WordPress 2.0.6: Feedburner issue, and fix

Despite two release candidates and several weeks of availability for testing, a bug sneaked into WordPress 2.0.6 that affects the serving of 304 Not Modified feeds. It’s actually related to the Server 500 error issue that 2.0.5 had (and 2.0.6 fixes)… it just affects a different set of people. The solution to one problem caused the other. One symptom of the problem is the following error message from FeedBurner as it tries to request a WordPress 2.0.6 feed:

Your server disconnected us before sending the full source feed content. If your blogging platform is TextPattern, this is a known bug, and a fix can be found here: http://forum.textpattern.com/viewtopic.php?id=11247

Note that this doesn’t prevent FeedBurner (or anyone else) from fetching your feed 100% of the time. The issue only arises with certain RSS consumers and only on certain servers, and only when the feed attempts to return a 304 Not Modified header. So with FeedBurner, for instance, one fetch attempt may trigger it, but the next will be fine.

Update: Apache running mod_php is the only confirmed server setup that is affected. Lightspeed does not appear to be affected, and Apache running under CGI or FastCGI appears to be fine.

Thanks to NeoSmart and Hyperborea for getting out in front on this issue.

For 2.0.6 users who want a workaround, go ahead and download this patched /wp-includes/functions.php file (click the big “download” link at the top… don’t try to copy-paste the text).

For CLI-savvy users, here is the patch (unified diff). cd to your WordPress directory, place the diff file there, and apply the patch with patch -p0 < functions.php.diff

For people who aren’t CLI-savvy but don’t mind editing PHP files, open wp-includes/functions.php and comment out lines 2231, 2233 and 2234 by appending two forward slashes to those lines. Leave line 2232 alone.

WordPress 2.0.7 was already planned, and this fix (if this is indeed the final fix we settle upon) will be in that, as well as in WordPress 2.1 I don’t know when 2.0.7 will be released, or if it will be released before and after 2.1 My non-Automattic-sanctioned suggestion is for you to download the modified functions.php file here and use that to hold you over until a new version is released. Please do not stay on 2.0.5 because of this issue. 2.0.6 contains several security fixes that you don’t want to miss.

Also: if you promise to help test future release candidates, feel free to give me flak for missing this bug. This was clearly an issue of not having enough eyes, so if taking flak buys me more eyes, that price sounds good to me.

118 thoughts on “WordPress 2.0.6: Feedburner issue, and fix

  1. Thanks for the ultra-quick fix, Mark.
    I’m adding a link to your post in my fix now, esp. for the unified diff file…

    btw, your link to “Hyperborea” is a 404.

  2. Thanks for the help. The main feed seems to be fiexed with your patch, but the comments-feed still has the same problem though.

  3. Could you clarify which platforms the matters on so people don’t go mucking with files if they don’t need to?

  4. From what I can tell so far, Apache running mod_php is the only affected setup. CGI/FastCGI setups are unaffected, and Lightspeed is unaffected (at least photomatt.net and wordpress.com aren’t exhibiting the problem). I’ll add that tidbit up above.

    Michael, sending both header commands will cause Server 500 errors on some FastCGI setups — that’s how WP 2.0.5 did it.

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  7. Mark, since you posted the patch as a diff here, could you tell me why regular WP updates are not made available as patches too? This seems like a very useful addition to the project, especially for people with more than one instance of WP, without requiring substantial addition effort.

  8. Sorry. The .htaccess was wrong, I do not why. I put the old one (from the back up) and my feed is working now. Thank you for the patch.

  9. Mark, I applied the patch and the only feed that doesn’t work is the permalink atom feed… http://marcin.thelinuxdiaries.com/feed/atom/. I installed the ol_feedburner plugin to see all my feeds would redirect to feedburner, and again, /feed/atom/ is just blank.

    Unfortunately in Firefox, when you visit my site and click on the RSS icon in the URL bar, the permalink is what it redirects too.

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  12. Applied the comment-outs to those lines, but still getting periodic (although not so many errors from Feedburner. Any instances where that fix shouldn’t work? Any other workaround? Any point in using feedburner in the first place?


  13. Thanks, just put 2.0.6 on, and was freaking when RSS bandit started to have errors on my own blog.

    Uploaded the replacement functions.php and all is working again 🙂

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  15. Thanks for the fix, Mark. Fixed my 404 pages from returning a 200 OK header, and also the blank feeds and FeedBurner issue. Apache 2 / PHP 5.0.

  16. Yeah, kinda just spent 3 hours figuring out this one. Thought it was a mod that I had, or eAccelerator. Evidentally, not. Oh, and note, that once it’s messed up with some clients, you have to modify your posts, and then reload it so that it gets the feed again (i.e. doesn’t send a 304 or 200) then it will reload. That took me another hour.

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  22. Thanks for this update. I have been having all sorts of troubles with my feedburner account and this hopefully will provide the answers to the problem.

  23. Its never good to see problems with Feedburner. Its such a great tool for making your RSS not only much nicer looking, but giving beter analytics, user subscriptions, etc etc. Loving using it! Cheers for the great piece!

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