RSS feed changes

Among the many, many, many upgrades we’ve suffered through in the past few weeks (including the production machine, production software, hard drives, machine repairs, even light fixtures and internet access hardware) have been server changes. While we’re shuffling some things around, we figured it was time to make the changes announced last year permanent.

So, effective as of now, the original RSS feeds for MDJ and MWJ subscribers now get HTTP redirects to the newer feeds introduced last July, and those feeds are no longer “beta.” (Ironically, we may need to rewrite the software that makes those feeds, since it turns out the database behind them is really quite stupendously horribly designed [our fault]), but the URLs will remain the same.)

Your newsreader should easily and permanently replace your old URLs with the new ones the next time you refresh. If it doesn’t, we heartily recommend the now-free NetNewsWire 3.1, which handles this with aplomb and is, as mentioned, now free. Hence the adjective.

We had no idea how much stuff needed maintenance until we started fixing a few of the more broken things. It was kind of like fixing a broken drawer and discovering that the entire cabinet was riddled with termites, and then that the carpet needed repair, and on and on. We had about a 10-day stretch in February where something new, but minor, broke every single day. They were all manageable and fixed in a few hours, but when they come 10-15 per week for 2-3 weeks in a row, it makes you want to do something self-destructive, like enter politics or speculate about iPhone carrier agreements.

Almost everything is upgraded and fixed, including a few things MDJ and MWJ readers have wanted for nearly two years, with testing to resume this week (cross your fingers). Almost every single thing between the editors and the internet that we use to produce MDJ and MWJ has been upgraded or replaced since the last issue, and that almost included the very Ethernet cables connecting the machines. It still may—LAN transfers are slower than they ought to be in some cases but not others—but it’s been quite the makeover. We’re just glad it’s done. Hauling G5/Mac Pro cases around and copying 300GB hard drives over and over is something we’re happy to leave for special occasions. We’ll have more upgrading to do in the second half of 2008, but we’re just about done for now.