Thursday, March 27, 2008

Feature Interaction at Google

Google owns Blogger and Feedburner. So when I added a Blogger-related Feedflare to a Feedburner Feed of a Blogger blog (why did I think this was a good idea? don't ask!), I hoped this would be pretty painless.

Unfortunately not.

Feedburner gave me an error:

The URL you entered does not appear to be a valid feed ...

And when I went to look at my feed to check the problem, I got an error from Google

We're sorry ... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

Sigh. It looks as if this combination of features is triggering some auto-immune response. Is my blog going to come out in spots, or be laid up for a few days? I hope not, but you never know.

Of course this kind of thing is depressingly common. We can never assume that two lumps of software or service will interoperate cleanly, just because they are owned and operated by the same software company. At least some software companies (including Google) do make an effort to integrate and rationalize after acquisition; some don't even try.

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