Fixing FeedBurner Fiasco, Conclusion

» 06 March 2009 » In Other, PHP, Rants »

In the previous post I mentioned that I was going to migrate to Google account on FeedBurner using a trick to avoid spamming the subscribers with old posts. The trick seemed to work fine, so here’s the explanation. I use WordPress (2.6), but this can be generalized to other systems. In wp-includes/feed-rss2.php, find the beginning of the post loop – the while( have_posts() ) line – and add another one after it to exclude the posts dated earlier than the migration date from the feed. It should look something like this:

 <?php while( have_posts()) : the_post();
 if (get_post_time() < strtotime('2009-03-01')) continue;

The end result of this is that your feed will contain only the items published after the specified date. This may be a bit strange for new subscribers, so I made a new blog post so as not to keep my feed completely empty, but for existing ones it should be transparent.

In general, I want to say that Google has completely mishandled this transition after their acquisition of FeedBurner. Chris Shiflett already explained what problems he saw with it, but I found one more: they broke the Awareness API. I noticed this because my feed statistics were all 0. Turns out that the old API URL (http://api.feedburner.com/) was gone, and you had to use the new one (http://feedburner.google.com/api). Breaking the legacy API URLs is a major violation of the contract you make with the users when you publish the API. At the very least, Google should have silently redirected the requests to the new API instead of doing the most egregious thing possible and simply removing the old URL. Shame on you, Google.

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