XKCD What If Feed Not updating correctly

XKCD what if site doesn’t seem to parse correctly. Newest story in my newsblur feed is from July 22, while I see that the nestest story from in the feed is August 12.



I’m going to figure this one out. I love that feed, too. There’s something buggy with the feed, that I know for sure, since a couple other feed readers are also choking on it.

Emailed Randall:

Hey Randall, I run NewsBlur, an open-source news reader. Not only am I a big fan of both XKCD and What If, but tens of thousands of my users are, too.

There’s an issue with the What If feed at http://what-if.xkcd.com/feed.atom (and at http://whatif.xkcd.com/feed.atom, which I had to manually de-dupe to what-if.xkcd.com):

{‘guidislink’: False,
‘id’: u’http://what-if.xkcd.com’,
‘link’: u’http://what-if.xkcd.com’,
‘links’: [{‘href’: u’http://what-if.xkcd.com’,
‘rel’: u’alternate’,
‘type’: u’text/html’}],
‘published’: u’2013-07-30T00:00:00Z’,
‘published_parsed’: time.struct_time(tm_year=2013, tm_mon=7, tm_mday=30, tm_hour=0, tm_min=0, tm_sec=0, tm_wday=1, tm_yday=211, tm_isdst=0),
‘summary’: u’\n Restraining an Airplane\n If you wanted to anchor an airplane into the ground so it wouldn’t be able to take off, what would the rope have to be made out of?



Notice that the ‘id’ key is pretty generic. It’s also the exact same thing for all stories. Could you possibly change that to the permalink or some other globally unique ID? It would mean my users could read the feed again.

Also, I have a feeling it broke right around the Drain The Oceans stories.




But seriously, didn’t even realize it was broken until now. Thanks.

In addition to the dup ids, might want to let Randall know the field is also in the wrong format and should be RFC3339/xsd:dateTime.


Another topic is a dup of this one:

Appears to be fixed http://validator.w3.org/feed/check.cg…

Apologies for duplicate comments, just updating duplicate topics.

Thanks for fixing!

I haven’t seen this feed update in forever - I figured he just stopped making it!

When I look at the raw feed, the latest entry I see is from May 21. What’s going on here? https://what-if.xkcd.com/feed.atom

that actually IS the latest what-if.


Hmm, I see, thanks. OP mentioned stories from July 22 and August 12, which threw me for a loop.

for anyone keeping track, he’s started writing a series of articles for the New York Times that is basically what if.


and 3.5 years later, a new youtube channel