Many RSS readers use the description field in a feed as a surrogate when there is no title, displaying the first 'X' number of characters from the content. This is expected behaviour but they should really support title-less posts properly.

(It's one of the reasons I moved to Feedbin.)

It's been pointed out on a couple of occasions that various feed readers include HTML tags in the "title" for my title-less posts.

The conversation yesterday lead me to discover that the way WordPress contains the item description in a CDATA wrapper is causing this. A test feed without the CDATA wrapper seems to work okay.

So I need to find a way to modify the feed on the fly or create a custom template. I've had a look and don't think the former option is possible.

  1. Dominik says: #
    If you use something like add_filter('the_title_rss','change_the_title_rss');and a function change_the_title_rss($title) you can return almost anything you want. (Mail me if you want a copy of my example, it is too messy for a public comment. ;) )
    1. Colin Walker says: #
      The title is already empty (being title-less posts) so the readers fall back to using Description rather than respecting that there is no title.
  2. Any chance you can explain why you think the CDATA wrapper is the issue? My Known feed also wraps description in CDATA and that may be what is causing micro.blog to have trouble with it.
    1. Colin Walker says: #
      Jeremy, it appears that when enclosed within the CDATA wrapper the HTML tags are interpreted as characters whereas, when not within the wrapper, they are recognised as tags and ignored when appropriate. Micro.blog handles mine fine, even with the CDATA but I think the issue you are having is with Known itself. When I look at the RSS feed for your status updates (https://stream.jeremycherfas.net/content/statusupdates/?_t=rss) it contains the truncated text so micro.blog is working with what it is given. As the posts have no titles I would expect the title element to be empty. Why the character lengths of each title should be different though I don't understand. It's obviously doing some sanity check to make sure it doesn't cut off in the middle of a word but even then doesn't appear consistent.

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