Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Netscape on next rev of RSS

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:6/15/1999; 4:49:27 PM
Topic:Netscape on next rev of RSS
Msg #:7407
Prev/Next:7406 / 7408

An email from an engineer at Netscape:

Thanks for your message. FYI, we are very soon going to release an updated RSS spec that has a few new things:

  1. a language tag
  2. an optional rating tag
  3. an optional description tag for items
  4. optional width, height, and caption tags for images.
  5. a required !DOCTYPE tag, and yes, an actual public DTD. ;-)
  6. also, The channel tag surrounds the sub-elements now. (Which means it doesn't make much sense according to the RDF data model, but hey, we're really just using it as XML anyway, and the initial (0.9) version was just a dumbed-down subset of the original RDF-centric spec besides).

This newer version is currently in testing, and it is unlikely I can hold up the release (I'm just a lowly engineer). However, for the following iteration of My Netscape Network / RSS, I would like to work with you all, possibly on this OCS format. Mostly, I am concerned that if we don't, the RSS / OCS format(s) will fragment, and I don't believe that anyone wants that.

Further, I am aware that there is a need in the document exchange community for things such as dates, authors, contact info, etc. Unfortunately, those have not been a requirement for the My Netscape Network, and therefore were not added, mostly because we had specific requirements/features to implement, and partly for fear of adding unneeded complexity to the format (and possibly confusing people more) when we would really be throwing that data away regardless. That said, I think what would be best is if we can find a way to extend the format as needed to make it useful for folks like yourself who want to use it outside of the My Netscape environment, and also to publish only a subset of that for publishers on My Netscape (eg, the fields that we are actually going to use/display). This is mostly something that we need to work out internally, but I would appreciate any input you might have.

The good news is that we also have in testing an xml validator that (theoretically) should enable us to accomodate format modifications pretty easily/quickly. Previously, it was a big pain to change the format.

I am forwarding your message to others on the team. I'd also like to thank you for your part in promoting the adoption of RSS by so many publishers.

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