[openstreetmap-website] Enable RSS feed for history/friends (#724)

vincentdephily notifications at github.com
Thu Mar 27 10:12:20 UTC 2014

My feed reader is normally logged in, as is share cookies with my browser and OSM cookies can last a while. I even read rss content that is behind a paywall from my rss reader. Not everybody is on the online rss reader bandwagon, where a "login before you can fetch rss feed" requirement is indeed a problem.

If you feel working around the not-logged-in case is a requirement, the easy way is to return a 403, or a feed with a single article pointing to the login page. Not very elegant, but gets the job done.

A nicer and still easy way of course would be to make user friends lists public, so that no login is needed. But that has privacy implications (making it opt-in could certainly alleviate that).

The last way is to use links thate aren't tied to an account, but to a list of watched users instead. http://www.openstreetmap.org/history/users/$SOMERANDOMSTRING would be the rss link, with the random string mapping to a static list of users, not the dynamic list of friends. Display a "create rss feed" button on the friends list, and you've got your UI.

You could also use a deterministic string too : serialise the array of user ids, maybe compress and b64-encode it, and voilà. Longer url, but doesn't require server-side storage and hence no akward "create feed" UI.

I use the friends list as a QA tool. Whenever I contact a mapper about a mapping issue, I add him/her to my friends list so I can see what the next changeset looks like. But having to open a specific webpage for that is a pain, so I don't do it regularly.

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