I've updated the draft spec on both the web site and wiki. There's a
lot of debate here and elsewhere about whether this effort would be
better pursued as a "best practices" document rather than a newly
written specification for the existing RSS format.
I'm beginning to explore that approach, as I will detail in another
post to RSS-Public. In the meantime, I think the work we're doing here
to develop the spec would be necessary to write a best practices
document, so it makes sense to keep working on it.
Additionally, with the resignations from the advisory board, I don't
intend to propose the spec to the board in early April as originally
All board members who are asked to consider the adoption of this spec
should have at least 60 days to review the ongoing development process
and hear from RSS developers about whether it's something the board
For this reason, the earliest the spec will be proposed is 60 days
after the board has a full complement of members.
If you are involved in RSS as a developer, publisher, educator or
executive and would like to join the board, send an e-mail to me or
another board member:
1. Editor's Note
The first two sentences of the editor's note have been revised:
"This proposed specification provides completely new documentation for
the Really Simple Syndication format, describing exactly the same
elements and attributes delineated in RSS 2.0.1 (revision 6),
published by the RSS Advisory Board on Jan. 25, 2005. Because this
document is still under development and has not been adopted by the
board or any other entity involved with RSS, current implementers
should continue to rely on 2.0.1-rv-6."
The changes make it more clear that this is a proposal under
development and RSS 2.0.1-rv-6 is still the spec to use when
implementing Really Simple Syndication.
2. rss Element
The version attribute has been changed from "2.0.2" back to "2.0" and
the sample files have been revised accordingly.
Changing the version attribute's value would enable implementers to
programmatically distinguish between an RSS document that follows this
specification and one that follows RSS 2.0.1-rv-6.
I favor versioning in general, but in RSS, the likely consequence
would be two competing versions of Really Simple Syndication -- one
that follows RSS 2.0.1-rv-6 and one that follows this specification.
The purpose of this effort is to clarify RSS as it exists today, not
create a third syndication format that calls itself RSS. None of the
board members who has participated in the development of this draft
wants to fork RSS.
A sentence has been added to this section:
"An Internationalized Resource Identifier (IRI) provides a means to
identify Internet resources using non-ASCII characters that can't be
present in URLs. All link and url elements MUST be valid URLs, so an
IRI that contains non-ASCII characters MUST be converted to a URL
using the procedure described in RFC 3987."
This paragraph links to these pages:
This addition makes it clear that RSS requires valid URLs, so IRIs
that are not also valid URLs must be converted to be employed in RSS.
The link to the Feed Validator has changed to