URL Script Problem--Is There a Substitute for the Ampersand?
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Jake
Posted 2017-07-01 3:22 PM
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Using a J720, Redgear, Egress RSS (PPC), and a full-text rss service, I can download complete news articles to my J720.

The rub is, there are fewer and fewer full-text rss services available.

Fivefilters is one of the last standing that doesn't use https, security that flips out the Egress opml.

This is a feed that also flips out the Egress opml; in fact, it destroys the whole file:

ftr.fivefilters.org/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.washingtonpost.com%2Frss%2Frss_football-insider&max=3

Through trial-n-error, I determined that it's the ampersand that blows Egress' mind. So if I use this:

ftr.fivefilters.org/makefulltextfeed.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.washingtonpost.com%2Frss%2Frss_football-insider

the feed loads fine. But it's only three articles.

I have a premium account with fivefilters that allows me 10 articles. But that premium feed also uses ampersands (especially for the &key=****).

Research tells me that an ampersand in a title (eg: Rock&Roll.com) has its substitutes.

But I haven't found a workaround for an ampersand that acts as a url direction/query.

I've tried syntax such as "+" and "& amp;" but the "&" no matter how it's couched blows away the opml.

Any substitute for a non-escaped ampersand?

Obscure, I Am,
Jake

Edited by Jake 2017-07-01 3:25 PM
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C:Amie
Posted 2017-07-02 9:42 AM
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& is the HTML encoded version of &
%26 is the URL encoded version of &
& is the XML encoded version of &
U+0026 is the Unicode encoded version of &

Obscure indeed
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Jake
Posted 2017-07-02 4:01 PM
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Many thanks for your post, Chris.

It would appear that the url is html while the opml is xml. I had tried your first three suggestions but hadn't thought of the unicode workaround--but that didn't work around, either.

Most of these ampersand substitutes are for making an actual ampersand work in a url title (Rock&Roll). An xml ampersand that acts as a parameter ("now it's time to check the key or figure out the number of articles to retrieve, etc) doesn't appear to have a substitute.

Odd that other rss readers such as the default in the Nokia N810--all constructed around 2007--don't seem to have a problem with a raw &. Even the basic newsbeuter takes it in stride. And the developer of Egress is long gone...

Thanks again,
Jake
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C:Amie
Posted 2017-07-03 8:52 AM
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If %26 isn't working it would suggest that the system is doing a URL Decode putting %26 back to & and then trying to perform XML validation, which will fail. What if you replace it with %26amp%3B?
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Jake
Posted 2017-07-04 3:04 AM
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Chris, thank you for posting back.

%26amp%3B did not fly. It doesn't blow out the opml, but I get a feed error when trying to retrieve articles. It appears to change the url enough so that Egress can't use it.

Jake
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Jake
Posted 2017-07-06 5:01 PM
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I posted to Fivefilters and they solved it. They ran my Reuters Top Stories feed through tinyurl.com, which generated a short, ampersand-less feed, and Egress RSS downloaded the full-text articles without complaint.

If any user is following this thread--other than the ever-helpful C:Amie--fivefilters.com is a fine company, with great support, and their full-text service provides a great workaround for the aging CE browser.

Back to being well-informed,
Jake

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