Is there an RSS reader that can display comments?
December 12, 2007 5:37 AM   Subscribe

Can someone suggest an RSS reader (free, Mac Leopard) that will display a blog post's comments?

The few RSS readers I've tried for some reason strip out the comments links (say of the mefi RSS feed). Sometimes I'd like to read just the comments of a post and not the post itself...anyone know of a reader that can do this?
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (15 answers total)
i use something called netnewswire lite, free and it does the job
posted by citybuddha at 5:42 AM on December 12, 2007

This is unlikely to do with the RSS reader. The contents of an RSS feed (i.e. whether it shows the full post or an excerpt, whether it shows all associated links or just the main article link) are determined by the site in question. So if the MetaFilter RSS feed doesn't include a comments link, then it won't show up in any RSS reader. The RSS reader isn't stripping anything out -- it's not there in the first place.

So, basically, I think you're out of luck.
posted by chrismear at 5:44 AM on December 12, 2007

What chrismear said.

There are some readers (Thunderbird, for example) that will let you display the actual web page for a feed item rather than just whats contained within the feed. In this way, you can view the comments.
posted by softlord at 6:28 AM on December 12, 2007

one of the other sites i read only has a partial feed so i put it into a full text rss converter and sometimes the comments show up. Apparently metafilter is formated differently because it doesn't show the comments still so you are probably SOL.
posted by DJWeezy at 6:55 AM on December 12, 2007

Chrismear is right. Unless it's included in the site's RSS feed, it won't be in the RSS reader.
posted by Pants! at 6:56 AM on December 12, 2007

What you're looking for would be technically possible if your RSS feed of articles came embedded with an RSS feed for each articles comments. But I don't think the RSS specification allows for that, and I've definitely never seen or heard of anything like that.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:06 AM on December 12, 2007

actually, the wfw: elements (see here) include a commentRSS link. Both Blogger/Blogspot and Wordpress generate feeds with the wfw: namespaced elements. I have a personal aggregator project (web based) which uses this information to give a comment count next to each entry - but I had to hack that code in myself.

I've never seen an RSS reader (Mac OSX or elsewhere) which natively uses the commentRSS element.

So, yeah. What everyone else is saying. You're probably out of luck.
posted by geminus at 7:47 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Well, it's not exactly what you want, but here at MeFi, you can subscribe to a feed for an individual post, and that'll give you all the comments. Try the subscribe link right under the title. Of course, you'll have to subscribe to each individual thread.
posted by natabat at 7:58 AM on December 12, 2007

blue_beetle: you can put anything into your feed that you want. In a previous incarnation of my blog, I published a feed of posts with comments appended, and another without. The RSS spec (although there are so many, it's hard to pin down) doesn't give an ideal markup structure for this, but it'll all fit in the "CDATA" portion.
posted by adamrice at 8:35 AM on December 12, 2007

zardoz, just to reiterate what's going on with MeFi, this is the feed for the posts to Ask MeFi:

It just lists the post content only though.

Here is the feed for this exact thread:

This includes the original post and all the comments. As you can imagine, just as they are two separate HTML pages, they are two separate RSS files. One represents the front page, one represents a thread page and there are thousands of RSS files, one for each thread.
posted by mathowie at 10:45 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ah, but there is one!
posted by cdmwebs at 10:54 AM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Approaching way-off-topicness...but the question has already been answered so:

Being based on RDF, RSS v1.0 made all of this possible. Among the myriad extensions to the core RSS specification there is even one for syndicating comments. I wrote an entire CMS based on RSS for storage and XSLT for display for a class project many years ago. Alas, the forces behind limiting the scope of the specification to syndicating news and blog fodder won out with RSS v2.0 and the specification will always be an underachiever because of it (IMO).
posted by Fezboy! at 12:14 PM on December 12, 2007

Google Reader can be supplemented with a Greasemonkey script that will open the full HTML web page inside a text box within each item. Take a look:


You can sign up for Google Reader here, get Greasemonkey (for Firefox only)* here, and install the userscript here.

(*) If you don't use Firefox, Wikipedia's article on Greasemonkey has a handy section that discusses and links to Greasemonkey equivalents in other browsers. Some are compatible with GM's userscripts, others are not. Hope that helps!
posted by Rhaomi at 1:23 PM on December 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

Feck. I just noticed that two of the links in my post are borked. Here are the correct ones, for posterity:

Sign up for Google Reader

Download Greasemonkey extension for Firefox
posted by Rhaomi at 11:17 AM on December 13, 2007

Even without Greasemonkey, Google Reader offers a bookmarklet you can drag to a toolbar. Then when you hit it, it'll load the full page for the first unread article in your subscriptions.
posted by evilcolonel at 3:37 PM on December 13, 2007

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