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Tue Feb 17, 2023

Why I hate RSS feeds

  1. RSS feeds by default have a word limit on them. All entries are truncated to that limit. You might as well go visit the site if it tends to have lengthy entries which a lot of worthwhile sites have. But having said that, you can hack your feed to include all words in the entry like Boing Boing has.

  2. RSS feeds are sans design. The poor bastard web designer spent ages creating the look of the site and you want to rob him of satisfaction? What kind of bastard masochist are you?

  3. RSS feeds don't include a great deal of content of the site. Visual data and important photo images often go missing, especially on news sites like BBC's RSS feeds.

  4. Not everything on the site has an RSS feed. And not everything on the site will be included in the same RSS feed. Sometimes you have to grab three or four RSS feeds to get the full scope of a multi-varied site. Kind of defeats the purpose of aggregation, doesn't it?

  5. Website layouts are often better for usability than RSS feeds. Take the CNN RSS feed for instance. The original pages manage to cram virtually all the important stuff so you can see it all at a glance. The RSS feed however doesn't. You have to scroll down twice (for most feed readers) to get view all the data.

  6. RSS feeds don't have interactivity. Your RSS feed will not have things like the ability to leave comments or participate in polls.

  7. Javascript is not included in RSS feeds. Important ways of viewing sites such as the use of image scrollers and news ticker tapes that BBC has will not be included in RSS feeds.

  8. Most sites still don't have RSS feeds. Half the time you'll be using your feed reader to grab RSS feeds, half the time you have to go to the website to view the content. The ultimate heaven for RSS readers is for everything on the web to have an RSS feed so you need only use one client. How likely is that to happen? Is Osama still in hiding?

  9. RSS feeds have no standard. You'd think with the proliferation of feed reading and parsing services that they'd get that right first. No way. Mark Pilgrim counts nine different versions, not counting Atom. Which is why many sites still offer a choice of three or four different types of feeds for you to take. Confused? You shouldn't be. It's these idiots who make these feeds who are.


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