Special Characters in Feeds.

I’ve learned a bit about rss feeds.

Aaron Schwartz introduces a new RSS standard: 3.0

Theres been a lot of talk in the community about how RSS 2.0 is too complicated. I havent heard any objections, so Im going to move ahead with the following changes that will result in RSS 3.0.

1. Remove XML. XML is just too complicated and is against the spirit of RSS, which is Really Simple Syndication. I dont want people to have to buy one of these 200 page XML books to understand RSS. And XML sucks up bandwidth like nobodys business. Instead, well go back to RFC822-style fields. There are lots of available parsers for those.

2. Remove namespaces. Namespaces are just a waste of time. If people want to add an element to RSS, then just send it to me and Ill add it to my list of all elements in use. This system is easy to use and doesnt result in any wasteful URIs all over the place.

3. HTML forbidden. No one needs HTML. Email has been just fine for years before Microsoft introduce their stupid rich HTML extensions. HTML is for those loser newbies. Any intelligent Internet user deals in plain text.

Someone at my office without a clue about RSS mentioned a potential trademark problem with regard to web content on RSS feeds. Some of the special characters used to indicate trademark are illegible in feed readers, or perhaps they weren’t supported in earlier forms of RSS. As a result, they had to modify and duplicate content in rss feeds to protect trademark.

I assume that is a legacy support issue, as well as Freedom of Expression ®. Let’s hope that we don’t have to worry about internationalization/utf8 issues anymore.

Freedom of Expression is a registered trademark by Kembrew McLeod. Use at own peril!