Now with RSS

2011-12-05

Today I added an RSS feed to the blog. It includes the full post content, not just the snippet.

One of the earlier design decisions I made was to have content in my blog post files be reusable as content to be displayed on the main blog page, various flavors of blog pages, blog posts (permalink, full post version), and items in an RSS feed. For the last of these I wanted the content to be plain, devoid of frills like Prev/Next linkage, and complete instead of just being a snippet.

RSS can be a powerful and simple way to share content, though it is by intention very stripped down. I appreciate that philosophy, and though it doesn't work with every need of content providers it is enough for the simple kind of content I intend to provide.

One of the problems I ran into while implementing the RSS file construction was formatting the dates of my posts into RFC822 standard, which looks like this: "Tue, 06 Dec 2011 05:30:04 GMT". I have been keeping dates in human-readable YYYY-MM-DD or similar formats, and to go from that format to RFC822 required some work, most of which I received help on from an old Perlmonks article.

Now that I have an RSS feed I'll have to be more careful when I restructure my blog post files into date-based subdirectories. I should have instituted a better method than dumping the files all in the /blog path where they will accrue endlessly. Another task for another day.

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