[CentOS-devel] Mirror breakage

John Newbigin jnewbigin at ict.swin.edu.au
Tue May 24 00:21:56 UTC 2005

The tool I use for managing my local CentOS-3 mirror has started to 
choke on some changes to the centos mirrors.

The URL I am using is:

And I get the error:
/tmp/rpmfindjLOxxX:271: error: htmlParseEntityRef: expecting ';'
to donate a server: <a href="mailto:johnny at centos.org?subject=Server 

The offending html is:
<a href="mailto:johnny at centos.org?subject=Server 
Donation&cc=lance at centos.org ">Contact us</a>

I am not using rpmfind, but reusing code I wrote for rpmfind (the 
http/html downloader).

The problem appears to be libxml (libxml2-2.4.19-6.ent) barfing.  I 
wonder though if the page being generated by the server is valid?

As a workaround I pointed to: 
which works but kind of defeats the purpose.


I checked the page with the w3c html valiadtor.  Not good

Line 57, column 206: cannot generate system identifier for general 
entity "cc"

...y at centos.org?subject=Server Donation&cc=lance at centos.org ">Contact 

An entity reference was found in the document, but there is no reference 
by that name defined. Often this is caused by misspelling the reference 
name, unencoded ampersands, or by leaving off the trailing semicolon 
(;). The most common cause of this error is unencoded ampersands in URLs 
as described by the WDG in "Ampersands in URLs".

Entity references start with an ampersand (&) and end with a semicolon 
(;). If you want to use a literal ampersand in your document you must 
encode it as "&amp;" (even inside URLs!). Be careful to end entity 
references with a semicolon or your entity reference may get interpreted 
in connection with the following text. Also keep in mind that named 
entity references are case-sensitive; &Aelig; and &aelig; are different 

Note that in most documents, errors related to entity references will 
trigger up to 5 separate messages from the Validator. Usually these will 
all disappear when the original problem is fixed.


John Newbigin
Computer Systems Officer
Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies
Swinburne University of Technology
Melbourne, Australia

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