Scribefire error solved: Server returned malformed response.


I love scribefire – it is a firefox plugin that gives you almost complete control over your blog. In fact, I have grown addicted to it and won’t even consider a content management system that it doesn’t work with for personal sites.

But it stopped working for me the other day… and I just figured out why. My theme was causing it.

This was the error I was getting from Scribefire when I clicked on my blog.

The issue is malformed XML – so to look at the XML I logged into wordpress admin (this should work with any software that works with scribefire like Drupal for example) and exported the site as xml –

Once you have it downloaded – open the xml in IE or Firefox – it will tell you where the error is in my case, firefox said the error was on line 1 and showed the bad code which I recognized because I remember seeing it in the theme. I then opened the xml in notepad to make sure:

That fist line is a line of code I commented out in the theme. Somehow, wordpress was putting that commented line into the xml feed. So – I went to the theme editor, found the comment, and deleted it – problem solved.

You may need to look through all the files in your theme for the bad code, or it could be that you have bad code or charicters in a post. In any case, opening the xml and looking for the error will give you a clue.

Good luck.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Steve says:

    Ahhh! Thanks man! This is great, I have been having this issue for weeks. It is so frustrating. This worked perfectly. Thanks again.

  • Ben Shoemate says:

    No problem. It was killing me too. I’m going to go find the forums and blogs out there having the same problem and tell people about it. If you see any others – please link them here.

  • obsessive says:

    hey, thanks for this! it looks like the problem is getting a little closer to being solved…
    i’ve done as you suggested, and found the error in the code.
    what do you do if you don’t have enough tech knowledge to find the error in the theme editor?
    my error message in firefox reads:
    XML Parsing Error: prefix not bound to a namespace
    Location: file:///((((my path details))).xml
    Line Number 79, Column 1:

    i’ve done a firefox “find” search in every plugin and theme file for “excerpt:encode” and other parts of the above – and it doesn’t appear to be anywhere?
    any help would be greatly appreciated 😀

  • obsessive says:

    i’m half thinking you’ll say to open the file in notepad and search in there — not sure if i can do that, but i’ll give it a try 😉

  • Fred Lu says:

    Hi Ben,

    My name is Fred, and I am the product manager for Scribefire. I have actually seen this error on occasion for other people, and it is great to see you have found the problem.

    I was wondering, where can i find a copy/whatever of the theme(s) which have caused this problem so we can figure out how to fix it on our side. You can contact me at email provided if there is anything we can help with.

  • Ben Shoemate says:

    The theme did not cause it on its own, it was a modification I made when I commented out a suspicious looking encoded line (the author of the theme wanted to ensure a link was left in so he encoded it so that most users would be afraid to mess with it). I’m not sure if the original theme author did this, or a spammer (some sites will collect free themes and modify them to add their own links or even ads…)

    I am currently using the a modified version of Businesslite 1.0 by Makequick. The problem started when I went into the them editor and changed commented out a line of code in Theme Functions (functions.php). You can see that stange code in the screenshot in my post.

    I’m not sure why that commented out line of code was include in my site’s xml but it was. Removing it fixed the problem.

    BTW – I am a big fan and recommend your product to everyone I can. Keep up the great work.

  • hemanshurpatel says:

    i am still having the issue.
    actually i am using scribdfire with joomla 1.5.15
    and it gives me above mentioned error.

    Can you help me in sorting out the problem on joomla?
    i have seen my template.html page, but couldnt find any….
    looking for any suggestion

  • I have the same bug but my XML file comes out clean… I have erased some postmeta content though regarding a few values I had attributed to custom fields, could that be the problem?

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