James Holderness, a guy who really knows his shit about syndication tech, has been doing some torture-testing; see Encoding RSS Titles, which shows that if you want to do something as obvious as mentioning “AT&T” in your title, you’re in deep RSS doo-doo. (Did I say torture test? James blogs at www.詹姆斯.com; the boy’s got attitude.) Anyhow, James establishes that there’s essentially no safe way to do this. Quoting him: “Clearly if you want to support Firefox or Internet Explorer you’ve got no choice but to use the single encoding option. For certain strings, though, that would mean losing support for at least twenty other aggregators.” Yow. So I emailed James, asking “Would it be oversimplistic to say: ‘Thus, use Atom 1.0?’” He wrote back “Somewhat. While Atom doesn't have the ambiguities of the RSS spec, it has all the same problems with buggy clients.” Fair enough. But I think that James proved that, with RSS, you can’t solve the problem even in principle. With Atom, you can. Which seems like a decisive argument, to me. [Update: Oh hell, James’ Chinese URI broke something in the ongoing front-page generator... until I’ve fixed it, use this.]


author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
June 14, 2006
· Technology (77 fragments)
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