My server is under attack by RSS aggregators! They eat bandwidth and resources at four times the rate of regular viewing mortals like you and me. I love RSS, don't get me wrong. But the current crop of brute-force aggregators is really driving me crazy. (Amphetadesk and Netnewswire seem to be the worst offenders, but they may simply be the most popular.) Some stop by as often as every ten minutes without so much as identifying themselves. It's just rude to make so many requests. Aggregator authors could create polite software very simply: use conditional HTTP gets
. The aggregator sends the last time they've seen the feed along with each request. And my server politely says, "no, it's the same one you have. 304." Or "yes, it has changed since your version, here you go. 200." It's much more civilized than, "gimmie! gimmie! gimmie! 200! 200! 200!" The other alternative is to set up a centralized ping-server where RSS authors can let every aggregator on earth know that their feed has changed recently. (like weblogs.com.) It's not as elegant or scalable as conditional HTTP gets, but it would be better than our current state of RSS anarchy. As it is, I'm going to have to write some sort of filter to slow them down.