RSS push back

I guess I won’t be finding any interest in my SORSS syndication format because the weblogging kingdom is now circling about XHTML as a syndication format. In other words, publish your page as XHTML and let aggregators scrape it.

It looks as if Anil Dash started the discussion with a well written suggestion:

My new syndication format is called XHTML. I propose that existing syndication and aggregation clients should be able to read an HTML file, detect if it has the appropriate XHTML doctype, and then render the contents of each XHTML node in the appropriate place in the client’s display. All that would be needed is standardization of names and classes for page elements like DIVs and headers. A post/entry title would always be an H3, with a class set to “title”, for example. Permanent links would always be P tags with their classes set to “permalink”. Simple.

What was particularly nice about Anil’s posting is that it generated a lot of good discussion and commenting, and no animosity. Pay particular attention to Timothy Appnel’s comments, which I think were quite good. (Thanks to Chris for heads up on excellent discussion.)

The “RSS Rebellion” has now spread elsewhere:

Mark wrote a Python program to scrape HTML and generate an RSS stream. You know, that boy do like Python, doesn’t he? Wait a sec — he just turned 30. Excuse me, I should have said that man do like Python.


Mark based his efforts on the discussion at tantek/log.


Aaron Swartz likes the idea and provides an XSLT implementation (and links to other discussions).

Personally, though I have just finished a template re-design for most of my pages that validates as strict XHTML 1.0 (not implemented yet, so don’t test this page), I have no interest in someone grabbing whatever they want for syndication from my web page, including the entire posting. I’d rather they take the excerpt I give them, which I can control by having a seperate syndication feed. Besides, I’m going to implement SORSS for my site. You know, that Dark and Beautiful Queen thing.

So why am I interested in and promoting this debate? I’m all for bubbling the Daypop joy juice, watching to see what floats to the top.

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