Gotta love Hitch: “Still, to have left rape and child abuse and genocide and slavery out of the account is to have been negligent to some degree, even by the lax standards of the time. I wonder what would happen if secularists were now to insist that the verses of the Bible that actually recommend enslavement, mutilation, stoning, and mass murder of civilians be incised on the walls of, say, public libraries?”

Instapundit, Radio and Permalinks

I’ve noticed for some time that Instapundit’s feed and Radio don’t quite get along. You can read Instapundit just fine in Radio, but there are no permalinks to individual posts.

A few minutes of experimentation reveals the problem. Here is an excerpt from Instapundit’s feed:

<item>
<title></title>
<link>http://www.instapundit.com/archives/011222.php</link&gt;
<description>TODAY'S MY BIRTHDAY, [snip snip snip] … </description>
<guid isPermaLink=”false”>11222@http://www.instapundit.com/ </guid>
<dc:subject></dc:subject>
<dc:date>2003-08-27T08:28:07-05:00</dc:date>
</item>

(note to regexp hackers: this will display slightly differently in Internet Explorer and Mozilla, which mangle the XML string representation of the XML as they see fit).

Now, the problem comes from the mix of empty title and a guid with isPermaLink set to false. Empirically it looks like Radio will display the permalink icon (#) at the right if the feed is RSS 2.0 and the guid is a permalink. Alternatively, it will hyperlink the item’s title with the link‘s url if both are present. But since Instapundit doesn’t set the title, there is nothing to hyperlink and we have to go to http://www.instapundit.com/ to read individual stories.

I’ll point the various parties to this post to see if we can get things fixed. In the meantime, here is a short Unix incantation that makes the feed more Radio-friendly:

wget -O – http://www.instapundit.com/index.xml | sed -e ‘s/<title></title&gt/<title>#</title>/g’ > radio-friendly-instapundit.xml

ps Happy Birthday Instapundit!

<rant>
Has anyone else noticed that cut and paste doesn’t work anymore? It fails at least 50% of the time in my fine Microsoft operating system. All of the extra bells and whistles—attempts to preserve formatting, multiple clipboards and God knows what else—are crumbling under the weight of their ambition. It’s intolerable. And while we’re at it, why won’t Eudora let me compose messages in monospaced text? Please please please give me back my cherished plaintext.
</rant>