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followed henko's RSS but extra text breaks it

I followed all the instructions in the henko's site, correcting for when it says "preferences" (it really means properties). The rss feed template has odd behavior in the citydesk 2.0 editor. Switching back between html and normal tabs will copy extranneous text into the document. It's hard to tell which version of the document is real, but the upshot is that the rss does not work. The extranneous text is formatting tags and &nbsp all over the place. The feed will validate in the radio userland validator, but when viewing the rss.xml in a browser it (rightly) complains about every instance about extranneous text. Newsreaders don't like the feed, and the best I can get is headlines only.

I have tried setting notepad as the editor for the rss feed template, but this does not seem to work - the document can look great in notepad, but the extranneous text is still there in the feed after publish

The next thing to try is to get the rss file to work by hand outside of citydesk, and then update the feed by hand.  If I mark the file as read only, hopefully citydesk will not alter it at point of puiblish. However I'm doubtful this would work because of the magicname thing, I may not be editing the actual file viewed. It's also a big chore in terms of process, hoping for another solution.

During this testing there has been some instability with citydesk switching between article and properties - sometimes the screen does not refresh, still shows the data from the previous tab, and then the app crashes.

Elizabeth Grigg
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

I'm not sure what the problem is, but I'm using RSS successfully on my CityDesk site:

I followed the Knowledge Base article:

I had to make some modifications to get it to work how I wanted, but the basic setup should get you started. Start simple, and refine your feed iteratively changing one thing at a time so you know how to fix it if something you change breaks it.

One day, when I've got the time, I'll write an article about how my RSS feed is set up.

Darren Collins
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Can you list the url of the rss feed?  Maybe someone here will be able to point to the problem

joel goldstick
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

In the FC Knowledge Base article the one element that missing is that
You need to place the following in the root [Index] page of your site to get this to work.

<span class="rssFeed"><a href="PTMFOG0000000283.xml"><img height="14" alt="Your Site RSS feed" src="PTMFOG0000000284.gif" width="36" border="0" /></a><br /><a href="" target="RSS">What's this?</a></span>

You can change the <span to a <p> depending on your positioning requirements.

In my CSS sheet I have the following rule:
.rssFeed{float: right; margin-right: 5%; font-size: .75em;}

PTMFOG0000000283.xml is the magic name for the RSS.XML file
PTMFOG0000000284.gif is the magic name for the XML GIF graphic that appears on the site main page

Your magic names will differ.

In any case the FC Knowledge Base article works very nicely subject to the CityScript changes one needs to make relevant to your stuff.

David Mozer
Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Now my site is in even worse shape. Here's what I did:
1) Erased all files I created from the henko's advice (this was rss.xml and the rss feed template)
2) Followed the seemingly helpful advice on
3) Gorsh, they seem to want an image URL. Okay, I'll play along. Create an image, paste to frontpage, save, find automatically created image name, drag/drop to image folder inside citydesk site.
4) Rightclick on image.gif in citydesk and select copy magicname so I can paste into the URL element as per the instructions in 1 above
5) Broken link - site won't preview. Looking for file ...196.gif
Realize this is my fault, I drag dropped the wrong image in - this was a temp file created by frontpage and not the real gif.
6) Erase the image file in citydesk that creates the ...196 magicname. Find the real image, drag that in. It happens to be named the same thing in windows. Rightclick, copy magic name, and paste into the URL element as per the instructions in 1 above
7) This new, correct image file's name ends in ...240. But I still can't preview - it complains that it wants ...196 and what's more every file I have wants ...196 too.

Anyone have any advice on fixing this type of broken link problem in citydesk?

And, back to the original problem: I need to be able to edit a file for real within CityDesk in order to get predictable behavior. The current thing with opening html or normal views tends to change the text (via adding formatting tags) and make the file impossible to correct. If you open it, the formatting is back in and you're back to where you start. Has anyone solved this problem for users?

Okay sorry for ranting, I'm probably not a good fit for this program even though joel is my hero.

Elizabeth Grigg
Wednesday, January 7, 2004

Elizabeth Grigg:

Hi, it's nice to hear that you use my RSS guide (thank's for finding the typo btw) but unfortunate to hear that you don't find it useful.

First and foremost I must say that while editing non-HTML documents (such as RSS feeds) you must *not* switch to Normal View, but always stay in HTML View, since Normal View will try to fix your code to be correct XHTML (which RSS ofcause is not).

I'm not sure exactly what is causing your problems. The way my guide describes is exactly the way I created my own feeds, and others have successfully followed the guide ending up with perfectly legal RSS feeds.

To be absolutely clear, the code written on my page is supposed to be pasted into the HTML View of the template. After that is done, you must remain in HTML View for that template. If you make sure that you do that, no extra formatting or such will be added.

I hope you get your feed working, one way or another.

Regarding your other problems with broken links, it sounds as you still refer to the magic name ending in 196 in one of your templates. Change that reference into the correct one and it should work.


Henrik Jernevad (
Thursday, January 8, 2004

Thanks henko, I ran a text search for 196 and no results, I have also tried visually scanning for the number within templates, which it seems are protected from search, with no effect. I can try again. I learned my lesson about the normal view, too. I know everybody loves citydesk and I would like to be one of them. At last resort I will rebuild the site from scratch.

Hey, does anyone know how citydesk.xml gets updated? Every time I get into trouble it's with a file with the same filename in windows not getting updated right with regard to the magicname. Perhaps I should nuke that file as well.

2 feature requests for citydesk:
1) Automatic linking to magic name from html. (or better yet, wrap that whole concept into the absolute links idea)
2) Set a preferred viewer for an article: notepad, html, or (gasp) normal view, and warn if viewing in a nonpreferred viewer.

Elizabeth Grigg
Friday, January 9, 2004

I don't think you should think too much about citydesk.xml if you have problems with your magic names. Citydesk.xml contains checksums for each published file used by CityDesk to determine which files has changed. But this "see what files have changed"-procedure is done when uploading the files to the server, after any magic names has been resolved.

Henrik Jernevad (
Saturday, January 10, 2004

Everything is fixed now. thanks everyone for your help and advice.

Elizabeth Grigg
Monday, January 12, 2004


What was wrong?

Monday, January 12, 2004

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