June 10, 2004
Autodiscovery & feeds

In the comments of my last post, Jason mentioned that my RSS feed did not have full posts. That's true, but not entirely. The confusion is over what feeds I have and how they are declared.

Jason and I emailed a bit over this and I'll steal from his replies liberally to explain things. I briefly met Jason at SXSW and he's quite the web/blog/syndication saavy guy. Consider him getting full props for the meat of this post.

What Jason mentioned was that my RSS feed did not have full posts. The RSS 1.0 feed I was using didn't.

I had three different feeds:

RSS 1.0 -> http://www.cruftbox.com/index.rdf -> not full feeds
RSS 2.0 -> http://www.cruftbox.com/index.xml -> full feeds
Atom -> http://www.cruftbox.com/atom.xml -> full feeds

So there were two things I was doing wrong. I didn't think that RSS 1.0 could have full posts. I was wrong, you actually can. Jason shared with me a RSS 1.0 Full Post template for MovableType that I put in place.

The second thing I was doing wrong was that I was 'advertising' that I only had a RSS 1.0 feed. The syndication aggregator I use parses the page looking for possible feeds, so I never saw this problem.

In the main index of the page, there are link tags that explicitly call out where feeds are located so that an aggregator knows exactly where to find your feeds. The only link I had called out was the one for RSS 1.0.

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="http://cruftbox.com/index.rdf" />

I wasn't specifically calling out my Atom & RSS 2.0 feeds. To do that, I added these lines to my main index file.

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="http://cruftbox.com/index.xml" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom" href="http://cruftbox.com/atom.xml" />

I decided that while I wouldn't get rid of the RSS 1.0 feed, I wouldn't advertise it any more. For all intents and purposes, I am telling the world that I only have Atom & RSS 2.0 feeds.

Make sense? Thanks again to Jason for his keen eye.

Posted by michael at June 10, 2004 09:51 AM