I decided to create an external script to generate an atom feed from markdown posts as astro doesn't currently support this.

Also @astrojs/rss has multiple problems

📝 Default RSS Generation In Astro

Script Idea #

Before starting this is a checklist of requirements for the script.

Implementing Excerpt #

I wanted to add an excerpt of the content into the summary field of the atom entries. (most tech blogs I subscribe to do this)

Implementing excerpt can be done in different ways, a lot of implementations just use x characters.
I decided to do it using words (items seperated by spaces)

To do this I used split(' ') to split words then take a slice between 0 to 80 & then join everything back up.

  .split(' ')
  .slice(0, 80)
  .join(' ')

Then I passed excerpt into description field (corresponds to summary in atom in feed library)

Fixing Relative Paths #

Using markdown-it will output relative links & images.
RSS feeds shouldn't have items with relative paths.

To fix this use replace() on href & src objects starting with /.

    .replace('src="/', `src="${siteConfig.url}/`)
    .replace('href="/', `href="${siteConfig.url}/`)
    .split(' ')
    .slice(0, 80)
    .join(' ')

Adding Sanitize #

Wrap markdown-it with sanitize-html

const excerpt = sanitizeHtml(
    .split(' ')
    .slice(0, 50)
    .join(' ')

Connecting Site Config #

I decided to link the script with config.ts to make things easier.

There are also type definitions in feed to use (FeedOptions)

import { siteConfig } from '~/config'
const options: FeedOptions = {
  title: siteConfig.title,
  description: siteConfig.description,
  id: siteConfig.url + '/',
  link: siteConfig.url + '/',
  language: 'en',
  copyright: `copyright ${year} equk.co.uk all rights reserved`,
  author: {
    name: siteConfig.author.name,
    link: siteConfig.url,
  favicon: siteConfig.url + '/favicon.svg',
  feedLinks: {
    atom: siteConfig.url + '/atom.xml',

Main Function #

Flow of main function (taken from code comments).

Adding CLI Feedback #

Astro gives feedback on build including time taken so it would be nice to add something similar when running builds.

I also want the script to quit & give feedback if an error occurs.

18:36:06 [build] Complete!
    ./dist/atom.xml created (+63ms)

Adding Atom Generation To Astro Build #

Add the feed generation script to the end of build in package.json

  "scripts": {
    "dev": "astro dev",
    "start": "astro dev",
    "build": "astro build && tsx ./generate-feed.ts",

Comparing Output #

To show the difference in output here is an example.

@astrojs/rss - /rss.xml (+57ms)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><rss version="2.0"><channel><title>equk&apos;s blog</title><description>blog of a developer &amp; sysadmin</description><link>https://example.com/</link><item><title>Atom Feed Generation Script</title><link>https://example.com/2023/02/22/atom-feed-generation-script/</link><guid>https://example.com/2023/02/22/atom-feed-generation-script/</guid><description>&lt;p&gt; &lt;/p&gt;
&lt;p&gt;I decided to create an external script to generate an atom feed from markdown posts as astro doesn&apos;t currently support this.&lt;/p&gt;

generate-feed.ts - /atom.xml (+61ms)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<feed xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
    <title>equk's blog</title>
    <link rel="alternate" href="https://example.com/"/>
    <link rel="self" href="https://example.com/atom.xml"/>
    <subtitle>blog of a developer &amp; sysadmin</subtitle>
    <rights>copyright 2023 equk.co.uk all rights reserved</rights>
        <title type="html"><![CDATA[Atom Feed Generation Script]]></title>
        <link href="https://example.com/2023/02/22/atom-feed-generation-script/"/>
        <summary type="html"><![CDATA[<p> </p>
<p>I decided to create an external script to generate an atom feed from markdown posts as astro doesn't currently support this.</p>

Advantages Over Astrojs/RSS #

As feed is used, it's also possible to output to json or rss with little modification.

Source #

The source for my astro blog is available on github.

blog-astro generate-feed.ts