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[resolved] [closed] RSS feed spaces error (6 posts)

  1. fredriley
    Blocked
    Posted 2 months ago #

    Hi

    I know that this is a FAQ, and I know what's causing the problem, but I haven't come across a working solution. My site (www.eurocall-languages.org) has a RSS feed, and clicking on it I get the notorious error:

    "error on line 3 at column 6: XML declaration allowed only at the start of the document"

    The cause is two blank lines at the start of the doc. Googling and searching the Codex for this error comes up with various fixes, of which I've tried:

    • editing the (child) theme functions.php to remove extraneous spaces
    • putting the patch wejnswpwhitespacefix.php into the WordPress root and including it in index.php
    • installing the plugin "Fix my RSS feed"
    • sacrificing hamsters to the Dark Lord

    All have failed. As a long-time PHP coder I know exactly what's causing the problem - some script is outputting blank lines before the feed - but I don't understand the WordPress 'ecosystem' well enough to figure out which.

    So the question is: what is the best way to eradicate this problem? What script is causing it? I'm happy to hack the script if I know which one, but I don't want to go hacking blindly. It's also a very minor problem on which I've already spent an hour, and if there's no fix then my site users will just have to do without a RSS feed as there are far more important things to do.

    And no, I'm not going to disable all my plugins and themes in turn. That's just a world of pain...

    However, it would be nice to find a fix as I run other WordPress sites.

    Fred

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 months ago #

    Have you tried:

    - deactivating all plugins to see if this resolves the problem. If this works, re-activate the plugins one by one until you find the problematic plugin(s).

    - switching to the default theme to rule out any theme-specific problems.

    - resetting the plugins folder by FTP or PhpMyAdmin. Sometimes, an apparently inactive plugin can still cause problems.

    There is no magic bullet in these situations. This is just basic troubleshooting - a process of elimination deliberately designed to locate the root cause as quickly as possible by first removing the most obvious and common culprits via a series of (often) temporary steps.

    Your theme & plugin settings are saved in your database and should be retained for future use.

  3. fredriley
    Blocked
    Posted 2 months ago #

    Thanks for taking the time to reply, esmi, but I'm afraid the answers are:

    no
    no
    no

    I've scads of plugins and it would take hours to de- and re-activate all of them just in the hope that it solves the problem. This approach would come into the category of blind hacking. What script outputs the RSS feed, do you know?

    I emphasise that this is not a serious problem. RSS feeds are just soooooo noughties, my dear, and I'm not going to spend hours trying to get them working. If I can't identify the problem and fix within an hour or less, then my users will just have to do with our email notifications, Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, listserv posts, and carrier pigeon service. RSS is unimportant, but a nice-to-have.

    Fred

  4. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 months ago #

    I'm afraid the answers are:

    no
    no
    no

    Why? What do you expect us to come up with? You have to do some of the troubleshooting work yourself.

    it would take hours to de- and re-activate all of them

    Hours? Seriously? ;-)

    I'm not going to spend hours trying to get them working

    If you are not prepared to carry out even the most basic troubleshooting steps, then there is very little we can do to help you.

  5. fredriley
    Blocked
    Posted 2 months ago #

    Oh, gimme a break! I've been 20 years in IT and have done shedloads of tech support, troubleshooting and the rest of it. I know what it involves.

    I'm not asking you to come up with naff-all. I'm only asking for suggestions. If you're going to get wound up about a simple request then don't answer it. Simple, no?

    And yes, it would take hours.

    Do go away, and feel free to killfile me. Help or STFU.

    Bye now.

  6. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 2 months ago #

    I'm only asking for suggestions.

    And those suggestions have been given. I'd also suggest that you read http://codex.wordpress.org/Forum_Welcome before posting again - with special reference to sections 1.17 and 1.21.

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