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Comments in Feeds

Steve, who shouldn't mind that I'm "laying the smack down" on him since he lists this as something he likes to do in this same entry, asks me to put comments in my RSS feeds.


I will not put comments in my feeds. I do not want my articles to show up as "new" every time someone posts a comment. I do not want my feeds to fail validation because of some rogue comment. I hate RSS feeds that have comments, and I unsubscribe from them immediately if they start showing up.

Steve describes the "refreshing" of an article as new as a "huge benefit." It ain't for me. I already READ that article I say. The only time I want to see an updated article is if the author's added an update, edit, or P.S.

There's a reason blogs like the one at offer feeds with comments right alongside feeds without comments - people don't like the commented ones (the only choice they offered when I first grabbed their RSS feed).

I could do the same. That'd offer a "best of both worlds" functionality to my visitors. But I won't because I'm selfish. This site is for me, and it'll function so that it's most easily used by me. I don't want the bandwidth hit on the larger Entry+Comments files. I don't even publish full entries for my longer articles. Most importantly, though, I don't want the time hit on the rebuilding and maintenance of six RSS feeds. MT already takes long enough to rebuild when someone posts a comment.

So, sorry Steve. If an article interests you, visit and comment. I sympathize with your wishes, and wants, and needs, but hopefully you can understand mine.

20 Responses to "Comments in Feeds"

  1. Unsanity has feeds WITHOUT comments? What in the hell have I been doing all this time? Why didn't anybody tell me?

    (Stick it to the man, Erik)

  2. I guess that it would be too much to fix this problem too. I know. I know. The site is for you, and, as such, you just don't care if a SharpReader has a problem with your site. Oh well.

    I understand your reasons for not doing so. I just find the lack of comments disappointing. Besides, how do I argue with "I don't care what you want."? 😉

  3. See, now you're gonna have to leave that JPEG up forever because people will click that link forever.

    I'm not sure how to fix that error. In that section, the templates are default MT template code. I don't have a Windows box I could borrow for an hour or so to test.

    If anyone has ideas, feel free to share them. I may visit a friend's house with a PC, sometime, but this is also one of those "tough for me to care" things. Works fine for me. 🙂

  4. I don't have to keep the image up. I wise man once said to me, "I won't because I'm selfish. This site is for me,....." 😉 I feel liberated. 🙂

    (With that said, I will certainly keep it up for long enough for it to matter)

  5. Agreed. The feeds-with-comments are incredibly fucking annoying. Unsanity was the only blog i had that did it, fortunately they offered a no comments option finally.

  6. Interesting. I suppose some of it has to do with the popularity of the site and the verbosity of its author. The more I think about it, I wouldn't want comments in your feed. However, I would want them in Nick's or Jamie's.

    In a site where the author posts once (perhaps twice) a day and much of the content is generated by the discussion, I think that I would still appreciate it.

    I suppose it would also have to do with the readership and the type of comments that they tend to offer. If the comments were simply "Yeah, I agree.", I could see how annoying that would get.

    On the other hand, if you created a feed w/comments of the QotD category, it might be fun. In that situation, each comment would be like another article.

    I come from the world of forums where, if you like a thread, you subscribe to it. It then becomes a discussion. I miss that level of interactivity.

  7. If QotD takes off and people begin commenting on it, I can see giving it its own feed. I'd actually just begin offering the category feed with that one - OneWords would get thrown in there too, but nobody comments on those.

  8. Here's the big question: would you include comments in that feed?

  9. I suppose I could have been clearer, but "but nobody comments on those" might have clued you in. Regardless, here's the direct answer: sure. I might even put TrackBacks in there.

    But so far very few people have seen fit to comment on my QotDs. I thought they might do a little better than they are, really.

  10. Re: QotD

    I have found, through my philosophical posts, that people don't seem to like to respond to things that ask for responses/discussion. Either that or I am nuts for liking philosophy.

    P.S. Hope you didn't unsubscribe to my RSS way back when. I did set the index-short.rdf as default, which is probably what Unsanity should do, too.

  11. Following this conversation, I've added a comments feed. This is not the same as adding comments in my feed, of course. You can subscribe to...

  12. Going back to the script error, you shouldn't have to use a PC to get it: Mozilla ought to be throwing it too, just in a less annoying way, in the Javascript console. The problem is that you only get document.formName.* for forms with names, not forms with ids. If you add name="comments_form" to the form tag, then the error goes away (and, I would think, "Remember personal info" starts to work, which it shouldn't be doing without some fix for the error). Alternatively, you could change all the document.comments_form.* to document.getElementById("comments_form").* and keep the id rather than a name for the form.

  13. And, indeed, "Remember personal info" isn't working in Phoenix, er, Mozilla Firebird, ah, Mozilla Browser.

  14. Phil, I appreciate all of what you're saying. One thing: "name" is not a valid attribute in XHTML, I'll have to look at how that's handled or worked around. Second, I don't care about Mozilla or IE on Windows. However, it doesn't work in Camino, either, so I'll take a look at this later today.

  15. I'm attempting to fix some JavaScript issues with the site. Specifically regarding the items discussed in the comments of of this article by Phil Ringnalda....

  16. With all the names has, you would think they would have one for "any browser on your OS of choice built with the Gecko rendering engine and whatever the Javascript library is called," which is what my first "Mozilla" really meant. Having made fun of people who drove 'minos all my life, I hate to use that name for a perfectly good browser, just like I hate to say that I'm now using the Screaming Chicken browser.

  17. RSS Changes

    After reading “NetNewsWire and Update Checking” by Brent Simmons, I have made some changes to my RSS Feed . Each item now sports a unique guid element so that—if aggregators support it—they can distinguish between entries that a...

  18. I like Mozilla and I recommend it as a fast browser, that works well even on older computers. But the thing I like the most is I do not need to update Windows, to get the latest browser (speaking about IE).

  19. I am most impressed with Mozilla and have now set it as my default browser. What sold me on it is that I can install additional extensions to extend its usability as I need. Same with Firebird (which is just the browser part of Mozilla) but I like the way the full Mozilla "feels" better than Firebird.

    I've installed the Google Toolbar I've heard so much about and a tabbed browsing extension that makes the tabs behave exactly as I like