[wp-hackers] Re: RSS Decisions

CaptSolo captsolo at gmail.com
Tue Jan 17 23:39:27 GMT 2006

On 1/17/06, Chris Lott <chris.lott at gmail.com> wrote:

> choice about what data they are publishing? Essentially you are saying
> here, if I read you correctly, that removing RDF is a problem because
> a lot of people don't realize that they are even publishing such a
> feed and so wouldn't do so if it were optional.

The same stands true for all other syndication formats - be it Atom or RSS2.

Majority of users (blog authors) do not even realise that their blog
is producing any machine readable feed. So - their blog tool is
generating something that they do not know or care about - which they
would not enable if it was an option - simply because they are not
aware if it.

Following your thought then we should make _all_ formats (RSS1, RSS2,
Atom) be an option that the user will switch on if he/she wishes to do
so. What will be the result? Probably 10 to 20-fold decrease in the
number of feeds and data available.

Speaking of RSS 1.0 (alias RDF Site Summary 1.0) - it is an a data
representation format based on RDF that is significantly different
from plain XML-based formats like RSS2 and Atom. It is a development
independent of RSS 0.92->RSS 2.0 branch and so is not made obsolete by
RSS 2.0.

It allows to enhance the information in a way that is not possible in
pure XML-based formats (RDF is more than XML). Just redirecting
requests for RSS 1.0 to a RSS 2.0 will just create problems as RSS 2.0
_sure_ is not valid RDF.

There are people using it and there is no substitute format that would
be useable to consumers of RDF if you drop RSS 1.0 (contrary to RSS
0.92 for which RSS2 is a natural choice). So - people are using it
[again - main users of feeds are aggregators and not authors of blog
entried], it works, why break it?

Having said that - using a single library to produce _all_ feeds like
it was proposed previously might be the way to go. But until then
don't break what works.

Besides, some of you are only thinking of feeds in terms of sources
for feed-readers. Look in the future - and do you see feed-readers as
only consumers of feed metadata? There are also sites that aggregate
feeds, desktop tools like PiggyBank [1] that can exploit richer data.
There are possibly more uses that have not thought about yet. And RDF
/ RSS 1.0 is the richest representation of blog metadata - regardless
if you know that or not.

[1] http://simile.mit.edu/piggy-bank/


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