March 10, 2022

Adding an RSS feed to my wiki

TiddlyWiki is a single static HTML file. It does not generate an RSS feed of new entries. It doesn’t generate anything.

I treat my wiki at wiki.baty.net more like a blog than a wiki, so not having an RSS feed feels like an omission. Most of the time I consider this to be a feature. I like that I can write any old nonsense and it doesn’t actively go out and bother anyone. It’s my little secret, that you can read if you want.

On the other hand, I find it annoying when I’m interested in someone else’s writing and they don’t provide any feeds. So, I’ve decided to make it easier to follow me. I suppose if you deliberately subscribe to the wiki’s feed, you want to be bothered by the stuff I write there.

My solution is based on this article . The short version is that I created a new tiddler named RSS Feed” containing the following:

This tiddler runs a filter finding the last 10 tiddlers tagged with Feed and renders them as RSS-formatted XML.

Extracting the rendered text from that tiddler out to an RSS file is done using my Makefile using the TiddlyWiki node.js module . The command is as follows:

tiddlywiki --load index.html --render "[[RSS Feed]]" "rss.xml" text/plain

This generates a file at ./output/rss.xml containing the rendered RSS text/xml. Later in the Makefile, I rsync rss.xml up to the server along with the rest of the wiki files. Here’s the complete Makefile:

SERVER_HOST=server01.baty.net
SERVER_DIR=/home/jbaty/apps/rudimentarylathe.wiki/public_html
PUBLIC_DIR=~/Sync/wikis/rudimentarylathe/
TARGET=server01.baty.net

.POSIX:
.PHONY: checkpoint deploy

build:
        tiddlywiki --load index.html --render "[[RSS Feed]]" "rss.xml" text/plain

checkpoint:
        git add .
        git diff-index --quiet HEAD || git commit -m "Publish checkpoint"

deploy: build checkpoint
        git push
        @echo "33[0;32mDeploying updates to $(TARGET)...33[0m"
        rsync -v -rz --checksum --delete --no-perms $(PUBLIC_DIR)index.html $(SERVER_HOST):$(SERVER_DIR)
        rsync -v -rz --checksum --delete --no-perms $(PUBLIC_DIR)output/rss.xml $(SERVER_HOST):$(SERVER_DIR)
        rsync -v -rz --checksum --delete --no-perms $(PUBLIC_DIR)files $(SERVER_HOST):$(SERVER_DIR)

All this means is that you can now subscribe to the daily posts at wiki.baty.net using the following URL: https://wiki.baty.net/rss.xml .

The odd thing is that I normally create each daily post first thing in the morning and update it throughout the day. I’m not sure how different RSS readers will handle this, but it’s a start.

I haven’t added the discovery links yet, but should. I also don’t think the RSS tiddler needs all those non-breaking spaces so I may play with that later.

Update March 11, 2022: Saq Imtiaz sent a link to his experimental plugin for generating RSS and JSON feeds . Worth a look!


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