Anthony Bailey (anthonybailey) wrote in suggestions,
Anthony Bailey

OPML export should dereference syndicated feed URLs

OPML export should dereference syndicated feed URLs

Short, concise description of the idea
When I export the feeds I follow through LJ as OPML, the URLs for syndicated feeds should be the source URL that LJ pulls that feed from, not the URL that LJ exposes in turn.

Full description of the idea
I use LJ mostly as a feed reader. During recent problems with syndicated accounts I was glad to find the OPML export tool at so that I could migrate my reading elsewhere - thank you for attempting to be open, as Net service providers should be.

However, the xmlURL attribute of the outline element for a syndicated account "foo" in the exported OPML is syndicated.livejournal,com/foo/data/rss - i.e. you export LJ's syndication stub rather than the URL of the original feed.

This, um, kind of defeats the whole point of the export.

An ordered list of benefits
  • Data portability: enable users to migrate from LJ when they want to.
  • Reduce load on LJ from users who are using the exported OPML in another feed reader.
  • Less indirection reduces the chance of feed content being lost in translation. For example, LJ stores only a limited number of items per syndicated feed.
  • I ended up having to script and scrape your pages in order to get the real URLs out. I'm guessing you don't want people doing that!
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • Reduces user lock-in - but you wouldn't want to succeed through evil, right? (-:
  • Implementation effort on an edge feature.
Tags: syndication, § no status
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