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Sam Ruby
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Updated: 10/1/2002; 3:52:08 PM.

Thursday, September 19, 2002

Phil Wainewright I have begun to document what seems to me to be mainstream best practice in the use of RSS 2.0 feeds.  I am doing this on my other blog, AppSwitching Diary.  That would be way cool.  I'd like to point out that this is not a trivial task.  If you do embark on such an effort, it is important to capture why for each recommendation.  A good model to base this on might be Mark Pilgrim's Dive Into Accessibility.
  8:16:33 PM   Comment 

In my comments section, Timothy Appnel is evangelizing the use of CDATA.  Unfortunately, at the moment his RSS 0.91 Index Feed is not well formed XML, whereas his RSS 1.0 Index Feed is.  Both use CDATA, but the difference is that the RSS 1.0 feed contains the string

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1" ?>

This allows the use of Microsoft's so-called "smart quotes" to be rendered as a rectangle.  Somewhat better rendering would be achieved through the use of

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="windows-1255"?>

Another approach would be to use the demoronizer tool.

  1:43:49 PM   Comment 

At the present time, neither's nor aaronsw's RSS feeds are well formed XML 1.0.

Update:'s RSS feed is once again well formed.  Thanks Dave!

Update: Aaron's RSS feed is once again well formed, but Aaron questions whether or not such encoding problems affect the validity of the document.  Perhaps this will help settle the issue: I have tried such documents against the Python xml.sax, Xerces, and the msxml parsers, and each refuse to parse documents containing such errors.

  11:10:13 AM   Comment 

In RSS's humble beginnings, items had two child elements, named title and link.  In the name of simplicity and in a stand against discontinuities, the RSS for today's scripting news has neither.

But no matter, what is truly important is doubleplusgood features that ensure that attention is not drawn to rewriting history.

Meanwhile Dave's take on this: Look at what people are proposing, esp Sam. In what way would that resemble RSS? It wouldn't at all. RSS is what it is.


Update: Dave removed the first three sentences quoted above. 

Meta comment: It *is* possible to stick to the subject, make points that may be unpopular, and do so in a respectful and constructive manner.  All too frequently, I am asked to choose sides between A and B.  Whenever possible, I try to find a way to pick A and B.  In as an intertwingly a manner as possible.  Case in point: am I totally satisfied with RSS 2.0?  Definately not.  But I did get Dave to add some things and take one thing out.

Meta Meta comment: if you are running a newsreader which doesn't take into account RSS 2.0's optional guids, you will see this update.  If, however, you are using a newsreader which does take into account guids, well you will still see this update as my RSS 2.0 feed doesn't have guids.  So there.

  10:13:50 AM   Comment 

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