Reoccurring Apple PubSub requests in my Apache logs

Frequently in my web servers logs I would see a request for an RSS feed I have available from a “PubSub” user agent from my IP address. It bothered me because the feedreader I use doesn’t use Apple’s PubSub library to read feeds.

So I figured Safari was the cause. I had tested Safari’s RSS support a long time ago, but didn’t like it. I took a quick look and found Safari was subscribed to zero feeds. Hmm. After some web searching I discovered the pubsub command line app Apple provides to manage the resource.

I told it to list all the feeds it knows about and sure enough, there was the offending URL plus some others. I promptly deleted them from the list. I figured all was well. But after a few hours, I found new log entries for the for the same feed. I queried the PubSub command again and found all of the entries restored. I discovered Safari would restore the feeds every time it launched. Safari’s GUI was no help. I looked everywhere for entries for the feeds and found nothing. So I started combing thru it’s preference files.

I finally found the feeds listed in the “TopSites.plist” file. The GUI displaying the top site in Safari did not list these feeds. Strange.

I used the plist editor to delete the references to the feeds in the top sites preference file, and now Safari no long repopulates PubSub. Happy days indeed.