Thursday, May 20, 2010

Format feed with CSS

To format, or not to format?

If you are using my blog-journey hack to put your blog in chronological order, one of the things I explain how to do is to format the results.

You could, for instance, try to make your reordered version look as much like a series of regular blog posts as possible, by copying the formatting for blog-post titles and text.

However, formatting is optional. And, if all you really want is a list of the titles of your blog posts in order, formatting is really not necessary at all.

In my experience, unformatted results can look acceptable, at least for unmodified designer templates. You can see an example of that on this blog, where the reordered feed of the blog has no special formatting applied.

Compare that to the reordered feed on my "real" blog, where I used CSS to format that blog's feed to look more like a series of regular blog posts.

For an example of an unformatted headers-only feed, look no further than the sidebar of this blog, which includes a list of all the posts that relate to blog-post order in chronological order from oldest to newest.

A sidebar widget is not a bad place to put such a list, but you can also put one on a static blog page.

The term "unformatted" is really a misnomer. It just means that the "unformatted" feed will take its form from existing formatting for the blog, rather than from styles that you specify.

It's up to you. Once you've implemented the blogger-post-order hack, see how it looks. Formatting is an option; take it or leave it.

In either case, you may want to fix missing line returns and other anomalies in the feed, unless you are just publishing the titles of your posts.

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