I'm trying to use one of the RSS feeds from chat.stackexchange.com in my application. I'm using the python feedparser package for this. Feedparser supports a couple of different "conditional get" mechanisms, namely ETag and Last-Modified headers.

However, it doesn't seem like the RSS feed I'm grabbing has these headers. My goal is to reduce the load on the SE servers, so I'd like to find some way of doing a low-bandwidth poll/refresh of the RSS feed.

This is my first time working with RSS feeds at this level, so it's possible that there's an alternate mechanism supported by these feeds that I can use. If someone knows what that mechanism is (or if none exists) I'd appreciate the info.

  • Please can you confirm; are you talking about an external feed being consumed by chat, or do you mean an external application consuming a feed from chat? Jan 5, 2012 at 9:10
  • @MarcGravell I'm speaking of an external application consuming a feed from chat. My application is consuming the feed linked from the words "RSS feeds" in the question.
    – agent86
    Jan 5, 2012 at 14:03
  • Then you should find the header is there now, and behaves appropriately# Jan 5, 2012 at 14:46

1 Answer 1


From the next chat build, chat will support "last-modified" (but not ETag) on both inbound and outbound feeds.

  • 1
    Going to do a few more sanity checks before I accept, but this is looking good, thanks for the quick response!
    – agent86
    Jan 5, 2012 at 18:14

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