The Syndication Automat: FAQ

What's syndication? What's RSS?

Sorry, but you need to back up a few steps. Try starting here to get a picture of what I'm doing. This site is for people who are using RSS aggregators and want some interesting feeds to subscribe to.

How did you do this?

Scrape 'N' Feed and Beautiful Soup, my friend.

Why do some destination URLs have weird crummy.com anchors?

Because some RSS aggregators use the <link> tag to uniquely identify an entry even if there is also a perfectly good <guid>. If all the entries in a feed point to the same page, unless I do something to differentiate the <link>s, some aggregators will think all the entries in the feed are the same entry. Thus, the HTML anchors, which use the text in the <guid> to make the <link> unique.

Will you create such-and-such a feed for me?

Not unless it turns out I'm interested in using the feed myself. I don't want to create a bunch of feeds that I don't use myself, because then I won't notice when they break.

If you can't get me interested and you know Python, grab a copy of Scrape 'N' Feed and Beautiful Soup, and make your own screen-scraping parser generator.

What happened to all the feeds you had here before?

Almost all of them have been rendered moot by official feeds. A few of them were an order of magnitude too much work to keep running.

I crave more screen-scraped RSS feeds! Where are other sites that do this same sort of thing?

Your feeds are horrible!

Sorry.

Why don't you have a feed that you can use to notify us of new additions to the Automat? That would be all meta, dude.

It doesn't happen often enough.

What is an Automat?

The Automat was a restaurant chain where instead of cooking food to order, cooks were always making all the food on the menu and serving it through vending machines (as in the picture on the Syndication Automat front page). Freshness and consistency were obsessions. I always liked the idea of the Automat, and this site is similar in that I work behind the scenes to put websites into RSS feeds and keep them fresh.

There is a neo-automat restaurant in New York, but it's not very good. Maybe the original Automat wasn't very good either.


This document (source) is part of Crummy, the webspace of Leonard Richardson (contact information). It was last modified on Saturday, August 18 2007, 02:44:20 Nowhere Standard Time and last built on Saturday, April 19 2014, 20:00:08 Nowhere Standard Time.

Crummy is © 1996-2014 Leonard Richardson. Unless otherwise noted, all text licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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