Volume 7, Issue 116; 08 Jul 2004; last modified 08 Oct 2010

That deep resonating sound you hear is the result of Mark Pilgrim dinging me for serving my Atom feeds with the wrong Content-Type.

Truth is one, but error multifarious, since there may be a thousand opinions on any subject, but usually one that is right.

C. C. Colton

Perhaps it’s a conceit to suggest that I ring with a deep and resonating sound, but regardless, Mark Pilgrim dinged me properly for serving my Atom feeds with a bogus content type.

I’m reasonably confident that it used to be correct, so my story is going to be that I let apt-get upgrade replace my /etc/mime.types file at some point and didn’t notice that it was going to switch XML content back to text/xml from application/xml.

I’ve filed a bug report against mime-types, the Debian package responsible. Hopefully this won’t happen again.

And I’ve fixed it locally, of course:

$ wget -q -s -O - http://norman.walsh.name/atom/whatsnew.xml | head
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Thu, 08 Jul 2004 12:24:58 GMT
Server: Apache/1.3.31 (Debian GNU/Linux) mod_python/2.7.10 Python/2.3.3a0
Last-Modified: Wed, 07 Jul 2004 13:47:14 GMT
ETag: "e63c6-4881-40ebfee2"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Content-Length: 18561
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=100
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: application/xml

Thanks, Mark, for pointing out my error, and also for not thinking I’m a bozo.

As to whether or not XML is really tough, I guess I’ll reluctantly agree. I’d like it not to be, but there are a lot of details to get right between the point where markup is generated and the point where it’s parsed, and keeping track of details is tough.