A Public Apology to Tal/R-Bloggers + The Trouble With Tibbles

December 1, 2017
By

(This article was first published on R – rud.is, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Over the past few weeks, I had been noticing that some posts in the R-bloggers feed were getting truncated in Feedly. I don’t remember when I noticed that since I usually click through immediately from the headline entry to the R-bloggers page vs read in Feedly since ultimately I want to get to the author’s site to see it formatted they way they intended it to be.

I let frustration get the better of me and — without verifying with Tal first — tweeted in error in said frustration. I’m not going to perform an extensive validation on the R-Bloggers feed always pushing out full content as Tal say they do.

Tal (and any other folks who work with Tal on R-Bloggers): I apologize for the tweet content and the tone of the tweet, but more apologize for not reaching out directly as if I had the following would have likely emerged after dual investigations. So, I’m really daft on at least two accounts. I will also apologize again, in-person, if we manage to cross paths in 2018. Hopefully said apology will be over a delightful beverage (on me — well, hopefully you won’t actually dump said beverage on me, but you’d be right to do so).

The truncated posts (anyone with Feedly can likely validate my experience) seems to be a combination of issues with a common thread: the tibble. I’m going to use the tibble 1.2.0 post [R-Bloggers link] from RStudio as an example. I have to use pictures (apologies), but you’ll see why in a bit.

The Trouble With Tibbles

This is a snap from the early part of the aforementioned post:

Here’s that content on R-Bloggers:

Now you get to play that favorite childhood game of yours: spot the difference.

You should notice the angle-bracket type headers are missing on R-Bloggers version of the post.

While they are visually missing, they are not — in fact — missing. They are there:

But, HTML wonks have likely already figured out the issue.

Here’s what the source view from RStudio’s blog looks like:

One more opportunity to play “spot the difference”.

That difference can wreak havoc with further HTML/XML post-processors (inspect the elements in different browsers or via rvest/xml2) and it seems Feedly’s ingestion process is doing the truncation when it hits invalid HTML.

This means that tibble output will likely cause more posts to be truncated in feed viewers pulling from R-Bloggers (I verified this with a sample of other, recent posts that I knew used tibble output).

Both R-Bloggers and Feedly should work on said issues. I’ll be pinging Feedly and I’m sure after I tweet this post out Tal will see it.

FIN

Tal: I promise to bring up any further issues with you directly and re-iterate my apology one more time.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: R – rud.is.

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