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XML

Hey, look at the calendar on the left sidebar. I've been posting every day so far this month! Aha, now I know it's the use of putting a calendar here for me. Although I've been blogging on a one-post-a-day basis, each with a short piece of writing, it's a kind of achievement, eh? As Kurt said in his comment, it may be that the cold weather has made me active one way or another in writing every day. Hmm...but yet, I'd rather be in a huge sauna than in a huge freezer. I could be active there and blog on the crazy heat and humidity -- Nanchatte (Just kidding).

By the way, in the same comment, Kurt wrote about "xml feed." What is it? To my shame, I don't know anything about XML things. If my "adding a link to my XML feed" helps you to catch up my posting (I don't know how it works), I'll be glad to try. I'd appreciate it if you, anyone, could tell me what it is and what I should do.

On another note, michelle wrote about a display and scroll bug caused by IE 6. I'd been wondering about this bug. That is, when I visit a blog site, sometimes the text of the page is cut off at the bottom and I can't scroll it down. I left it unsolved as one of those things. Her entry cleared the mist away. "Hit F11 twice, quickly."

Comments

I also did not know what XML was so I did a search on the internet. I now at least understand what it is, but don't really know how to use it. Check it out here:

http://www.w3schools.com/xml/default.asp

I still have no clue what XML is. That and PHP...

I find myself blogging in my head- phrasing out posts and such. Actually, I've always done that, even before I had a blog. I'm much better at written communication [esp. informal] than I am at talking. Anyone else?

Thanks tatroyer and CC. :) I'll go check the site.

Although I've never used XML, I know roughly what it is. It's a tag based system like HTML, for describing pretty much anything - not just web stuff. However, I haven't used the XML feature in MovableType. Perhaps it allows for more flexible retrieval of data (blogs) from other sources - programs?

CC - PHP is a server-side scripting language. It used to stand for Personal Home Pages. So, what can you do with it? Well, things like querying databases (e.g. movable type, but that is done in this case using cgi) to produce dynamic web pages. ASP does the same sort of thing, but is the Microsoft version of things.

Kiyo,

I actually wrote that in part because one of my readers emailed me to request that I add an XML feed to my blog....I did so and figured out how it how useful it can be to help one keep up on the various blogs one likes to read, so that's why I mentioned it.

Creating an XML feed allows other users out there who are interested to use an XML "reader" (a reader is really quite similar to a web browser) to "pull" your blog headlines and perhaps even whole posts without actually having to go to your site. If one reads a lot of blogs, it's convenient to get all the posts of those blogs pulled into one central place.

Alternatively, if someone was so inclined, they could theoretically pull in your post headlines and excerpts of your posts into their web page (similar to how sites pull in "latest news from Yahoo.com"). I haven't seen very much of this in the blog world but it is a possibility. I'm actually looking into pulling in various blogs into my custom-made default homepage.

So, how to set it up?

Easy, since you're using Movable Type, it isn't too difficult to create an XML feed. On the default template when you started using MT was a "syndicate this site (xml)" link (usually next to the "powered by MT 2.11" link). You probably got rid of it like I did because you didn't know what it was for. You'll need to add that back in (you can get the code for it at MT's site here: http://www.movabletype.org/default_templates.shtml).

Adding back in that link and rebuilding your site might take care of it (it did for me), if not, you might need to do some configuring to your xml templates (there should be two "RSS" one's in your template list within MT). See this site for more information: http://www.kalsey.com/articles/mtrss.html .

As for an XML reader, there are several out there, I'm using AmphetaDesk (here: http://www.disobey.com/amphetadesk/) but there are others as well. I set it up to pull in a few feeds from blogs that have an XML feed. See this thread from MT's support forum which is where I got started:
http://mt.sixapart.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=3d42bb081a7bffff;act=ST;f=11;t=3570;hl=ampheta

re: the display and scroll bug, it's something particular to Movable Type blogs. My blog doesn't do it, probably because I changed the style template around a bit, but another blog I created using MT and the default templates (blog isn't published) has it. There's a fix (beyond just hitting F5 - Refresh): see this post from MT's Support Forum about some code you can add to your style-sheet:
http://mt.sixapart.com/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?s=3d42bb081a7bffff;act=ST;f=9;t=2004;hl=scrolling+stop

Thanks for that Kurt. I've been having that problem on one of my pages. I don't know if this fixed it, but it certainly fixed another problem I had.

Thanks for the kind and detailed advice, Kurt. I'll work on it.

kiyo--
congratulations, i see you got your xml feed thingy to work!