A cunning plan for RSS on Free Blogger

Al has a really cunning plan (only partly in the Blackadder sense) for getting RSS out of non-Pro Blogger: the RSS for alanjstr.blogspot.com is at alanjstrrss.blogspot.com. As in, a hand-crafted feed in a separate Blogger blog. In all the thinking about how to get RSS out of Blogger I did, back in the pre-Pro days, I have to admit that I never thought of that. For those of us who don’t post at firehose pace, it’s really not that big a deal to post a separate title and excerpt-description to another blog after posting.

Unfortunately, I can’t actually subscribe to it, because it’s missing an xmlns:dc="http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/" attribute on the <rss> element (and, well, using namespaces on what claims to be RSS 0.91 is a bit out of spec, but that probably won’t bother any aggregators the way an undeclared namespace will).


Comment by VeerChand Bothra #
2003-06-25 04:11:33

It isn’t necessary to go through all this trouble.
BlogStreet’s RSS Generator creates RSS feeds of blogs in just 2-Clicks.
Check it our here:

Comment by Susan L. Prince #
2003-06-25 11:37:50

Blogstreet doesn’t work for me…the RSS feed it creates points to an address that doesn’t exist.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-25 20:56:00

Ah, oops: looks like their code to resolve relative URLs doesn’t take into account filenames: if your blog’s URL was whatever.com/ rather than whatever.com/blogger.html it would work. That’s not so easy to change, but what should work easily is just to turn your permalinks from relative URLs to absolute URLs: rather than having just href=”<$BlogItemArchiveFileName$>… in your template, use href=”http://whatever.com/<$BlogItemArchiveFileName$>… so that Blogstreet doesn’t have to resolve the relative URL (incorrectly).

Comment by VeerChand Bothra #
2003-06-27 06:08:07

Hi Susan, I checked the feed URL that BlogStreet generated for you and everything seems be to fine. Your BlogStreet powered RSS feed is accessible and it contains the latest posts.
I guess you have figured it out since I can see you linking to it from your blog.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-27 07:25:15

Doesn’t work for me: take a look at the item/link URLs, along the lines of http://susanlprince.truepath.com/blogger.html/2003_06_22_newarchive.html#105655994279684803 including blogger.html in the path when that’s the filename from the base URL.

Comment by VeerChand Bothra #
2003-07-03 05:25:28

I had not understood Susan’s problem.
There indeed was a bug in preparing permalinks,
specific to this type of blogs.
We have corrected it and the feed is ready to be used.

Comment by VeerChand Bothra #
2003-06-27 06:09:33

For reference, here’s your RSS

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-26 18:50:00

Holy crap, a direct mention! I’m honored. But I didn’t come up with the idea; I got it from the FAQ. I did not check it for validity, though, but have added the namespace. At some point I’ll probably upgrade to RSS 2.0, though I’d rather have something with MT on it.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-26 20:19:45

Well, let’s just say we’re both pleased with each other, then, since I’ve been learning from your Mozillazine forum posts for what seems like forever.

Upgrading to RSS 2.0 involves changing the version from ”0.91” to ”2.0”, full stop. One of the nice things about the design is that any valid (or valid ignoring namespaced elements) 0.9x feed is also a valid 2.0 feed. It probably doesn’t make any practical difference, since I don’t know of any aggregators that actually care about version numbers, but that’s all it takes. You still won’t have valid (or usable, either, I’d guess) dates, because I don’t think Blogger has a date format for either dc:date (2003-06-26T21:40:37-05:00) or pubDate (Thu, 26 Jun 2003 22:38:26 GMT), but you can’t have everything.

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 19:56:23

Yeah, sorry about the date thing. I added it so I could be listed in http://gemal.dk/mozilla/blogupdates.html but Blogger doesn’t let you have much control over format. If TypePad comes through the way I think it will, I’ll have a real feed.

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 21:36:56

Even better, I bet you can go into Blogger and make a date format that meets your RSS feed needs!

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 20:37:08

I happen to have a backup copy of my bookmarks file which still had Blogger RSS instructions.

I hate having to guess whether a blog is gonna turn a URL into a link for me. I guess I should have read the instructions 3 inches below this box.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-27 21:11:46

Great Googlie Mooglie! That’s an incredible historical artifact! I mean, sure, Blogger really ought not to keep help around from three and a half years ago (I love the correction to the incorrect <url> tag in the screenshot, still hanging around), but still, a very cool flashback.

Once someone pointed out to me that I can just drag a text URL to the open space on the tab bar to open it, I stopped being annoyed by them. I’m still annoyed by people who don’t tell you what will happen, especially if they don’t have preview so I can find out what’s going to happen, but I’m fine with plain text URLs any more.

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 20:55:04

holy crap, now that I know your name I see it all over the Blogger FAQ.

Now that I have your attention, can you have someone look at the bug reports I’ve got sitting on my account in Blogger Control (alanjstr)?

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 21:01:04

And if you work for Blogger, how come you seem to MT centric?

(sigh. just read the faq about not asking you for help. eh, i figure you can lend me a hand.)

Ok, I’ve finished reading your front page. Now I gotta find the archive links.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-27 21:18:05

not asking you for help – Good Lord, where’s that? I don’t think I’ve ever read it (I didn’t write it, did I?), and I haven’t seen any sign that anyone else has, either. It’s just part of what I do, when I can and have the time.

I don’t actually work for Blogger (though I did blow a chance that would have probably ended up with me as a Google employee – stupid, stupid Phil), I just started answering people’s questions when there weren’t very many other people doing any answering, and I don’t quite seem to have stopped yet.

So while I can’t actually fix Blogger errors, if you’ve got any problems that involve things where there’s a chance of fixing it or working around it without being able to get to the backend, fire away. This thread started out being about your use of Blogger, so your use of Blogger is pretty damn on-topic.

Comment by alanjstr #
Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-27 21:58:21

Oh, that! I was talking about my scheme to let anyone post (but not publish) to a blog via the API, because I was hoping that other people would want to add FAQ answers to that blog, once I got tired of posting to it. But I still take questions by the bucketful, in comments there, and here, and on both email lists, and thanks for the reminder, because I’ve completely forgotten to answer questions in my Blogger help forum for, um, a really really long time. Excuse me while I go deal with a huge backlog…

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 22:10:09

Oops. Well, as long as someone looks at my blogger control entries.

One really nice thing about LiveJournal is that I can get notified when someone replies to a comment I’ve left on a blog that is not mine.

*twitch* I’m sleepy, so that might not have made enough sense.

Heck, if I bother to fill in my email addy, you’d think there’d be a checkbox to email me any replies.

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2003-06-27 22:22:14

There is an MT hack to add email notification, by sticking a PHP page in between the comment form and the actual MT backend. Seems to work okay, but it’s, er, not very elegant. Adding you to a notification list is pretty easy, but in order to get off the list when you get tired of it requires a bit more work. Much easier when you’ve got a single server where everyone’s logged in, LJ-style. I wouldn’t be surprised to see TypePad doing that, and various other things inspired by Live Journal, and it’s about time: there’s plenty of good ideas to steal there, but for the most part bloggers have just seen the worst ”my gym teacher’s sooooo mean!!!” aspects of LJ, and ignored the good ideas.

Comment by alanjstr #
2003-06-27 22:31:48

I plan to blog tomorrow (or whenever I remember) about what I want to see in a blog reader. So far the thing I like the best is LJ’s Friends page. Most of the blogs I read I do want to see the entry. And if I’m viewing the full entry in a layout of my choosing, I don’t have to battle with the styles some people choose.

So that would be the benifit of ignoring the ”summary” purpose of RSS, at least for me. I did try an RSS reader once, but found that I was visiting all of the pages anyways. So now I just have a bookmark folder that I middle-click and launches 30 tabs. It’s fast enough to just close the tab if there’s nothing new.

And now I am caught up in skimming your archives.

Comment by Marc #
2003-08-04 08:12:09

I’m trying to add my blog to BlogStreet to get an RSS feed, but it seems like my feed doesn’t reflect the most current blog post. Is there something I need to add to my Blogger template to get BlogStreet to recognize it? What’s the missing step(s)?

Comment by CZ #
2003-10-18 18:48:39

BlogStreet is telling me ’Unable to generate RSS Feed for this Blog’. Anyone have an idea why/what I need to do to fix this?

Comment by CC #
2003-10-28 10:17:37

I tried the RSS generator on Blogstreet but it did not recognize the permalinks or blog posts correctly. This is what it thought was the permalinks and blog posts: http://www.unrealized.blogspot.com/javascript:HaloScan(

Haloscan is the commenting system I’m using.

Any tips?

Trackback by edBlog #
2003-07-21 19:51:03

RSS Feeds from Blogstreet

A tool for creating feeds for the blogs of friends of mine in places like, say, Blogspot, who are not coughing up the cashola to provide RSS feeds! Most excellent! Found it on this page’s comments section. I still haven’t

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