Does your MWJ RSS feed seem stuck?

We have now received multiple reports from MWJ subscribers who have been checking the secure, subscribers-only MWJ RSS feed but haven’t seen any updates since January. That’s bad news – we’re not done rebooting yet, but we’ve had several issues since then, including one last week, and they’ll all vanish when MWJ’s Book of Security is done (we see the light at the end of the tunnel, we swear we do).

The culprit seems to be Safari RSS – even after emptying the cache and refreshing the feed, we’re getting reports that it just doesn’t update. We don’t know why – when we try it, it works for us – but we can’t fix Safari bugs anyway.

Your MWJ RSS feed should have five issues of MWJ and eight issues of MWJ, ending (as of this posting) with MDJ 2007.04.04. If your RSS reader doesn’t show you all of them, we recommend one that will – NetNewsWire or the free NetNewsWire Lite. Every time we’ve advised someone to switch to NNW from Safari, they’ve reported back that all of the issues show up immediately. Other readers may work as well, but we know NetNewsWire does, so if your reader doesn’t show you everything NetNewsWire does, try again.

We believed that Safari RSS and Firefox fully supported password-protected (secure, HTTPS authenticated) RSS feeds, but according to 37signals’ FAQ for BaseCamp, they do not. They’ve apparently seen the same problems we have with Safari RSS appearing to work but not updating properly, and they also advise trying NetNewsWire (or NewsGator’s Windows product, FeedDemon, if you’re communicating on that platform).

We apologize for any inconvenience in the software that we didn’t write, but we’re simply following well-established Internet standards, and it’s a mystery to us why big programs like Safari and Firefox won’t support them correctly. There’s a free alternative, though, and we heartily advocate for it. Sadly, E-mail is so broken that we’re going to have to rely more and more on RSS to provide you with information. Read last August’s story for more details. There’s nothing we can do when a huge number of mail servers simply drop messages and never tell us, but they can’t stop you from reading the RSS feeds we provide you as part of your subscription!