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4050Re: [RSS-DEV] Why is RSS 2.0 Bad? (Not a Rhetorical Question)

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  • Phil Ringnalda
    Sep 25, 2002
      Ben Hammersley wrote:
      > On Thursday, Sep 26, 2002, at 00:27 Europe/London, Ben Hammersley wrote:
      >> . My dad loves RSS, he just
      >> wouldn't recognise it over HTML if he viewed source. The simplicity of
      >> the spec, for him, is meaningless.
      > <much snippage/>

      <more snippage/>

      > Nowadays, you never need see a single bit of HTML to make a web page.
      > With blogging tools you don't even need to consciously make a page. For
      > the vast majority of users, using Frontpage or Dreamweaver or whatever
      > to create their little project, the use of <em> over <b>, or <br/> over
      > <br> may well be transparent, but is utterly moot. Who cares? Not the
      > end user.

      True. What they care about is the way that their page of 50 nested tables
      takes forever to load, or the way that the formatting in their Blogger
      template disappears whenever they post more than one paragraph, or the way
      their geeky friends keep complaining that their quotes and dashes display as
      ? instead.

      > Now, the evolution of RSS has been very fast, and we left the notepad
      > and view source era years ago. RSS feeds are produced automatically by
      > tools created by developers, using templates created by developers, to
      > work on applications created by developers (most likely the same ones),
      > and then and only then do the general userbase get involved. No one
      > creates their RSS feed from scratch in notepad, the way I did sites in
      > 1995, and to insist on simplicity for this reason alone is doing
      > ourselves a disservice.

      The first RSS feed I created was done essentially by hand (in PHP, but the
      code might as well have been typed on a manual typewriter), in my favorite
      text editor at the time: Notepad. That was way back in January of 2002. I'm
      still using the same code today, because no developer has stepped up to
      write a better tool to create RSS from dotcomments. I would have done it as
      RSS 1.0, because after all 1.0 is a better number than 0.91, but I couldn't
      follow the spec well enough to be sure I was doing it right, and I couldn't
      figure out *how* it would be better. A few months later when I wrote a
      script to scrape my Blogger-produced blogs, I'm happy to say that I figured
      out how to do 1.0, though I seem to have taken the advisory limits like 15
      items and 500 characters so much to heart that I created two versions, a
      severely crippled 1.0 and a rich and meaty 0.92. Now, after nine months of
      playing with RSS, I generate most of mine from MovableType templates: a 1.0
      template that I hope I've removed most of the errors and security leaks
      from, a 2.0 template that I based roughly on the default 0.91 template, and
      some comment and individual archive templates that I did myself from scratch
      and copying other people's.

      I am not a developer. I am not a professional. I am an interested amateur
      publisher. I am your audience.

      Phil Ringnalda
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