[Tutor] Building RSS reader with Python

Shawn Milochik Shawn at milochik.com
Wed Nov 5 21:54:53 CET 2008

On Wed, Nov 5, 2008 at 3:26 PM,  <btkuhn at email.unc.edu> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'm new to programming and am building a very basic rss reader for my first
> major project with python and GUI. As it is, I have it set up so that if I
> input an exact rss feed address (ex http://news.google.com/?output=rss) I
> can retrieve stories. Id like to make it so that I can enter a site (like
> http://news.google.com) and have it search for the address of rss feeds on
> the site, so that I don't have to know exact page addresses for the rss,
> since most sites don't have such a straightforward location for the RSS
> page. Is there a way to do this?
> Thanks,
> Luke
> _______

My gut reaction is to say that it's a lost cause. Everybody does their
own thing on the Internet, and you'll never be able to describe all of
the ways people do it.

However, there are *some* standards out there. Check with the big CMS
tools (WordPress, Drupal, Zope, Plone, etc.) and see if they have a
standard. That'll help. Hit up some of the big sites (Google News,
Reuters, CNN, BBC) and see what they do.

You'll end up with a database of maybe a few dozen things to try
(example.com/rss.xml, example.com/blog?feed=rss2,
example.com/feeds.atom, and many more), and you can search for them by

Having said that, it'll never be perfect, and it may not even be close
enough to perfect to be worth the maintenance. I refer back to my gut
reaction above. But you never know -- you could be the guy who
maintains the most complete reference to RSS URLs on the Internet, and
all will download your list for their own projects. Somebody has to be
the best in that market.


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