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RSS best practices doc published

RSS advistory board: The RSS Profile makes it easier for feed publishers and programmers to implement RSS 2.0, offering advice on issues that arise as you develop software that employs the format. For 18 months, the board worked with the RSS community on interoperability issues, receiving help from representatives at Bloglines, FeedBurner, Google, Microsoft, Netscape, Six Apart and Yahoo. The profile tackles the most frequently asked questions posed by developers:

  1. How many enclosures can an item contain?
  2. Are relative URLs OK in item descriptions?
  3. Is it OK to use HTML in elements other than an item's description?

For the answers, read the sections on enclosures, item descriptions and character data, respectively. Sam Ruby announced this morning that the Feed Validator now tests for conformance to the profile, offering 11 new checks for improving interoperability.

Kudos to the RSS Advistory Board. The RSS Profile is an excellent guide to publishing RSS. Plus, it's very nice to see the confusing parts of RSS clarified and to see those clarifications linked to from the RSS spec.


Sure, this is all very nice and all, but I just have to ask: Why would anyone choose RSS over Atom?

Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg on October 17, 2007 at 06:49 AM EDT #

That is a good question. A year ago I was recommending that folks support both RSS and Atom because there were still some feed readers and aggregators that did not support Atom, but is that still true today? I doubt it. What about Podcasts? Do all of the major Podcatchers support Atom Podcast feeds now?

Posted by Dave Johnson on October 18, 2007 at 02:06 AM EDT #

As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to favor RSS 2.0 over Atom. Both are widely deployed and Atom's much better specified. But if you have to support RSS 2.0, as all aggregators must, or you've already built something on that format, the profile makes it easier to be interoperable.

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead on October 18, 2007 at 11:28 AM EDT #

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