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   Re: [xml-dev] Great piece on RSS

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They *are* one format Bryan -- and designed to be that way. A 0.91 file is
also a valid 0.92 file which is also a valid 2.0 file. This has a very
important practical feature -- it means that current aggregators can read
the new format. That seems to be borne out, btw, our 2.0 feeds are being
read by aggregators that know nothing about 2.0. No problems to report so
far. (Praise Murphy.)

Not sure what the rest of this means. If you're saying that the spec mirrors
practice, even trails it, and therefore contains no breakthroughs, I'd be
inclined to agree. Not totally, there have been some enhancements that
weren't anticipated by the market.

Also note that with 2.0 it's frozen now. Since it supports namespaces,
anyone can add to it, and modulo clarifcations to the 2.0 spec (these are
anticipated in the Roadmap) RSS is finally finished and ready to deploy.
(Only 3.5 years after deployment started.)


----- Original Message -----
From: "bryan" <bry@itnisk.com>
To: <xml-dev@lists.xml.org>
Sent: Wednesday, October 09, 2002 2:04 AM
Subject: RE: [xml-dev] Great piece on RSS

Well, it doesn't seem to me that it's argument for RSS as an evolving
format holds water, in praising evolving systems he says that such
systems improve with each stage of their evolution, but most of the
deficiencies he lists are in fact found in the format now because the
format has 'evolved'!
It's a clever trick to act as though RSS 0.9x/2.0 is one format, which
is what his premise seems built on, but the whole point of argumentation
I've read recently seems to be that woah, my feeds are being broken.

So when he says: "it's pretty obvious that of the various
implementations of a worldwide syndication format, we have the worst one

Except, of course, for all the others."

What does that mean? Does it mean that RSS 2.0 is superior to all those
others, or does it mean that any possible confluence of tags under the
Nom de Markup of RSS is superior to anything not so monikered?

When he says:
"The very weaknesses that make RSS so infuriating to serious
practitioners also make it possible in the first place"

does this mean that the weakness:
"After years of worldwide deployment, it would completely reverse its
add-whatever-you-want extensibility rules in favor of namespaces, which
the spec would neither define nor elaborate on"

which is a very recent wrinkle in RSS's evolution, can somehow be taken
as a cause of RSS being so widespread and hence a proof of it's
superiority vis--vis other formats?  Note that most of the weaknesses
presented are one's found in the phantastical format  RSS 0.9x/2.0 and
that these weaknesses would, if traced to their originating point in
that two-headed monstrosity the article supposes, be found in RSS 2.0,
specifically weaknesses 2,3,4, and 6{I know that with RSS 0.92 you could
use entity encoded HTML, case in point Jon Udell's rss feed:
http://radio.weblogs.com/0100887/categories/rss/rss.xml  but it seems
like it's becoming more of a 'what a great idea' scenario with RSS 2.0}
are RSS 2.0 weaknesses that would still be considered problematic
whether or not we ever chose to compare the format with RSS 0.9x

I mean really, this is a necessity cleverly disguised as a weakness:
" It would encourage use of entity-encoded HTML in its most important
element, thus ensuring both security risks and unpredictable display for
the end user" because of course: "Allowing encoded HTML in description
let publishers reuse both their existing content and the existing RSS
infrastructure" and " Social mores, rather than technical rules, prevent
producers from intentionally introducing security risks through
malicious script tags or unpredictable display through unclosed HTML
elements. " how about social mores prevent publishers from including
HTML that will not be equally supported across all browsers, how about
Technical limitations keep them from preventing it? How about I want to
use your RSS for some sort of Mobile phone display, AvantGO, or what
have you, but your encoded HTML prevents me - or more likely I just
parse your encoded HTML out (which is what I will do with any feed I get
with encoded HTML in it) and your feed runs the risk of becoming
nonsensical, take a look at the link above to the rss newsfeed -
consider that you may have gone through the trouble of building
something that works in all browser that come to you, older browsers
gracefully degrade, text based browsers get legible text you've done
everything right(a very iffy scenario true but a real possibility with
an xml backed site) now you're gonna support RSS - do you want to risk
that feed presented above?

 This is a strength imposed by evolution.

This list of deficiencies is then presented as a list of necessities,
the whole proof being the success of RSS as an evolving format.

I wonder, can anyone help me with this, my knowledge of the biological
sciences is not that great - Has any species under the pressures of
evolution ever gone extinct?

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