Y. B. Normal
Ziv Caspi can't keep his mouth shut.
Click here to visit the Radio UserLand website. Subscribe to "Y. B. Normal" in Radio UserLand. Click to see the XML version of this web page. Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog. blogchalk: Ziv/Male/31-35. Lives in Israel/Tel Aviv/Central and speaks Hebrew. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.  
Updated: 2002-09-28; 11:42:55 PM.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002
Comments on RSS 0.94 2:34:15 AM comment [] Google It!

RSS 0.94 is currently under some discussion on various weblogs. Unfortunately, there seems to be no one place to discuss it, so I'll publish my comments here and hope that they might be picked up.

My main problem is with the <guid> element, but there are a few others as well.

  1. The name is somewhat misleading. To many developers, GUID is more than "globally-unique ID". It is a fixed-width number that has certain rules when formatted as text. The <guid> element in RSS 0.94 should really be <uri>, or something similar.

  2. The <guid> may have an optional attribute, isPermaLink. This smells like a hack to me. Why not just add an optional <permalink> element? Is there some hidden cost with it? As currently specified, weblogs that want to provide globally-unique IDs in non-URL format (perhaps GUIDs...) cannot at the same time provide a permanent link. This breaks orthogonality, without any apparent advantage that I can see.

  3. I think the <skipDays> and <skipHours> are useless. A RSS feed publisher has an interest in providing rough update frequency for aggregators. However, controlling when aggregators retrieve data seems pointless -- what if an aggregator goes online only at specific times which fall in this "window of inaccessibility"? In order not to break compatibility, I suggest both would be declared deprecated. Most aggregators I've come across don't honor these elements anyway.

  4. The default and maximum height and width of an <image> should really not exist. The default means absolutely nothing. The maximum is even more damaging (for the same reason that limiting the <description> size is damaging).

  5. If there's some logic behind what goes into an element and what gets an attribute, I failed to see it. Why not have everything an element and be done with it?

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