I noticed fairly quickly Jekyll has an RSS generator. I like the idea however in it’s current state I think it may be unusable. Looking at the file it’s publishing the entire contents of each article. First step is to figure out how to verify what done looks like, and I think that means finding an RSS reader which allows me refresh often. The answer is perhaps a manually opening the resources in VIM to check it out. After a few minutes I found an aweful lot of articles on the best RSS feeds for web developers yet not one recommendation on a tool which allows manual refresh of the resources. Here is where I choose my favorite tool: a text editor; particular incarnation will probably be vim.


Reviewing the current RSS feed

Out of the box, my Jekyll instance is generating an RSS feed with the entire article in the contents. I’m not sure if that is the intent of the system however it seems a little silly than just generating a digest. The first result out of the box in regards to finding a solution is RSS and Atom feeds in Jekyll which looks reasonable…except the video. I’m interested in learning what the default out of the box template does. Looking through Mimnima, the defualt Jekyll theme, it doesn’t seem to contian any reference to the RSS feed. Now I’m wondering what mechanism is used to create the RSS feeds.

From what I can tell Jekyll looks like it uses jekyll-feed to generate the content. Alrighty. It got there out of hte box by the Jekyll generator, good times! jekyll-feed uses the _config.yml file for it’s configuration. Probably a good time to review it. I shrunk several boiler plate lines intended to get people started. Many references to a front matter, I had to look this one up. It’s a metadata block at the top of the file.

There are a lot of metadata options. excerpt might be the correct item to utilize to clean up the description. I’ll need to find some documentation about the details, might just use a multiline string. There is also _data/authors.yml which might reduce the amount of detail I need to include in each article. Alrighty, well. No luck on finding documentation beyond the specs. Let’s give it a whirl!

Placing the exceprt key in the metadata section doesn’t provide a short excerpt fo the article. The default is suppose to be a new paragraph using the <p> tags according to the Post Excerpt documentation. Interesting teh entire post is escaped to by carried within the XML. Looks like this might be my problem. So let’s try the other approach of manually demarcating the excerpt section. No dice.

I’m wondering if I somehow managed to muck things up with my custom templates and all. Some strange nesting thing or along those lines.

I got frustrated and went to the source of truth. As you can see the most recent revision, retrieved today, doesn’t honor the export option. Will a layout override work? It didn’t honor the file _layouts/feed.xml. I think I need to call this project and try again some other time.