Notifying RSS Users of Changes

By Deane Barker

I’m going to kill the individual entry comment RSS feeds. They’re not getting used much, and they mean double the files when we rebuild. With 4,600 entries, this becomes a problem.

(Additionally, something has gone weird somewhere because the fourth most requested page on this site is the comments RSS for this entry on Windows AntiSpyware – a very nondescript post with just a few comments. This tells me that some process somewhere is pinging the crap out of this file for no good reason.)

Anyway, this brings up the question of how to notify people that I’m doing this. How do you notify RSS users? The solution is pretty simple I guess – I’m going to tack an entry to the top of this XML file that just explains that we’re not maintaining these feeds anymore, rebuild them all one last time, and then leave the files out there long enough for everyone to ping them again.

But when do you pull the files? When I delete these 4,600 XML files, do I redirect requests for them to another feed with a single entry that explains that they’re gone? Are there best practices for this?

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