[R]ather [S]wanky [S]ourcecode

16 January 2004


A Blue Perspective: [R]ather [S]wanky [S]ourcecode

All the kids seem to be doing it nowadays, so I thought I'd create an RSS feed for this site (and also because Dave S asked, nay, demanded to be updated!)

It seems to be a good way to go if you want your content to get a bit more exposure (particularly amongst other bloggers) and it's fairly easy to do, even without any of that Movable Type malarkey; you basically just have to write a script that indexes your last 10 or so entries and writes it to the RSS format.

Search Engine Watch provides a good, easy to follow article that gives you the basic syntax and format of an RSS (Really Simple Syndication/RDF Site Summary) feed. If you're interested, you'll probably want to steal a look at Simon's RSS feed, or some other equally competent person's.

The syntax can be as simple or as complex as you desire – I went for the simplest of simple versions – so the biggest hurdle I found is validation of the content itself. RSS is XML, so it's pretty strict when it comes to character entities: none of my —'s, –'s or »'s passed the validator, so I had to go look up the ISO character codes. After that trivial debugging, you can now feed till you burst.

As an RSS newbie, I know that I have to ping weblogs.com so people can scramble to peruse my latest content, but is there anything else you should do with your RSS? Use it to shelter the homeless? Bring about world peace? And is there anything ultra-cool you can stick inside your RSS to make it snap crackle and pop? Help appreciated.


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  1. 1/5

    Nicolas Hoizey commented on 22 January 2004 @ 07:09

    The URL in your RSS feed are wrong.

    The one of "When your server explodes" is http://www.themaninblue.com/home/theman/public_html/writing/perspective/2004/01/21/
    It should be http://www.themaninblue.com/writing/perspective/2004/01/21/

  2. 2/5

    The Man in Blue commented on 22 January 2004 @ 13:24

    Ahhhh ... ta, using server directories, not public ones :o]

  3. 3/5

    The Man in Blue commented on 23 January 2004 @ 02:33


  4. 4/5

    Rahul Narain commented on 11 February 2004 @ 21:06

    Aha, just what I needed! Cool!
    Suggestions: Don't put the full content of each post in the <description> element. Put in a short summary instead (like Mezzoblue, Stopdesign, Simplebits, ...).
    Also, it'd be nice to have an XML feed of your links as well... Dave Shea's dailies feed is a little nasty, parsing-wise; take a look at Mark Pilgrim's feed instead: http://diveintomark.org/xml/blink.xml

  5. 5/5

    no1son commented on 13 February 2004 @ 20:19

    i put a little teeny pic in my feed. and also a link to the comments for that article.

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