Monday, October 21, 2002

I stayed late to tweak my skunk works project. I had to make a few minor changes so the screen shot in that story needs to be updated (I forgot that Usertalk requires the eponymous handler's name to be the same as the table element it resides in). I will update my documentation tomorrow. For the moment, I am successfully generating the function wrappers for each rule set - complete with declaration of a correctly-typed return variable. I wrote a little test harness to exercise a rule set and it seems to be working great. Now that I know the approach is possible without requiring too much programming knowledge on the part of the business client I can a) start thinking about a .NET implementation and b) dream up some possible use for this in Radio.
8:59:30 PM      

I have a little skunk works project under way. It is a mechanism that enables a savvy business client to create executable code for a transaction processing application. I cannot call it a prototype because my clients are sick of prototypes. I am calling it a sandbox effort for the time being. This may not go anywhere, I am just seeing if the technique is viable. On the other hand, I may think of some cool use for this in Radio.
6:39:25 PM    Google It!  

I have Zoe working again. I made a small change to Radio's tcp.httpClient verb to ignore a port specification when comparing the server:port portion of the URL to known local server addresses. This verb now bypasses our proxy server for local machine requests.
4:13:18 PM      

Dave Winer read my earlier post about not being able to subscribe to my Zoe RSS feed because the URL specifies a port number. Dave quite righly corrects me.

I did a little more digging and found that my problem is actually a combination of a) routing a local machine request through our proxy server and b) using a port number. Condition a) is happening because the tcp.httpClient verb only bypasses the proxy server if the server address provides an exact match on "localhost" or "". The port number addition to the URL causes this to fail. Thus the request goes through our proxy server. However, any request for a server within our domain will fail when it goes through the proxy server. I know not why; I guess you cannot come back once you go out.

I made many changes to the tcp.httpClient verb over the last year to work around this problem. I figured the problem was specific to our company's policies, but perhaps not. Here are the things I did:

  1. Bypass the proxy server for local machine requests
  2. Bypass the proxy server for requests on the same domain
I will have to add the domain-checking changes back in, unless Userland happens to see a need for this change in installations other than my own.
4:11:28 PM      

Resubscribing to my Zoe feed is not working either. After doing some debugging I have found that the Radio news aggregator no longer respects port numbers in the URL pointing to a news feed. The specific problem seems to be in xml.rss.readService - the code that parses the RSS URL and then reads the RSS feed.

A lot of the Radio code I was tracing through seems to have changed with the advent of RSS Redirection. I wonder if these recent changes have caused the problem? or maybe I long ago changed this bit of code myself, adding support for ports, but failed to remember it.
11:41:20 AM      

Something has broken with my RSS feed from Zoe. It broke last Thursday. I noticed the feed was broken Thursday and pretty quickly tied it to the fact that Wednesday morning my machine had been moved from a Token Ring connection to Ethernet. That meant my IP address had changed and that, I figured, probably broke the Zoe RSS feed.

I figured I could fix this within Radio without having to unsubscribe and resubscribe. I jumped to the table in Radio and looked for my Zoe service. Nothing odd about the entry - it correctly referenced the URL as "localhost:10080". The channelLink entries pointed to the IP address, but that was Zoe's problem and not directly related to Radio's sudden inability to read this feed. I can retrieve the feed manually in Radio (using tcp.httpClient and a hardcoded URL), but the aggregator is not. Something is still broken. At this point I am going to give in and resubscribe to my own feed!
11:06:47 AM      

Looks like Charles is having difficulty getting Outlook to do SMTP forwarding to Zoe. I am still stuck; unable to my copy of Outlook to add the Internet email service. Can anyone else help him?
Charles Nadeau @ 10/20/2002 10:52 AM. I have a quick question on Zoe I dare to ask since I think you played with it quite extensively: Zoe can be used to "intercept" e-mails on their way to the SMTP server if Outlook is configured to reach its SMTP server through Zoe. I tried to configure Outlook to do so but Outlook can't accept a port number with 5 digits, only four digits or less. It means I couldn't enter 10025 as the SMTP port in my Outlook client. And i can't go in Zoe and change it...

9:00:47 AM      

I finally picked up on the hint that Sam Ruby wants me to switch my subscription from the old channel to the new one. Done!
8:47:33 AM