Ampersand Substitute?

I’ve recently purchased a fivefilters premium package and I’m a very contented customer.

I use ff-premium with my legacy PDAs since their browsers can’t function on today’s web–but I’m having trouble getting Egress RSS Reader to handle the ampersands in a ff-premium feed (the direction to key, number of articles, etc).

The ampersand crashes the opml file and I was wondering if there was other syntax that might work as a substitute. (other parts of ff syntax work without complaint in Egress).

An obscure question to be sure :slight_smile: and thanks again for making a valuable product.

Hi Jake, thanks for buying the premium plan. I’ve never used Egress before, but happy to try and debug this for you. Could you possibly provide a little more information. A screenshot of what’s going wrong, maybe, and a URL to a web page which causes this behaviour after it’s passed through Full-Text RSS.

Hope we can find a fix for it.

Thanks, Keyvan from

Hi, Keyvan,

Many thanks for your quick reply.

I can’t show a screenshot because the ampersand simply wipes out the Egress RSS Reader opml file. But let me show the key part of the opml with working feed vs a non-working feed:

Obviously, this is generated with ff-non-premium and the only way I could get even this to work was to remove the &max=3 from this original try:

Dropping &max=3 still generates the standard 3 feeds in fivefilter’s basic fulltext service. The ampersand appears to be the problem.

The same feed sent through the ff premium service:

will blow out the opml file.

So I was hoping that the premium feed could be rewritten using syntax other than an ampersand.

But amerpsands may be an integral part of the feed and have no substitute.

Thanks again,

Hi Jake, thanks for providing more info. I assume Egress is generating the OPML file. In which case it should be encoding the ampersands so it doesn’t cause problems with parsing (it looks correct in your example). If it still can’t handle this, however, could you perhaps try using a URL shortener to see if this gets around the problem. For example, try putting that long URL from our premium service into and use the URL it generates with Egress, in this case

If Egress follows HTTP redirects, this should work. But give it a try and let us know how you get on.

Your solution works! Egress RSS Reader brought down all 10 Reuters feeds without complaint. Thank you, thank you.

As a test, I set up another ff-premium feed (with my ff subscription key), ran that generated key through and it worked as well.

I’m amazed and will recommend your service/assistance on all the legacy sites.

[Does do these tinyurls have a shelf-life?]

Again, thank you for helping resurrect a 1999 HP Jornada 720,

Great to hear, Jake! And thanks for the kind words. has been around for a long time and they state the URLs don’t expire. So as long as the site continues to operate, you should be fine.