Feeds trick

Almost a year ago I decided to modify my news feeds to carry the full posts instead of summaries. In order to do that, I changed the following line in all my feeds templates:

<description><$MTEntryExcerpt remove_html="1" encode_xml="1"$></description>

into:

<description><$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$></description>

One of my reader wrote that it was The Right Thing™ to do, the other one did not complain. And I lived happily ever after.

By doing that, I didn't realize that I made a mistake. If I wrote an entry with an extended body, the extended body wouldn't show up in the feed. Actually, I thought it was good, so that was not a mistake after all. And I started using this trick when writing certain entries, almost articles, that I deemed too long to go in extenso on either the home page or the feeds.

What I'm realizing all of a sudden is that now that my feeds subscribers are used to consume the full posts in their aggregators (and why would they come here on this ugly site anyway?), they are more likely to miss those bigger posts -- of course I leave clues in the summary that there is more to read, but I think that reading news with an aggregator puts one in a mode of fast skimming rather than reading long articles and one might miss it.

However, I wanted to keep this option to decide when a full post is not a full post after all. All I had to do was to replicate the way it works on my home page, i.e. modify one line in each feeds template:

<description><$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$></description>

and change it to:

<description><$MTEntryBody encode_xml="1"$><MTEntryIfExtended><![CDATA[<p><a href="<$MTEntryLink encode_xml="1"$>">more...</a></p>]]></MTEntryIfExtended></description>

Et voilà, now all my feeds will sport a "more..." link to the full post when there is more to read than meet the eyes!

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