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RSS Feed

 

RSS Feeds are Live

posted Sep 01, 2006

You’ll find a few little feed icons scattered about the site now. If you’re hip to what RSS and Atom are all about, you don’t need any further explanation. Please let me know if you have any problems with the feeds.

What the heck is a feed?

Feeds are an automatic way for a website to let you know that there’s new content available. Many web portals (like Yahoo, Google and MSN) have ways for you to subscribe to feeds. Alternatively you can download a feed reader. Personally, I use Sage which is an extension for the Firefox browser. (By the way, this site looks best in any browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer—it’s got more bugs than I’m willing to work around.)

There’s a good introduction to feeds at the FeedBurner site.

Doing it Old School

If you don’t want to deal with this new fangled feed stuff, you can get an email when the site is updated. Just enter your email address in the top right corner on the home page.

Technical Stuff

It was very easy to get this working. Nathan Smith’s article on Feedburner and Textpattern was very helpful to me. As Nathan points out, it’s very easy to have Textpattern just serve the feeds directly, but I decided to follow his lead and use FeedBurner as well. It only took a few minutes to set that up.

One small item that Nathan left out of his article is how to enable RSS Auto-Discovery. Modern browsers can automatically detect when a web site has feeds available. All that’s needed is one new HTML tag that goes within the <head> section:

<link rel="alternate" href="/rss/" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" />

Obviously, you should adjust the value of the href to be the URL of where your RSS is available. The full URL for this site’s RSS feed is http://pfactor.com/rss/ but I was able to just use the relative URL shortcut of href="/rss/".

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