Help with pubDate and proper RSS formatting [Google Spreadsheet CSV to RSS]

Link to Clone Sample Pipe:


Overall Scope:

I am attempting to create an automated and modular email system utilizing Pipes based on logical statements gathered through a form submission. Based upon the answers detailed on the form, an RSS item will be created and the description used as body of an email.


Google Forms > Google Spreadsheets > Publish as CSV > Yahoo Pipes > RSS > IFTTT > Email


Upon submission of the Google Form, a Timestamp is generated to the Spreadsheet in M/D/YYYY h:mm:ss format. I wish to use that timestamp as the pubDate of the item. It seems however, that while the date is kept from the CSV, the time is stripped. This results in all submissions appearing as though they occurred at midnight. This fails to trigger the IFTTT action. I am certain that the formatting needs to be changed here but unsure how to make that happen, which datetime format i should use and how to pass that along through Pipes successfully to the RSS output.

What I've Learned So Far:

  • According to IFTTT (https://twitter.com/IFTTT/status/216588079677444099), the item requires a unique ::link::, ::guid::, ::title::, and ::pubdate:: to trigger an action.
  • All Google Forms record submissions in the old Google Spreadsheets platform. The newer Google Sheets will allow me to custom format the datetime however it is overwritten with the Google Forms formatting. I would have to open the Workbook and have it reference a cell on the response sheet in order for it to calculate and reformat. This defeats the purpose of automation.


I am looking for help in correcting the pubDate situation and building a valid RSS feed so that the result can be viewed in multiple platforms easily and without much variance. I am open to simpler ways of achieving the end result if necessary. I prefer this method as I do not have to pay a third party, I maintain control of the data and eventual HTML formatting and I can also utilize the individual parts for other projects. Any help is much appreciated. Thank you in advance.


Google Form - https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qWYmpN3-W27QGedcei8EoaFTy2rg0H_y_fUV6kZeKFk/viewform

4 Replies
  • Hello,

    I haven't had a look at all the resources provided, but I can confirm that you had a problem translating the date/time to pipe-recognized format. Basically, you need to inverse the time and the date, and use a date builder instead of the date formatter module.

    To do so, begin by inserting a regex module before ├że loop/date builder module (thus, just after fetching the CSV) with the following inputs:

    • Rules
    • In: [item.Timestamp] replace [([0-9/]*) ([0-9:]*)] with [$2 $1] [ ]g [x]s [ ]m [ ]i

    Then, put a date builder module in the loop module, replacing the current date formatter, with [item.Timestamp] as input. This will generate the full date/time data, usually put in the item.y:published field. From that data, using the date formatter module, you can generate a pubDate which is more decorative than functional to generate any format you want.

    here you go :)

  • Lolo,

    Thanks for replying. I have implemented the changes that you detailed here. I am getting the date and time to pull through the pipe with a bit of an issue. Now as the [item.Timestamp] displays HH:MM:SS mm/dd/yyyy, i assign the results to [item.y:published] but the mm/dd are reversed. i submitted a form on June 10 (06/10) and my [y:published] believes that the output should October 6 (10/6). Am I missing something? Thanks.

  • Hello,

    Well, looks like it works with the day/month inversion you make in the regex, doesn't it?

  • Apologies for the delay in response. Yes, with the inversion it now functions properly. I also implemented the pubDate as GUID (as you had mentioned in another thread) and it works a treat. It seems to trigger IFTTT properly and the emails come through perfectly. Will update should anything break. Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.


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