I love Hacker News, and appreciate that they have a feed for the stories that make it to the front page. But I want more. I want to get a stream of stories, as they are submitted. For that I'd need a feed that they don't have.
I asked about this on Hacker News, of course, and found that a clever developer in Texas, Ronnie Roller, had cobbled together an API by scraping the HTML of the website. It was a simple matter to create a tool that coverts the data from JSON to RSS, which is what I did in a couple of hours last night.
That doesn't seem consistent with the philosophy of the site. We're just playing with data and apps to see if there's something there worth developing. That's the only reason we like having the API, and Ronnie is running it entirely on his own dime.