I read several StackExchange sites for new questions strictly via feeds. I have broad interests, but some questions are definitely not relevant. I am currently reading the all-questions feed (e.g. http://stackoverflow.com/feeds), but that is just a bit too much of a firehose.

How can I get a feed of all questions on a given site except a given set of tags (preferably my ignored tags, so that I can update the set easily)?

There are a number of ways to get feeds of a union of tags (+ in URLs, filters) but I haven't seen any way to subtract tags other than the way mentioned here which is implied to not work but no details or workaround are given.

1 Answer 1


I understand where you're coming from, but this currently isn't possible, and very likely will never be supported.

The reason is because such a set of questions is an unrestricted set, which means running the database query for it will be very inefficient (maybe not for a single user, but multiply by thousands across the network, and we're in big trouble). This is the same reason why searching for questions by tag requires at least 1 tag to be explicitly included before you start excluding tags.

Unless your list of ignored tags is really long, the best workaround (crappy as it is), is simply to get a feed of all the newest questions. If you have lots of ignored tags, you may do better to create an exhaustive list of tags you want to include in the feed.

  • +1, and it's certainly understandable, but, as a workaround... ewww? May 25, 2011 at 4:29
  • How about, instead of performing a query specifically for these questions, filtering the results for the all-questions feed as they're streamed out for this feed request? (I recognize that this might cause varying numbers of items in the feed and I think that would be all right.)
    – Kevin Reid
    Jun 5, 2011 at 20:26
  • @Kevin: That would be... unpredictable, and difficult from a support perspective. Having said that, depending on how you're consuming the feed, you could do this filtering yourself -- the feed contains tag information for each question (search for <category> tags in the raw XML).
    – Jon Seigel
    Jun 5, 2011 at 22:16
  • 1
    Hm, yes. I don't have a feed reader that will filter for me, but I have previously used local-web-server-and-XSLT glue which I could use to generate a filtered feed. If I write up such a filter I'll post it here as an answer.
    – Kevin Reid
    Jun 5, 2011 at 22:34

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