RSS feeds for Metafilter and Metatalk (Oct. 2001) October 11, 2001 10:06 AM   Subscribe

If there were MetaFilter and MetaTalk RSS feeds that contained all of the information the front pages normally do, and we had permission to mirror them, it could take some server load off the site.
posted by rcade to Feature Requests at 10:06 AM (6 comments total)

MetaFilter had an RSS feed that appears to be inactive, and there used to be an unofficial scraped feed.

However, I've yet to see one that fully replaces the need to load the front page each time you visit MetaFilter. I'd like to be able to use AmphetaDesk (an RSS reader) to view the latest links and see how many comments they contain, because I know it would be less server-intensive than my current practice: Reloading the front page 30-50 times a day like a rat in a Skinner Box.
posted by rcade at 10:10 AM on October 11, 2001

If you don't worry about RSS standards, I could just leave HTML in the posts, and send everything in the RSS file.

You could recreate the home page by just transforming a xml file on the client side, either with xsl or css (I could provide the xml and the transform xsl - it would require IE5+ to view).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:23 AM on October 11, 2001

I think it's a swell idea, although... I'm not up on RSS but isn't it better suited to read-only broadcasts of updates than the interactive MeFi thingiemabob jobbie going on here? Presumably, when you got a mirrored version of the site and you opened a thread, any posts submitted would have to go directly back to MeFiCentral. Would each new post trigger an update back down to all the child servers so that real-time views of number of threads/new threads would always be available? Would there be built-in delays, much like with the just-after-9/11 front page? It would still be less intensive that what's happening right now, if the "Mother" MeFi was used almost exclusively for managing the central load while these child servers handled most browser requests.

If it can be well implemented it makes a lot of sense to have multiple servers run by trusted and longtime MeFi members- with the relatively large Seattle contingent, for example, a to handle us Emerald City folk could cut down on the mathowie load while improving the page response we get. After all, when we all signed up originally we put a location/zip code in there... might as well use that.
posted by hincandenza at 10:32 AM on October 11, 2001

i was thinking about multiple servers as a possibility for mefi, but that would of course require volunteers. and, worse: i can't volunteer. (no server or bandwidth to give out.)
posted by moz at 10:49 AM on October 11, 2001

I think I might be breaking the RSS standard in my Cruel Site of the Day feed [self-link], but I put all of a links HTML inside a CDATA block.

hincandenza: I'm not suggesting that MetaFilter be mirrored -- only the RSS feeds that contain the links, descriptive text, and number of comments for current front page posts. Since the server spends most of its time serving those things, mirrored RSS feeds would reduce the load if people used them.

mathowie: Have you ever thought about exposing all of MetaFilter's public data via XML? If every new post and comment had a unique ID, and you could do a "send me only the new stuff" request, MetaFilter reader software could be written that never requests the same post or comment twice.
posted by rcade at 11:23 AM on October 11, 2001

Forumzilla takes a load off.
posted by holloway at 6:43 PM on October 11, 2001

« Older Free will's a bitch.   |   With the fine new interface, perhaps we could do... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments