Confusing timeout on RSS feed via WordpressMU plugin, but not manually

Alec Resnick aresnickety at
Tue Apr 21 12:03:50 MSD 2009

I have nginx/0.6.32 running on Ubuntu 8.10 slice @ Slicehost.  It's
set up to serve a WordpressMU site through fastcgi via php-cgi.  My
configuration file is here  My
fastcgi_params are the default ones.

I'm running a plugin called WP-o-Matic
( which
is intended to provide for blog syndication.  I can get it to
syndicate other blogs, but nothing from my own domain.

In particular, for example, when I attempt to get it to syndicate , I get a cURL error (which is what
the plugin uses to grab feeds): "Feed
could not be parsed (SimplePie said: cURL error 28: Operation timed
out after 30000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received)"

I've tried switching from cURL to fsckopen, an alternative provided by
the plugin, and still the request times out.

I think the issue is with my usage of nginx.  If I visit the feed in
browser, there is no issue.  Here is the relevant excerpt from the
error debug log for the successful request through firefox:

But, when I ask the plugin to syndicate the feed, it makes the same
request, but it times out, and I don't know why.  I've set the
user-agent to be spoofed as Firefox (originally, it started out as
cURL identified by the plugin).  The relevant debug log is here:

I don't know quite enough to interpret all of the error logs, but I'm
confused how I can use wget or cURL from the command line and get the
feed in less than one second, but this plugin times out in 30 sec.

I'm pretty sure the issue is with nginx and not the feed, since when I
syndicate the feed through FeedBurner, I have no issue adding it.
However, I'd rather not use FeedBurner.

If anyone has any suggestions as to what might be the issue, or where
I can find more info than the wiki on interpreting the debug logs, it
would be much appreciated.


alec resnick
alec at

256 Brookline St. / #2
Cambridge, MA  02139

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