RSS Advisory Board

Troubleshooting

Archivist's Note: This is documentation that was referenced by the RSS 0.90 specification published by Netscape on March 15, 1999. The current version of the RSS 2.0 specification is available at this link and other revisions have been archived.

This document can help you diagnose the cause of problems with RDF Site Summary file and other channel troubles.

Problems Creating a Valid RDF Site Summary File

If MNN doesn't accept your RDF Site Summary file when you try to submit it, it provides you with an error code that you can use to diagnose why your file isn't valid. The error code named represents only the first error encountered by Netscape's validation script -- if you fix the named error and then submit your file again, it is possible that you will get another error with a different code. Each time you receive an error, try to correct the problem and resubmit your file.

The error codes that are generated by Netscape's validation script are listed below, with explanations that can help you locate the problem. For more information about what's required in an RDF Site Summary 0.9 file, refer to the Quick Start document.

Error 1: Syntax Error

MNN discovered a syntax error in your RSS file. The error could result from these types of conditions:

  • Use of an unopened end tag (the end tag doesn't match the start tag)

    <title>channelTitle</TITLE>

    <title>channelTitle</item>

  • Use of an unsupported character entity or decimal value

    &eacute;

  • Use of an unsupported attribute within a tag

    </channel foo="bar">

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Error 3: Unsupported Version

Your RSS file is missing a required version attribute. In this release, your RSS file must specify this version information:

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns="http://channel.netscape.com/rdf/simple/0.9/">

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Error 4: Required Attribute Missing

Your RSS file is missing a required version attribute. In this release, your RSS file must specify this version information:

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#" xmlns="http://channel.netscape.com/rdf/simple/0.9/">>

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Error 5: Unsupported Start Tag

Your RSS file includes a start tag that MNN 0.9 does not support. The error could result from these types of conditions:

  • Use of an unsupported start tag

    <foobar>

  • Use of uppercase letters in a supported start tag

    <TITLE>

    <Title>

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Error 6: Unsupported End Tag

Your RSS file includes an end tag that MNN 0.9 does not support. The error could result from these types of conditions:

  • Use of an unsupported end tag

    </foobar>

  • Use of uppercase letters in a supported end tag

    </TITLE>

    </Title>

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Error 7: Blank Values Not Allowed

Your RSS file includes a tag pair that has a blank value -- that is, a value is empty or is made up of only whitespace characters. MNN requires that all tag pairs have a non-whitespace data value.

<title></title>

<title>      </title>

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Error 8: Value Contains Too Many Characters

Your RSS file includes data that exceeds the maximum number of characters allowed for its type of data. For a reference to the character limits for the various values, refer to Table 1 in the Quick Start document.

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Error 9: Required Value is Missing

Your RSS file is missing a required value. The error could result from these types of conditions:

  • Missing channel title
  • Missing channel link
  • Missing channel description
  • Other required value missing from optional element, such as image or text input

For a reference to the values required in an RSS file, refer to Table 1 in the Quick Start document.

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Error 10: Too Many Values

Your RSS file includes too many of a particular type of value. The error could result from these types of conditions:

  • More than one channel
  • More than one image link
  • More than one textinput name
  • More than 15 items

For a reference to the number of values you can include in an RSS file, refer to Table 1 in the Quick Start document.

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Error 11: At Least One (1) Valid Item Required

Your RSS file does not include any valid items. MNN 0.9 requires at least one valid item (headline) per channel.

If you generate your RSS file using a .cgi program, this error can serve to let you know that your .cgi might not be working properly -- it might be generating a valid RSS file, but it isn't generating any actual channel headlines.

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Error 12: Illegal Character in Value

Your RSS file includes an illegal character or entity reference. The error could result from these types of conditions:

  • Use of an unsupported or reserved character

    &

  • Use of an unsupported character entity

    &eacute;

  • Use of a malformed, but supported, character entity

    &amp (missing ampersand)

RSS 0.9 supports all legal HTML and decimal entities. For a list of legal HTML and decimal entities, refer to Special Symbols and Entities on DevEdge, Netscape's information resource for developers.

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Error 13: Tag Not Allowed Attributes

Your RSS file contains a tag that specifies an attribute. MNN 0.9 does not support the use of any attributes in any tag, except in the <rdf:RDF> tag.

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Error 14: Value's Beginning Characters are Illegal

Your RSS file includes a <link> or <url> tag whose value begins with an illegal series of characters.

In MNN 0.9, <link> and <url> tags must begin with one of the following (case insensitive):

  • http://
  • https://
  • ftp://
  • mailto:

<link> and <url> tags may not begin with one of these or other character strings:

  • file://
  • javascript:

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Error 15: Tag is Illegal in Current Container

Your RSS file includes a tag that is used inappropriately within an RSS container. Although the tag might be legal in another RSS context, the current container does not allow the tag pair. In the example below, the url tag is not supported within the item container:

<item>
  <link>http://a.com</link>
  <title>B</title>
  <url>http://aaa</url>
</item>

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Error 16: Current Item is Bad

An item container must have exactly one title tag and one link tag, as shown below:

<item>
  <title>B</title>
  <link>http://a.com</link>
</item>

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Error 17: Data in Unexpected Location

Your RSS file includes data that is not properly defined within tags. MNN 0.9 requires that data (text) always be enclosed within tags. In the example below, the text "ZZZZZ" is not enclosed in either the link tag or the title tag. It is entered between the tags, which is not supported by MNN 0.9:

<item>
  <title>B</title>
  ZZZZZ
  <link>http://a.com</link>
</item>

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Error 18: Unexpected Error from XML Parser

The XML parser discovered an error in your RSS file. The error could result from this type of condition:

  • Use of an invalid XML version number -- that is, any version other than 1.0

    <?xml version="2.0"?>

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Error 20: CDATA Not Allowed

Your RSS file includes a CDATA tag. MNN 0.9 does not support the CDATA tag.

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Error 404: File Not Found

Netscape was unable to retrieve your RSS file from the URL that you entered. Check the URL and make sure you entered it properly.

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Error 500: Server Unavailable

Netscape was unable to retrieve your RSS file because the file's server was down or not accepting connections. Check with your server administrator to verify the operational status of the server.

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Error 600: Server Timed Out

Netscape was unable to retrieve your RSS file because the file's server was busy. Try submitting your file's URL again in a few moments.

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Updated Content Does Not Appear in Channel

If you updated your RSS file with new content, but your new content does not appear in your channel window, use the following suggestions to find and correct the problem.

  • My Netscape users can set the refresh interval of their pages. If your channel is not being updated on your My Netscape page, click Preferences and make sure that your refresh interval is not set to "Never."
  • Check your email to find out whether Netscape has sent you a status message about your channel. Netscape sends you a status message if it encounters problems while trying to validate or retrieve your RSS file. It provides a specific error code to help you diagnose the problem.

Likely causes of the problem are:

  • The last time you added new content, you introduced some type of error into your RSS file. Netscape was unable to validate the file and therefore did not retrieve it. Netscape uses the most recent valid version of your channel until you provide a newer valid version.
  • You or someone else may have inadvertently deleted or moved the file from the URL known to Netscape.
  • The server on which you store your RSS file might be down or busy.

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