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I am trying to get a list of query parameters used in common RSS feeds.

For example , if I was to query an rss feed as http://www.anySite.com/articles/ as an rss and I want the first 5 articled how would I do that ?

I know that in some feeds I can use http://www.anySite.com/articles?page=2

But all I am looking for is a place that lists the most common specified parameters that are standard in most RSS feeds.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

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closed as off topic by soandos, Nifle, Indrek, Mokubai, haimg Aug 21 '12 at 21:18

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About half of the time, the feeds aren't even RSS... –  grawity Apr 12 '11 at 21:28

3 Answers 3

How a site generates RSS feeds, and what parameters they use is purely down to the whim of the person / company that wrote the RSS feed software in use of that site. Unless the site is using some common CMS system, like Drupal, Joomla, etc., then chances are the RSS is generated by custom software.

There are no standards about what parameters should be used for RSS. Infact RSS itself doesn't use parameters at all - you just make a request to a URL and it returns a properly formatted XML file.

The best you could do is look at the common CMS packages and see what they do. Then if you come across a site using that CMS system you can use your known parameters. For every other site you're on your own.

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Out of 513 feeds I subscribe to:
50 take some sort of param after the page.
Of those 50:
26 have a "feed="
Of those:
15 use rss2
2 use rss
8 use atom
1 uses rdf
Of those not using "feed=":
7 have a "format=" option (5 of which are craigslist feeds, specifying a format of rss)
3 have a "alt=rss"
2 have a "section="
2 have a "_render=rss"
The rest seem to be UID's or very specific to the site. Small sample size, but may be helpful.

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As the other answers point out, query parameters are up to the developers. Specifically, this is because the RSS specification - http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification - is a specification for an XML dialect. It is not an API.

However, to help get you started on your quest, here's the WordPress codex page on feeds: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Feeds The document gives you some ideas on how to interact with the built-in WordPress feed functionality via query parameters.

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