Up and down del.icio.us links

 by Martin Belam, 7 April 2008

RSS subscribers to currybetdotnet might have noticed I've been having a bit of an up-and-down time with the posting of my del.icio.us links. I started publishing them back in December, and wrote a piece about adding del.icio.us links to your blog. One tip I didn't list was to make sure your links publish at all, but that was a problem I only started having a fortnight ago.

Suddenly on Wednesday 26th the links didn't publish automatically as expected. Once it got later in the evening I put them onto the site by hand, and then waited to see what happened the next day.

Which was nothing.

Again I published them by hand, which was frankly a real chore to get all the tag links and formatting right, and I emailed del.icio.us support about it.

"Hi guys, I know it is an experimental feature, but the blog publishing linkthingy to publish my links out to my blog doesn't seem to have run since Tuesday. Is there a known issue with it at the moment?"

On Friday I decided to delete the existing 'linkthingy' I had on del.icio.us, and set up a new one, just in case there had been a problem with the way it was set up. On Friday the links again did not publish.

I spent the weekend thinking about the problem, and joined the Yahoo! Developers Network group for the service ready to put in a request about the problem, when rather unexpectedly, on Saturday afternoon, one single link was published on the blog. When I checked my del.icio.us blog posting page, it still said that my 'linky2' was a new job with no results yet.

So, on Sunday I waited keenly until 16:40 (Greek time) to see what had happened with my link publishing....

Nothing...zilch...nada...a total Dawson. [1]

But we had changed clocks over here in Greece, and the del.icio.us link publisher runs on GMT, and so an hour later than expected my links duly appeared. But, when I checked back on the del.icio.us site, my new 'linky2' cronjob still claimed to be a new job with no response yet.

To compound my confusion, I then got an email back from del.icio.us customer services on Monday stating that:

"As a valued del.icio.us customer, we appreciate each and every comment and suggestion that you can provide to us about our products and services. Unfortunately, the feature that you are describing is currently not available at this time in del.icio.us. However, we hope to bring it back in the future."

Hang on a minute, the feature is still on the site, and appears to be working for me again...? So what to think?

However, I posted my tale to the Yahoo! Developers Network group for del.icio.us, and got a rapid and very helpful reply from Nick Nguyen.

"We had a few hiccups with the blog posting feature, and as a result it was catching up after being restored last week. The laggy behavior should be over by now."

Having had a poke around the net, I know in my heart of hearts that I should probably just take all of the uncertainty out of it by knocking up my own solution using Net::Delicious and the Movable Type XML-RPC interface. However, having looked at the documentation, I think that would be really pushing at the boundaries of my ability to produce nicely secure and gracefully failing code.

So at the moment it is a case of fingers firmly crossed...and reminding myself that if you've got a problem with a tech service, and you have a hotline straight through to the developers on something like the YDN - use it.

[1] As in Les Dawson, host of 'Blankety-Blank'. [Return to article]

1 Comment

I should add that the reason no links appeared today was nothing to do with Yahoo! or del.icio.us, and everything to do with a lack of time and bandwidth on my behalf in Crete.

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