RE: [rss-public] item link
+1 on using any opportunity to recommend using guids.
I’d also add a comment that whatever “link” points to, it SHOULD be “renderable” in a web browser (ideally HTML).
Standard aggregator practice appears to be to toss the link URL to the browser, or, for aggregators that host browsers inline (e.g. FeedDemon and RSS Bandit), they attempt show the link in a hosted browser window. Yes, in most cases, if it points to a binary or some other content, it will still work fine, but it’s not what users expect (and the behavior may be unpredictable).
The channel/item/link section seems to be a bit on the light side:
The following is from the version of the RSS 2.0 specification as
currently hosted on the Harvard site:
In some systems, <link> is a permalink to a weblog item. However, in
other systems, each <item> is a synopsis of a longer article, <link>
points to the article, and <guid> is the permalink to the weblog
This missing information is useful. My two cents: this section should
reinforce the recommendation that a unique <guid> be included in each
item as that makes the above less of a concern; and then I'd suggest
that this be followed up with a recommendation that if <guid> is not
included, that for best results with existing aggregators an attempt
should be make to make the <link> element be a permalink.
- Sam Ruby