I said I almost had an RSS feed figured out, now I think I can say for sure I’ve got one. I was missing a really basic, fundamental concept: it’s a separate file. A separate XML file with very strict tagging rules that needs to validate and includes RSS code that also leaves no room for error. Actually I’m making that harder than it sounds. Once you grasp the concept, there are a lot of examples on the internet of exactly what your file needs to look like in order to meet those requirements. I was struggling the most with why pictures wouldn’t show up, I was assuming that such a simple layout would just display them normally. It seems there is a very restrictive size limit on pictures, no more than 140px width will show up. So I dug around and found some code that would display a thumbnail and I link that to the full size strip. Like I said, if you can do it, someone out there has and is ready to show you how. Just look at the source code of my XML file to see how mine was put together. I was also confused about how RSS gets updated. I know it’s possible to have it generate the XML file automatically, but you don’t have to. Like any other page on your website, you can just, well, update it and upload it. The next step is to submit the feed to a few directories, then figure out how I can keep up with the number of subscibers.
It’s been awhile since I brought it up, but one of our most loyal readers has been helping me out with this RSS problem. Tudza, the only name I know him as, has a website of his own. It seems he plays the didjeridoo. I also think he’s one of two people who has sent me a picture of himself in a fez, but I may not be right about that. He took some of his free time up sending me some examples of how RSS works, and I am grateful for the help. I don’t think I’m too far away from having it straight this time.
It was sunny yesterday afternoon, so we leashed up the dog and walked over to the park. Scott had bought an extra long yard leash so we tied the dog up to a tree and tossed a frisbee around. Moose got underfoot and ate grass. Then we walked down the street to Arby’s and I sat outside while Scott ordered. I got my usual Martha’s Vineyard Salad, which although good in every other way had disappointing iceberg lettuce (unlike the picture). I love those things but as an aside, I think they’re supposed to be using greener lettuce than that but rarely do. I watched the cars go by and realized I’ve really enjoyed Lynnwood. I’ve got friends that are all about Capitol Hill, and some that live in the suburbs, co-workers that live way out in the country, and some friends in ritzy Kirkland, but Lynnwood is the right mix of urban and out of the way for me. A park close by, a small lake with ducks, and food or coffee you can walk to, is exactly what I like in a neighborhood. It’s going to be hard to replicate that elsewhere.