RSS Over Time
November 8, 2006 12:28 PM   Subscribe

How does a typical RSS feed behaves over time, as the content grows?

If I set up an RSS feed and continually update it for, say, five years, won't the size of that XML file get way too big? How is this concept worked around? Do feed publishers establish a time frame, say the most recent three months, from which they provide content? Do feed readers generally impement that (which seems less likely)? Is a workaround for this problem a part of the RSS specification that I'm just not seeing?
posted by joshjs to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: Usually only a set amount of content is contained in the RSS feed, a First In First Out configuration with new content bumping out old content.
posted by borkencode at 12:58 PM on November 8, 2006

Best answer: The problem is not something the spec is designed to handle. All the specification does is let you know what the content you're delivering needs to look like; it doesn't care how you get it.

To answer your broader question- this is something you need to handle through your query. News sites, I've found tend to restrict by time; blogs by # of pieces.
posted by mkultra at 1:05 PM on November 8, 2006

Best answer: Most sites will simply drop older posts. I had this problem on my site. My feed used to only be the last 5 or so posts. So people who used feed readers that polled infrequently would miss stuff.
posted by chunking express at 1:14 PM on November 8, 2006

It's usually 15 entries or the latest day's entries.
posted by tommorris at 1:59 PM on November 8, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, all. A temporal or a FIFO scheme definitely makes sense. And it's helpful to know that the spec doesn't fix my problem (especially without having to read the spec).

I love this site.
posted by joshjs at 3:16 PM on November 8, 2006

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