Cool RSS Insights from Jamey Sharp

I got to attend a private presentation on RSS/atom headed by Jamey Sharp. They have been working with RSS for over a decade and have been looking into ways to make it more accessible to non-tech people, and expand on the cool things it can do as a protocol.

One example is with a few lines of code Jamey was able to turn their atom feed into something more clear and easy to read by the average visitor (free of all the code that’ll show up when you look at an XML file) while keeping it a valid feed that someone could copy and paste the link of into their feed reader. When I saw this I felt like I was watching someone turn a rock into a movie projector.

They have also been trying to get people interested in adopting RFC 5005 as an update to RSS that (as far as I understood what Jamey was telling us) is a way of importing a site’s full archive into a feed reader, rather than cutting off the import at a certain number of pages (usually 10-12? I think?).

I’ve really enjoyed having an RSS feed attached to my personal site that I can update manually, and I love that RSS continues to exist as a widely used protocol, even in the face of Google killing Reader and social media becoming most people’s ways of keeping up with or sharing updates sourced from a website.

I don’t have any specific questions to ask of anyone checking out this thread, but I would love to read anyone’s thoughts on RSS and these particular things Jamey has brought up.


I think I’ve been doing this for a while myself.

Jamey Sharp is styling their feed with XSLT. I do the same on my website’s RSS feeds.

(I also provide JSON feeds, but they aren’t amenable to styling.)

I also skimmed RFC 5005, and I think I already have a half-assed implementation. My website has an “everything” feed that contains the full text of all my posts. I also have a “latest” feed that’s my ten most recent posts, and a “recent” feed containing everything I’ve published in 2024.

Thank you for sharing @starbreaker. I like knowing that other people do this. It’s really cool. I’m still reading up on JSON feeds, since your mention of it got me curious. From what I understand it’s a simpler way of parsing a feed for developers, thus making syndicated feeds more attractive to develop for?

Also I would have to ask Jamey if what you’ve done with your everything feed is on the same track of what they were envisioning with RFC 5005 next time we are in a scheduled chat, but that is pretty neat.