Brandon Rozek

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PhD Student @ RPI studying Automated Reasoning in AI and Linux Enthusiast.

Pretty RSS Feeds

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2 minute reading time

Hi, I have a RSS feed. This allows you to subscribe to my words without me even knowing. How does it work? Well you need an RSS link, here’s mine:


Then you need to input this URL into a newsreader application (Feedly, Feedbin, NetNewsWire, many others) which checks to see if there are any changes in the XML file and presents it in a visually nice way.

In fact, many websites come with a RSS feed. You don’t even need to know the exact URL for it to work, if you type in https://brandonrozek.com into your newsreader, you’ll get options for my various different feeds.

How does that work? Well the website creator needs to include a tag in their website HTML.

<link rel="alternate" 
      title="Brandon Rozek's Blog" />

Most RSS feeds don’t come styled. Therefore if you click on the RSS link you’ll see a bunch of XML formatted text. That can be confusing for people when they first visit, can we do better?

About Feeds RSS Style

Matt Webb created https://aboutfeeds.com in order to provide a friendly overview into the world of RSS. As part of that he includes a style called pretty-feed.xsl. The file comes with instructions built in, but it’s mostly as simple as adding a style tag in the beginning of the XML

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet href="/PATH-TO-YOUR-STYLES/pretty-feed-v3.xsl" type="text/xsl"?>

I hope more bloggers incorporate the style into their feed. I’m waiting for the day that the largest blogging platform Wordpress includes it by default.

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