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Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
4-Feb-2005 17:15 GMT

Article #0122
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I've received a variety of feedback on the RSS feed for this blog. Let me address each request openly so everyone understands the final results:

Q1. "The RSS author element should contain an email address."

Reply: Yes, that seems to be part of the spec. Again I am amazed by this improper use of XML. (And corruption of the concept of XML.) The email address should be a separate element, not combined with the author name. Also, most authors will not want their email address published in this way due to spam concerns, so the email address should be optional. However, we will consider adding a address to make "validators" happy.

Q2. "If we add a link tag to the web page, browsers will automatically find the RSS feed."

Reply: That's a good idea. We will add it.

Q3. "The file extension should be .rss not .xml so that browsers can recognize it."

Reply: It is possible that is true, but I sure hope not! The RSS file is XML, so should use an .xml extension. Browser recognition happens by use of the link tag (mentioned above). However, if .rss is used as a standard, then we could change it to conform with that standard. So far, only one person has mentioned it. But, let us know if you think we should change it.

Q4. "The RSS feed should contain the complete text of each article."

Reply: This is really interesting. Everyone has a different concept of what should be in the feed! Some people tell us that only the headlines should be posted. Others tell us a summary should be posted, and still others tell us the entire article should be posted.

What we are doing right now is posting the first paragraph. We figured that if you want to read more, then you can click the link and view the actual page with correct formatting. If you think this is not correct, then please discuss it with others on the REBOL world or mail-list, then contact me if you can reach an agreement, and I will change the feed.

Q5. "The RSS feed should only contain the last five articles."

Reply: I debated this with myself for a while. Five is fine when users are constantly monitoring the feed. But, if a user is offline for a day or two, it is quite possible that I've added more than five blogs, and the user will miss some. Since many users still have dial up Internet access, I felt that ten was a better number. That should span a few days. If they are off-line longer than that, they will need to visit the blog web page directly.

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