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Reading between the lines

June 19, 2005 @ 9:44am

Lately people have been giving Jason a bunch of grief for our RSS feeds not having the same related "read" links at the ends of posts that we have on our blogs. Specifically, they suggest that there's something sinister behind this difference and ask how can we put Google ads in our feeds and at the same time not link to people we are getting stories from.

That's nuts. We have two publishing systems in use right now. The one that is nearly two years old still powers Engadget, Autoblog, Blogging Baby, Jason's blog and more than half of our blogs. The new one (Blogsmith) powers my blog, TUAW, TV Squad, AdJab, any other blog we have launched since January and some that we have had the time to migrate.

At some point in the last couple of months the code that showed the read links in the old system got overwritten. All of our new blogs have read links in the feeds. It's not a conspiracy. The fact that we weren't giving our audience a way to go visit the sites we cover was a mistake. What do we gain from writing a few lines about something cool and then failing to link to it?

So, the read links are now back in our older system. There's probably a sinister reason behind the restoration of these links, but I don't know what it is so I'll keep reading Jason's blog and I'll let you know if I find out why Jason restored the read links.

I also retired our 0.91 and 1.0 RSS feeds. In 2003, when I did an experimental blog contest site called Blogstakes, I figured those were three good flavors to support. When I did the publishing system for A List Apart, I used the same trio of feed versions.

These days it doesn't really make sense to keep all of those going. If anything we'll have RSS 2.0 plus Atom, but that won't happen any time soon. All of the requests for 0.91 and 1.0 feeds will be permanently redirected to our 2.0 feeds.

Our new system has never even offered anything below 2.0, so those feeds would be retiring when we migrated the remaining blogs to Blogsmith anyway.

While I was in there I changed the MIME type to application/xml instead of application/rss+xml since we aren't using a .rss extension and it was confusing Firefox.

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