Saturday, March 5, 2011

Convert Partial RSS Feed to Full Feed And Vice Versa

Don’t you hate when websites offer only the headline and a supposedly tantalizing teaser, as a bait for you to click on the link to their website for the whole article? Over the years the number of blogs that offer partial feed has declined, yet a surprising number of them still use it. So if you have a blog in your reading list that offer only an extract of the articles, here is what you can do.

partial-feed-cartoon

Convert Partial Feed to Full Feed

Full Text RSS Feed is the easiest one to use. Supple the URL of the partial RSS feed and get back a feed URL that has the whole text on it. You can even skip going to their website by just appending http://fulltextrssfeed.com/ before the offending feed URL. For example if the partial feed URL is www.example.com/feed the full RSS feed becomes http://fulltextrssfeed.com/www.example.com/feed

Another such service is Five Filters. The same approach – submit the partial feed URL and get the full feed URL, but here you get additional customization option, such as limiting number of items to retrieve and whether or not to preserve links in the article.

WizardRSS is yet another one, but I suggest not to use them. It seems that the code that runs WizardRSS’s service has been copied from non other than Five Filters, mentioned above, who has released the code under AGPL. Not only WizardRSS fails to mention this but they even violate the AGPL license by not offering users the opportunity to download the source code.

But this is not why I forbade you to use their service. WizardRSS doesn’t work on a number of blogs. About a month back, WizardRSS banned a large number of IP addresses because a number of websites, they say, violated their terms of service by removing the footer links that WizardRSS appends on all feeds that run through their service. Talk about hypocrites.

If you are already using WizardRSS and a feed has not updated for weeks, check them again, because the website you are following through WizardRSS could be in their IP block list.

Convert Full Feed to Partial Feed

Now why would anybody want to do that, you might ask. There are valid reasons why truncating feeds might be necessary. For example, I follow a number of photo-blogs that publishes several pictures in each article. Often times, my feed reader gets inundated with images and clogs the Internet pipes in the process of downloading them. I don’t need to see every image they publish. Usually a glance at the first image is enough to decide whether I want to see the rest of the series. These are the blogs I wish published partial feed instead of full.

No need to wish further. Five Filters comes to the rescue again. I mentioned Five Filters has a number of customization options – one such is to truncate full feeds into partial ones.

fivefilters

On Five Filters, expand the options section and click on ‘Extraction pattern’ input box to reveal four extraction behavior. The default is ‘auto’, when you are converting partial feed to full feed. If you change it to “First paragraph in content block”, Five Filters will extract only the first paragraph of the article from the feed. Use this when the articles are long winded.

Another option, which is particularly helpful for my photo-blogs is the “First image in content block”. When this is used Five Filters extracts only the first image that occurs in the article and ignores the rest. Perfect.

If you know any other full-to-partial feed converter, do let me know and I will add them here.

2 comments:

  1. http://www.fullfeed.net does something similar without any ads.

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://www.fullfeed.net is a spam

    ReplyDelete

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