Tuesday, 22 April 2003
RSS needs Profiling
Tim says thatRSS Needs Fixing. Right on! Some people are intereted in endless tinkering with RSS - I'm not. I'm interested in putting it on everybody's desktop, and making it transparent to them. This means we need better interop.
How do we fix this? Maybe I've just got a hammer, but it seems like we've faced this problem before - with SOAP. SOAP 1.1 had a lot of ambiguities, but the community got together and came up with a profile that fixed a lot of these problems, WITHOUT revving the version of the protocol. Makes sense.
How would we do this for RSS? I think it would be relatively easy (and MUCH more lightweight). Get a bunch of aggregator folks (virtually) together and decide what features they're going to support - e.g., xhtml:body, how to interpret markup inside description, how to prioritize different elements that do the same thing, etc. Use Jorgen's RSS schema, and modify it to make it easy to validate a profiled feed.
Package it all together and declare that a feed is conformant with a profile element in the channel, and we're done; any aggregator (or other client software) that is profile-conformant can read any feed that is as well, *and* correctly represent it.
Once again, it doesn't mean that you can't innovate, or include other stuff in your feed. It just locks down the stuff that's already there, so we can move on.
How about it?