Viewing the everything feed

2024-01-12 09:26:00 +0700 by Mark Smith

The website's new everything RSS has been live for a couple of days now. I've noticed that it doesn't display all that well in some feed readers. The reason is that many readers don't currently do a great job at displaying posts without titles. Since the everything feed includes everything, that means it has both posts where titles make sense like the blog, podcast and newsletter, but it also includes posts that have no titles, like the links and notes posts.

In the earlier days of the web, when most feed readers were created, pretty much all posts had titles. But then Twitter showed up and proved without a shaddow of a doubt that not only did posts not need titles, but people absolutely loved writting posts without titles. The RSS specification doesn't actually require a title. As long as you specify either a title or a description or both, it's technically a valid feed. Feed readers haven't adapted all that well to the new paradigm. It's somewhat understandable because to be fair it's a bit of a design challenge.

With that said here's how I handled it in Feedly. The feed was initially showing up with a load of posts that said 'No title'. I checked out the display settings and updated the 'density' settings from 'compact' to 'comfortable'. With that setting change, the title still displays as 'No title' but an abbreviated version of the description shows up below, so you can at least see what the post contains.

Other feed readers will likely have similar display settings. It's worth trying some of them to see if there's a view that works better with a mixed post type feed like the everything feed.

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