[wp-hackers] RSS Syndication post content hell

Jason Salaz jason at zenenet.com
Thu Jun 15 10:31:11 GMT 2006

First, the list:
I'm sorry, I have to bring this up, because it does cause a problem...
1) Description doesn't respect syndication rules (full text vs. summary)
2) content:encoded doesn't respect syndication rules (no summary)
3) Description AND content:encoded when using full text (need I say more)?

Ok, so that's it, but it presents a big problem.
If I set syndication to full text, description is still only a
summary, yet content:encoded steps in and displays in full text.
What happens to aggregators that don't want HTML?  They get a summary
regardless of setting. (Please don't give me the excuse of "what
aggregator nowadays doesn't render HTML?")

If I set syndication to summary, content:encoded disappears and
description remains a summary.

IMO, a description is describing the post.  It is not abbreviating it,
so here (in my opinion) is how this ALL should work.

Description and content:encoded should NOT be used side by side.  If
they do, they should contain the EXACT same data except one with html,
one entirely plain text.
Ideally, ditch description in it's current form.
A description of the post is, again, a description, not an
abbreviation.  This should be the post excerpt (if set) and nothing

The problem stems from, what happens to the post content?  Should it
all go in content:encoded regardless?  (That's actually not a bad
There's no other RSS element suitable to handle post content besides
content:encoded in my opinion.

You know what?  This is nuts.  I think I'm going to start learning
ATOM... (but I still want insight from other syndication-inclined

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