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RSS feed "Contents requires login"...

cinematrik
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permalink   Fri, Jun 2, 2006 @ 10:31 AM
This may be a “feature, not a bug” but since the upgrade with the new forum rss feed, I get this message in most of the posts. I’m assuming it’s because if I was actually viewing the forums on the site, I’d need to be logged in to see it right?

I use NetNewsWire Lite on osx, and maybe other readers have a way to login to a feed, but afaik I can’t do that. Anyway, it makes subscribing to the feed a bit pointless for me, since I can’t read most of the messages…

I’m not sure if this effects the other rss feeds, like reviews or whatever, but I guess I should check them out and see!

Tim
cinematrik
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permalink   Fri, Jun 2, 2006 @ 10:38 AM
Ok, in the forum feed, it only shows this “Content requires login” message for the Help forum and the Bugs forum. The other forums (Features, the Big OT, etc.) seem to be showing up fine in the rss reader.
fourstones
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permalink   Fri, Jun 2, 2006 @ 12:24 PM
yes, it’s a “feature” that’s still being ironed out. Basically, ccHost installations should have a way mark a forum as “users only” which is fine for the web site, but then how do you publish a feed for those forums (?) since feeds don’t have a standard log in mechanism.

I’m very open to suggestions as to how to deal with this one…

VS
cinematrik
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permalink   Sat, Jun 3, 2006 @ 7:44 AM
Hmm, yeah I see why you’d want that option. Maybe the easiest way would just be to remove “user only” forums from the feed. That doesn’t help if you actually wanted to monitor the feeds, but it would at least keep the feed down to stuff you can read.

But yeah, as far as figuring out a way for an rss feed to “ask” for credentials before you view it - I’d imagine that’s quite a trick :-)

For some reason I had thought I’d heard somewhere that you could stick a feed behind a plain password protected directory and then the reader *might* ask for a password (since it would be the standard directory access type password) or just not display it at all. If that would work, then you could always just publish 2 different feeds, one out in the open that just has the world-readable forums in it, and then another feed in the protected directory that has all the forums in it. It might even be possible to sync up the usernames/passwords from the forums to this directory - my limited experience with password protected directories had the users and passwords stored in a mysql table, so I’m assuming that you could use the forum users table for both.

That’s assuming the reader would be able to handle it…

If you want me to try to look into it more I can…

Tim
cinematrik
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permalink   Sat, Jun 3, 2006 @ 7:48 AM
Hey hey - that works!!!

I just tried it out with one of my podcast feeds on my site. Copied it into a password protected directory, then tried to subscribe with NetNewsWire - and it asked me for the username password!

So yeah that is definitely an option…

Tim
fourstones
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permalink   Sat, Jun 3, 2006 @ 1:51 PM
I’m tempted for sure but have a couple of reservations — the biggest being the support headache of dealing with registered users being pinged for a password every hour; also the non-universality of the solution (I’m thinking of very popular web-based readers like bloglines)

But you have given me an idea:

Considering we already use cookies for user/password verification and we aren’t talking about Big Secrets I may just go with a very low tech approach: like putting the username and (md5 hashed) password into a query string on the feed url.

If the username/pw are valid, I show the forums feed content, if not present or invalid I just skip those forums completely.

VS
cinematrik
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permalink   Sat, Jun 3, 2006 @ 4:32 PM
Yeah that would work too - so essentially if you are logged in the rss feed links turn into what you are talking about with the query string, so that way if you subscribe you are getting the full deal instead of just the world-readable stuff.

Sounds cool - like you said - low tech, but probably just fine for what we are doing here!

Tim