Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 11th July 2003

Minor bug fix in IXR

I’ve fixed a small but vital bug in the Incutio XML-RPC library. The library was causing errors when certain unicode characters were used in strings. This is because I was using PHP’s htmlentities() function to encode strings before transmission. This escapes all of the characters that need escaping (<, >, &, " and ’) but also escapes a number of other characters that have an HTML entity equivalent. The problem is that these additional entities are defined in HTML but not in XML, so XML parsers were choking on them when they tried to parse the resulting message. I’ve fixed the bug now by switching to using htmlspecialchars() instead. Thanks to the several people who reported this one (it took me a while to figure out) and to Marc Logemann who’s blog entry finally helped me crack it.

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Sitting nervously on the fence

Today’s hot topic is the Winer Watcher, Mark Pilgrim’s new tool that tracks and highlights edits made to Dave Winer’s Scripting News. The blogosphere is pretty much evenly split on this: some people think it is a blatant attack on Dave Winer, tantamount o blogger bullying, while others see it as a neat technical solution to a very real problem.

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RSS Links

Here’s one for budding RSS historians: Ken MacLeod’s RSS Links is a collection of links relevant to the development of RSS between March 15, 1999 and August 14, 2000. Ken also provides a distilled list of the more important discussion points. Combine that with Mark Pilgrim’s History of the RSS Fork (covering July 2000 to November 2000) and you’ve got more knowledge about RSS history than anyone could possible want to know.

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Storing Dates in MySQL

DevShed have a new article on Date Arithmetic With MySQL, which acts as a kind of missing manual for MySQL’s powerful date arithmetic functions. It reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to write about for some time: my thoughts on storing dates in a PHP application that uses a MySQL backend

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2003 » July