This page exists to support RSS feeds I provide locally as demonstrations of the screen-scraping features in Rippy the Aggregator, as well as a few other local feeds generated by other software.  If you're looking for a PHP-based RSS aggregator to use on your own Web site, you might want to try Rippy.

If you have come to this page by clicking a link from my Supreme Court RSS feed or some similar feed:  Sorry, the old scripts that maintained that feed were just too far obsolete.  They had to be rewritten; and as a result, some configuration changes on your end may be necessary.  Use the new feed URLs below.  This page will be maintained as a user's guide for all my feeds; check it for updates on feeds I provide and how to use them.  Administrative details about feeds (such as new feeds added, old ones removed, and changes in content) will be announced here; if you are using my feeds in a visible public location and you don't want to be surprised by changes, then you should watch this page.  You can watch for updates to this page by watching the "category" feed at the very bottom of this page.


RSS ettiquette

My feeds are designed to be able to handle a lot of traffic.  Some are served out of static files; others are script-generated, but cache to static files so as to keep the average server load from increasing much in the face of lots of hits.  Even so, please remember that I'm an amateur, providing these on a rented server which I pay for out of my own pocket, without advertising nor any other direct sources of revenue.  So:  please don't overload my bandwidth with excessive hits.  Standard practice in the RSS community is to consider a refresh rate of up to once per hour acceptable, and I won't in general consider your use abusive if you stay within a reasonable factor of that.  For feeds that only update infrequently, however, it may be more appropriate to use a lower refresh rate.  If you are running a server which takes a lot of hits from the general public, it would be preferable for you to cache the files on your end instead of passing those hits through to me.

Contact me if you're interested in help setting up a mirror or cache, or if you'd like copies of my scraping software so you can provide similar feeds customized for your users.

Feeds containing updates to this site

Virtually all updates, no matter how trivial, anywhere on this site (  [RSS syndication file].  That feed updates as soon as the files are posted - in fact, sometimes a minute or two before the files are posted.

Per-category feeds:  each category or directory on this site has its own RSS feed of updates in that directory and subdirectories.  For instance, here's one for the "lawpoli" category:  [RSS
syndication file].  The "entire site" feed above is simply the category feed for the root of the site.  Updating policy is the same as for the whole-site feed - updates posted to the feed as soon as they're posted on the site, and sometimes a few minutes before they're posted on the site.  Go to any page and it'll have a link at the bottom for the smallest category containing that page.  A list of categories is shown on the front page of the site.

Search result feeds:  visit this site's search engine and enter a query.  The search result page will include a link to a feed of results from that search.  For instance, here's one for the query "sex drugs \"rock and roll\"" (the "and" is omitted in the URL because it's a stopword for the search engine):  [RSS syndication file].  These feeds only have new content when the search engine indexer runs, normally once a day, so there's no point hitting them more often than that.  Here's an OpenSearch 1.0 description file for my search engine:  [XML search description file]

Debates of the Canadian House of Commons and Senate

Please note that these feeds are provided by an interested citizen using publicly posted information.  They are not official Government of Canada services, and no endorsement or warranty is expressed or implied.

The House of Commons:  [RSS syndication file].

The Senate:  [RSS syndication file].

These two feeds contain information extracted from the full transcripts, which are posted in the "Chamber Business" section of the Parliamentary Web site.  Updates follow the schedule of the Parliamentary site, usually one update each day Tuesday through Saturday while Parliament is in session, containing the proceedings of the previous day (Monday to Friday).  Each update is usually a few dozen items.  Items appear in the feed file in forward chronological order (unlike the usual RSS practice of backward) so that they're more likely to appear in sensible order in your reading software.  Items have titles corresponding to my script's attempt to best-guess what the item is about, and they link to the transcripts as nearly as possible to the relevant point.  Design issues with the Parliamentary site sometimes preclude really precise link targeting.  The Senate feed has no descriptions at this time; the House feed has descriptions listing who spoke on the item.

House of Commons Committee documents

Please note that these feeds are provided by an interested citizen using publicly posted information.  They are not official Government of Canada services, and no endorsement or warranty is expressed or implied.

Consult the automatically-generated list of Committee feeds.

These feeds (one per Committee or Subcommittee) show documents of interest posted by the Committee on its Web site.  Currently they show "evidence" documents, which are transcripts of meetings; "new releases"; and "reports and responses".  Format of entries varies depending on the type of entry and is determined by what's easy to extract from the Parliamentary Web site's postings.  Traffic varies depending on the Committee, from almost nothing up to about one item per day.

Please note that the order of entries within the RSS is determined by the order the spider traverses the Committee Web site and is not necessarily chronological.  To read these sensibly, you'll probably want to use an RSS reader that keeps track of already-seen items and shows you the new ones.  Also, there is an unavoidable delay between (for instance) when a meeting occurs and when its transcript appears, due to translation and editing and so on on Parliament's end.

The list of Committees and their precise names and abbreviations change from time to time seemingly at random, and the maintainers of the Parliamentary Website often gratuitously redesign their HTML. They have been approached by me and others at various times about possibly exposing a more consistent interface, but at this time they don't seem to be interested.  So it's quite possible that my scripts will break and these feeds will go dead; for sure, if a Committee ceases to exist, its feed will go dead.  I will attempt to maintain feeds for all extant Committees.

Other legal and political documents

Please note that these feeds are provided by an interested citizen using publicly posted information.  They are not official Government of Canada services, and no endorsement or warranty is expressed or implied.

Supreme Court of Canada decisions:  [RSS syndication file].  Automatically extracted from LexUM postings.  This feed contains headlines only, and updates within a few hours of when the decisions appear on the LexUM site.  Another version is available containing detailed descriptions of the cases, automatically extracted from the decision documents.  Because that version requires a fair bit more work on my end, I encourage you to use the headlines-only version if (like many RSS users) you're only planning to read the headlines.  The "descriptions" version is available by appending "?descriptions=yes" (not including the quotation marks) to the feed URL. The "descriptions" version does not update as frequently, and may be a day or two behind the headlines-only version.

CRTC Broadcasing Public Notices:  [RSS syndication file].  Automatically extracted from the CRTC's list of Broadcasting Public Notices.  Traffic highly variable.  Warning, this feed's script has been misbehaving recently, and I will probably replace it with new software at a new URL some time soon (as has already happened to the Supreme Court feed).

Financial information

Commodity prices:  Prices for commodities (currently just metals).  Follow the link for a list of feeds and instructions.

NEWForeign exchange (forex) rates:  Feeds for the exchange rates among more than 50 world currencies; variety of customization options.

Fun things

Achewood character blogs:  [RSS syndication
file].  Chris Onstad's very amusing Achewood comic provides eleven different feeds for various characters, but they're in Atom format, and to get full value you really have to read them all.  This feed aggregates them into one RSS feed.  Includes the actual blog entries in most cases, depending on the character's individual Blogger configuration.  Little Nephew's feed doesn't contain descriptions, most likely because of concerns over foul language (second most likely, because he just doesn't know how to configure his account).

AstroRSS:  Highly configurable system that generates customized feeds of astrological and astronomical events.  Follow the link for examples and instructions.

Obsolete and moved feeds

Some of these are now redirected to replacements elsewhere on my site, but in general, you should not depend on them.

ansuz-rss.xml, lebwog-rss.xml
Replaced by "Ansuz" feed above; currently redirecting to it. 
Replaced by "Supreme Court" feed above; now pointed to a static file explaining where to find the new feed. 
heritage-ctee.xml, industry-ctee.xml, justice-ctee.xml, nmud-ctee.xml
Replaced by the "House Committees" feeds linked above.  Now pointed to small static files pointing at the new equivalent feeds, or saying "Sorry, the fun is over" in the case of the NMUD Committee, which no longer exists. 
old House Committees feeds from
Replaced by new "House Committees" feeds linked above.  Removed and returning 404. 
CRTC Broadcasting Public Notices
Still works (see above) but slated for redesign. 
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Copyright 2018 Matthew Skala
Updates to this site: [RSS syndication file]