It appears that Google’s recent Google Feed API depreciation has finally stopped the very useful RSS Search Engine from working.

“With the Feed API, you can [could] download any public Atom, RSS, or Media RSS feed using only JavaScript”

But I’m very pleased to see that the search engine DuckDuckGo now offers Bing-like feed:keyword searches and seems to do so rather well. Unlike Bing, DuckDuckGo even offers a “Past Week” option on such searches. Though it’s not so useful. Because the results are “we crawled this in the last week, but it hasn’t updated since 2012”, rather than “wow, the feed updated with juicy new content in the last week”.

Searches are however aware of the feed’s content as well as the simple fact that is a feed. Since feed posts are dated, this means that you can approximate a ‘recent’ search with:

feed:keyword March 2017

feed:deadline conference history university March 2017

Very useful for those who need to find timely new content, drawn only from sources highly likely to be dedicated to pumping out such content. Although on a simple search you will still get tangled in feeds that don’t restrict themselves to ‘last 20 posts’, and instead pour in years and years of posts. Using an additional -2016 seems to knock out such over-long feeds, at the cost of omitting some feeds that may be useful. feed: also accepts a ‘nuke-from-orbit’ command such as -2010~2016.

You can also do feed:“keyword” to prevent annoying word-juggling (e.g. search for stoke, see results for stock) or to add phrases.

Firefox browser users may not get the feeds to display prettily as a browser page, when you start clicking on the search results from such a DuckDuckGo search. This may have been because you reset your Firefox RSS preview (‘Live Bookmark’) functionality some time in the past. This may have been done because it’s apparently been somewhat insecure to preview RSS feeds inside Firefox until a security fix in version 51, the current version being 52. So security-minded users may have passed RSS feed subscription handling straight to a dedicated desktop reader, such as the excellent free FeedDemon. To undo such a change go: Tools | Options | Applications | Web Feed | and switch back to ‘Preview in Firefox’.

You’ll then get an in-browser page-like preview of the RSS feed, whatever format it comes in (it appears Firefox can tell an .xml feed from an “.xml document”). The Firefox preview page will still offer you an option to send the feed to your main feed reader.

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