Minor service announcement regarding FeedBurner breakage

It seems that FeedBurner is in autopilot without anyone at the helm, since my subscriber stats just dropped to zero and whoever remains there (or at Google) hasn’t apparently been keeping up with RSS specs.

For some idiotic reason, they have apparently decided to start considering guids as valid permalinks even when I explicitly set isPermalink to False and remove any and all semblance to a valid URL.

This has had the interesting effect of completely breaking my feed for everyone, and has apparently happened sometime this weekend.

For the curious, I was doing this:

<guid isPermalink="false">http://the.taoofmac.com/space/links... 

This because I use the link element to point to things outside my site, as a convenience to my readership:


…and aggregators shouldn’t, by convention, use the guid for anything visible to the user (it’s meant to be used solely for unique item tracking).

As a result of FeedBurner’s change, the guid was propagated to the permalinks in the FeedBurner processed feed, crushing all my link attributes and rendering my feed useless.

It even contined to do so when I removed the http:// prefix from guids:

<guid isPermalink="false">the.taoofmac.com/space/links... 

i.e., the FeedBurner link attributes were filled in with invalid URLs, which is plain and simple wrong.

So, as a temporary fix, I’ve removed the guid elements from my feeds.

This is bound to result in all kinds of secondary breakage in aggregators that rely on guids to identify unique items and that happen to include feeds from the places I link to, but it is the only thing I can do.

Apologies nonetheless.

P.S.: Pointers to alternative services are welcome, by the way. As a side note on advertising and keeping up with the hosting costs, I’ve been wondering if The Deck would be an alternative and allow me to remove all other ads on the site as well, but it is invite-only and US-centric…