This one has bugged me for six months, but tonight I finally solved it.
On this Blog, there are two RSS feeds. One for the Blog Entries I make, and one for all the comments. But the RSS feed for the comments never seemed to show the comments after they were made. They seemed to appear sometime later.
It was strange because it appeared the feed was correct, and validated okay. It seemed to be okay in many feedreaders. But in the feedreader included with Internet Explorer, it had this problem. I couldn’t tell if it was a feed problem, an IE problem, or a WordPress problem.
This wasn’t a critical problem for my Behold blog, but it was a bad one for the GenSoftReviews site, since that site’s RSS feed is made up of the reviews, and those are the WordPress comments. Many reviews would be added, but they wouldn’t appear in my IE feedreader.
But a few days ago, I found that the comments feed got updated, not when a new comment was added, but when a new Blog entry (or in the case of GenSoftReviews, a new program listing) got added. That got me scratching my head and led me up a few wrong alleys.
I finally traced this to a problem in WordPress that was apparently fixed over 2 years ago and another ticket that led me to it. The problem then was a stale “Last-Modified:” header in the HTTP response to the link to the comments feed.
Then when I discovered that this problem was still alive by a recent post on the WordPress Support Forum titled: New RSS entries/comments not working, then these materials all helped me to debug a solution. Pleased to find it, I posted my solution back to the Forum, with the hope that it might help others - so they won’t bog themselves down for hours like I did.
That was an elusive bug. But now my workflow will be very much helped, since I’ll no longer have to go back to my Behold Blog and to GenSoftReviews just to check for new comments or reviews. I’ll now be getting them reliably with the rest of the RSS feeds I subscribe to.
RSS is great. It lets you follow the blogs and forums that you’re interested in, and you are in control of when you want to do that. Now my own sites are back under control again. Yay!