generating the channel's HTML page.

You're seeing this problem because you've got those channels to show excerpts. If they were showing full content, Awasu just dumps the items into the HTML page and when the browser sees the <tt>&amp;#8217;</tt>, it converts it to a quote. But when excerpting, Awasu <u>converts the item description to plain-text</u> before truncating it. Then, when it comes to inserting it into the channel's HTML page, Awasu sees there's an ampersand in there, knows that the browser is going to try to interpret it as an SGML entity, and so encodes it so that it won't.

This has only started happening recently because all this sophisticated plain text vs. HTML handling of content was introduced in 2.2.1

So, ultimately the problem is being caused by invalid feeds and you're seeing it because you've got the feeds configured to show excerpts. This is something I'd like to get Awasu to automatically detect and rectify but it's a little tricky. I'll have a ponder over it.

In the short-term, you can either show full content or there is a debug switch you can turn on that hacks the feed parsing process but it might cause problems in the future so I'll see if I can't work around the problem first.

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2007 3:40 am
by support
support wrote:there is a debug switch you can turn on that hacks the feed parsing process

For each channel that is having the problem, you need to do this:

(*) Make sure Awasu is not running.

(*) Open the channel's <tt>.CHANNEL</tt> file in Notepad. You will find these in your user's Channels sub-directory e.g. <tt>C:\Program Files\Awasu\Users\YOUR-NAME\Channels\</tt>

(*) Find the line that says <tt>[Settings]</tt> and after it, add this line:

Code: Select all


This tells Awasu to do an additional round of SGML entity decoding i.e. it does it twice to overcome the problem of the publisher encoding them twice.

If you have a lot of channels and don't want to do each one manually, you can use the <tt>ChannelMaintenance.exe</tt> tool (in the Awasu installation directory). Because this is a non-standard setting, you will have to add it to the <tt>ChannelMaintenance.ini</tt> file yourself for it to show up in the UI but it's pretty straight-forward. Post here if you need help.