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RSS woes - XML Parsing Error: syntax error

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  • RSS woes - XML Parsing Error: syntax error


    Just installed the RSS Output Mod, and have also enabled syndication in my admin CP.

    Cant understand why I get this error:

    XML Parsing Error: syntax error
    Line Number 1, Column 31:<?xml version="1.0" encoding=""?>

    I guess its because I'm not specifying a charset. What do I know?
    Whats our favorite charset nowadays?
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1252"?>
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>

    I'll figure it out one way or another, but if anyone here has had this come up that'd be great if you could throw some tips this way.

    In other news,
    It's the weekend!

  • #2
    Since you are using a hack you need to request support from the creator at


    • #3
      Note, RSS2 support will be in the next vB release.
      Steve Machol, former vBulletin Customer Support Manager (and NOT retired!)
      Change CKEditor Colors to Match Style (for 4.1.4 and above)

      Steve Machol Photography

      Mankind is the only creature smart enough to know its own history, and dumb enough to ignore it.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Steve Machol
        Note, RSS2 support will be in the next vB release.
        Any idea when that will be?


        • #5
          ok thanks

          OK, thanks for that.

          I guess the parse error has to do with the hack.
          Your probably right.
          You would know if a 'vanilla' external.php didn't parse properly, right?


          • #6
            I'll let you guys type, but this is all I added to external.php:

            File: external.php

            Replace original line 58:

            $forumids = explode(',', $_REQUEST['forumids']);


            // RSS MOD
            // only pass 1 forumid value to external.php with this mod
            $foruminfo = verify_id('forum', $_REQUEST['forumids'], 1, 1);
            $forumids = explode(',', $foruminfo['childlist']);
            // / RSS MOD


            Replace original line 76 (now 80):

            $title = implode(',', $forumchoice);


            // RSS MOD
            // take the top level forum title
            $title = $forumcache["$forumchoice[0]"]['title'];
            // / RSS MOD

            Thats the hack.

            Then, you add your links:
            <!-- RSS ICON -->
            <td class="tcat">
            <a href="external.php?type=RSS2&amp;forumids=$foruminfo[forumid]">
            <img src="$stylevar[imgdir_button]/rss.gif" alt="Subscribe to XML RSS for threads in this Forum" border="0" />
            <!-- / RSS ICON -->
            and thats all!


            • #7
              Even if I call the url without ?type=RSS2
              I get the error.
              So I think its actually an issue with this line
              // print out the page header
              echo '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="' . $stylevar['charset'] . '"?>' . "\r\n";

              It's not inserting the charset.
              The hack didnt touch this line.

              Thanks for your time and help if in fact any will be given.

              I'm really no expert, and just want to be able to syndicate my forum.


              • #8
                The hack did not touch the line we are looking at here.

                Could somebody help? Still kind of stuck with this.

                Cant syndicate my site yet

                Thanks and have a nice weekend.


                • #9
                  Your board is missing its charset value.

                  Go to the language manager and click edit next to your main language and check the value.

                  This has happened a few times now, can everyone tell me a bit about their boards?

                  Fresh install of vB3?
                  vB2 upgraded to vB3?
                  Installed any language packs recently?
                  Scott MacVicar

                  My Blog | Twitter


                  • #10
                    Thank you

                    Scott, thank you.
                    Obviously from my posts thats what I had a feeling it was.
                    I just didnt know the best way to fix it, or if it was a symptom of something more invasive, so I just wanted some guidance before I proceeded. I thought maybe someone knew more about this particular issue than I did, if this was a common problem, etc.

                    So, I went into my admin and simply pasted
                    ISO-8859-1 (the charset you guys use)
                    in my
                    HTML Character Set
                    This is the value of the 'charset' attribute for the HTML content type setting in the 'headinclude' template.<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" />

                    ..and it fixed the issue.

                    I'm still not sure thats the charset I want but I guess its good. I was asking

                    Whats our favorite charset nowadays?

                    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1252"?>

                    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>

                    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

                    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>
           I just picked the one your board uses.

                    For the record, It's a fairly fresh vb3.0.1 install, not an upgrade.
                    I installed the arcade hack to make my board a little stickier, which had language. Perhaps thats what did it. I also have the new user welcome PM hack installed.

                    So thanks again for the tips.
                    Last edited by MediaHound; Sat 5th Jun '04, 11:45am.


                    • #11
                      I'll try and reproduce this by installing what you installed.

                      Well depends what languages the users will be posting in.

                      Using UTF-8 rathern than ISO-8859-1 would theoretically double your data storage as you use more bytes to represent characters in Unicode.

                      UTF-16 isn't that widely used at the moment and there isn't proper support in MySQL for any Unicode until 4.1.1
                      Scott MacVicar

                      My Blog | Twitter


                      • #12
                        This appears to be a bug in the install but not in the upgrade.

                        I've sorted this now.
                        Scott MacVicar

                        My Blog | Twitter


                        • #13
                          When you say "the install", which are you referring to?


                          • #14

                            Ahh, you mean a fresh vb3 install, not any of my hack installs.

                            Yea, this was a big bug if you ask me. Glad I found it before it created mass problems for people using rss / xml. Hope they will be able to search up this thread if they have the problem I had at

                            Anyway, thanks for an excellent product all in all.



                            • #15
                              Hi, I had this same error. Even prior to making any changes to the vB code.

                              I did a clean install, ver 3.0.1.

                              I thought this was one of those things that I needed to set and because I didn't read the manual for v3, perhaps I missed some thing

                              Thanks for confirming that it's in the installer.


                              widgetinstance 262 (Related Topics) skipped due to lack of content & hide_module_if_empty option.