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Monday, October 10, 2005

 
OK, so maybe it's late and I'm tired, and I'm probably being really stupid, but I'm usually reasonably clued up about stuff. Besides, isn't it supposed to be simple these days? Anyway, I got a subscription to SearchFox the new RSS reader and I thought I'd give it a whirl. Logged myself in, didn't like the look of the subscriptions that were set up so thought that I'd delete those and add my own. Now, I've got 130+ feeds over at Bloglines, so it should be simple to import them.

Visiting the 'My world' section of SearchFox, and manage feeds. Looks easy - 1. Choose the type of Feed. Hmmm, not an option there for Bloglines.

OK, move to 2. Copy and paste the URL of your feed. Clearly I can't put in the URL that I use, www.bloglines.com/my blogs so lets move over to Bloglines and see what's occuring there. OK, I can see an option to export my subscription as an OPML file. Lets try that then. Well, that gives me a framed version of a page, and yes, my OPML file is there. And I have a URL that makes sense - www.bloglines.com/public/PhilBradley so lets try that. SearchFox tells me that the URL doesn't point to a valid RSS or ATOM feed. Maybe it would have helped if SearchFox had been more precise at the outset.

3. Back to Bloglines. Click on 'export subscriptions'. Right, that gives me a framed OPML page. Still no useful URL, now I know what I'm looking for. Does Bloglines actually tell me what I'm supposed to do with this thing now? The help tells me I can export it. How? Lets open the framed page as a new page. Nope, that still doesn't help either.

4. Ok, back to SearchFox. Ah ha! There's an option to import a file.

5. Back to Bloglines, cut and paste the OPML, save it as a file.

6. Back to SearchFox. Click on Import OPML, select the file to import, give it the details. Fatal error: Cannot use string offset as an array blah blah blah. Really helpful.

So, as I say, it's late and I'm probably being stupid. But really, this just isn't good enough. Even if I *am* being stupid, a whole bunch of other people are as well. Just not good enough. Not good enough by Bloglines, since they're simply not explicit enough to tell people what to do with the damn file once they see it on the screen, and not good enough by SearchFox. It's not as if Bloglines is some unknown bit of software for heavens sake!

Bah. I'm going to bed. Maybe it'll all make sense tomorrow.

Comments:
Phil,

I couldn't agree more. I'll make sure to add some text in the help pages to explain the process. Here are some instructions:

1- Right click on "Export Subscriptions" in Bloglines
2- Select "Save Taget As"
3- Import the file into SearchFox

Don't hesitate to contact me at support at searchfox dot com if you have more questions.
 
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