Output Servers moved to Amazon Web Services

2012-10-17 | Category: General (47), Features (19)

A huge step for improving the availability and performance of our output servers just went online. We moved to server infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services. This has advantages:

  • everything on AWS is set up redundant, a hardware failure won't cause any downtime
  • the servers are located in US instead of Germany (majority of our users is from the US, so they will get faster output)
  • we can scale horizontally if the output servers get more load (and thus provide always the same performance)

As this is a rather big change, so if you encounter any problems please contact us.

For the curious - this is how the new infrastructure looks like:


Another output server update

2012-10-01 | Category: General (47)

As promised last week we just deployed another performance update to our output servers. Our set of output servers is responsible for actually providing the final HTML code to a huge amount of clients.

What changed this time?

Just one little thing: we enabled gzip compression.

That will result in:

  • faster box loading times (as there is less data to transfer)
  • less bandwith usage for our output servers

The second point is important for our plan to move to the Amazon Server infrastructure as bandwith is pretty expensive there.

Gzip compression is obviously only used if the request header "Accept-Encoding" says the browser supports it. If you despite that encounter any issues please report using  our contact form.

Output Server update

2012-09-26 | Category: General (47)

We just deployed an update to our output servers. Our set of output servers is responsible for actually providing the final HTML code to a huge amount of clients.

What has changed?

As 80% of our users use JavaScript integration we improved the performance of that integration method by using the browser cache. Two things changed:

  • If the box contents didn't change we now send out a 304 Not Modified response to the browser
  • we tell the Browser to cache the JavaScript for 15 minutes (if you refresh your browser you can force it to reload)

Both should speed up loading times for repeated views - and should also remove some load from our servers.

...stay tuned for further updates which we have in the pipeline!

System update: RSSinclude goes KOALA Web Framework 3.1

2012-09-18 | Category: General (47)

Today we had a large update of our basic software framework which is now at KOALA Web Framework 3.1. The entire system has been updated. All update servers, output servers and feed servers were affected.

The reason for us to take this step was to be prepared for our next series of updates. We plan to implement a bunch of new features in November/December which will require this modern software base. As we don't want to update base system and features at once we decided to do it step by step.

We hope everything worked out fine and still does. In case of problems please use our feedback page.

How to use RSSinclude with Microsoft Office Live Small Business websites

2012-01-16 | Category: General (47)

In case you are using Microsofts Office Live Small Business website and you want to know how to use it with RSSinclude you should have a look at this:

http://ask.officelive.com/smallbusiness/qna/p/43715/107989.aspx#107989

Thanks for the hint Randy :)

We now provide SSL/HTTPS output

2011-06-21 | Category: General (47), Features (19)

From now on we provide an SSL (HTTPS) box output for premium users who need to include RSSboxes in intranet systems or websites with SSL encryption.

How does it work?

Create an RSSbox and get the Javascript include code. It will look like this for example:

<script type="text/javascript" 
src="http://output44.rssinclude.com/output?type=js&amp;id=51588&amp;hash=25dc5c69ef5a2f529538efbf87752606"></script>

Replace the first part of the Url with https://output1s.rssinclude.com, like this:

<script type="text/javascript" 
src="https://output1s.rssinclude.com/output?type=js&amp;id=51588&amp;hash=25dc5c69ef5a2f529538efbf87752606"></script>
 

We kindly ask our users to only use this SSL output when it is really necessary.

Twitter Stops Supporting RSS

2011-05-23 | Category: General (47)

Concerning RSS feeds Twitter seems to go the same direction as Facebook: it stopped supporting them recently. Please read more about it in their help center.

The good news is that Twitter didn't entirely switch off the RSS service. The feeds themselves still work but users cannot find the links to their feeds.

So as a temporary work-around we recomment to use the following type of link:

http://api.twitter.com/1/statuses/user_timeline.rss?screen_name=USERNAME
(Please replace USERNAME with your Twitter username)

On the long run we will provide a better solution for this problem.

Feed items in desktop feed reader but no items in RSSbox?

2011-03-17 | Category: General (47)

Every now and then we get emails from users who wonder why their RSSbox doesn't show any content whilst their desktop feed reader does. In most of the cases the explanation is quite simple.

Most desktop feed readers have an archive. As this kind of software is installed on your computer such feed readers can store old feed entries on your computer. However, our web-based service does not store old entries. It shows only entries that are currently provided in the source code of a feed.

That's why you might still see entries in your desktop feed reader but not in your RSSbox at RSSinclude.

How can I check whether the feed source code contains any entries?

Most browsers can display the feed and its entries directly within the browser window.

However, if you don't see the feed and its items in your browser it might help to use the feed validation service of W3C to display the source code:


How to Show Dates in RSSboxes

2011-01-17 | Category: Features (19)

If you want add a date or time to your RSSbox you have to use one of our premium templates:

  • Tabloid Extended (can be used as a vertical list if the number of columns is set to 1)
  • Ticker Box Extended
  • Naked HTML

These box types contain a date option in the tab "Content and Styling Options" in the box administration. There you can even choose your preferred timezone and a date or time format that fits your needs.

If you are not a premium user yet you can test-drive our premium service for free here.

Why is my box showing a date in 1969 or 1970?

Sometimes it happens that RSSboxes show dates from long time ago although the articles of the feed have just been published. In this case it is possible that your feed does not contain any date information. If our service does not find any date information it assumes that the date of each item is zero. And for computers, zero very often is January, 1 of the year 1970.

The following code shows a feed item NOT containing any date information:

<item>
<title>Lorem ipsum dolor si aptem</title>
<description><![CDATA[Nulla consectetur magna.]]></description>
<link>http://www.testsite.com/blog/?p=61</link>
</item>
 

The feed item above does not contain date information. If you want your RSSbox to show the correct dates you have to add a pubDate element to each feed item. Here is how it should look like:

<item>
<title>Lorem ipsum dolor si aptem</title>
<pubDate>Tue, 23 Nov 2010 23:00:00 +0000</pubDate>
<description><![CDATA[Nulla consectetur magna.]]></description>
<link>http://www.testsite.com/blog/?p=61</link>
</item>
 

The difference between the above rss source code snippets is the use of the pubDate tag. If you insert the pubDate tag like this our service (and all other feedreaders) knows when your article has been published and shows the correct date. Read more about the pubDate tag here.

Strange Characters in Your RSSbox?

2010-11-24 | Category: General (47)

If you see strange characters in your RSSbox it's likely that the character encoding of the feed or of the RSSbox are not set correctly. We explain the reasons and what you can do about it.

Read the full article about character encoding here