A summary of what we learned in the last few days about XML and namespaces. It's not a pretty picture!
Simon Fell: "I can't see how RSS 2.0 can be both fully backwardly compatible with RSS 0.9x and introduce namespaces, as we saw earlier, tools written with the assumptions that are valid for RSS 0.9x are just going to break when faced with a RSS 2.0 file that uses modules."
Don Park: "My recommendation for RSS 2.0 is to support namespaces but not require them to be declared unless they are needed and require only default namespace declaration to be used."
Jake Savin: "[Don Park] speaks with the benefit of first-hand development experience with a partner whose software didn't understand namespaces. He also quite rightly points out that 'the primary value of RSS format is that it is being used widely and anything that breaks that voids the value of RSS.'"
GNOME has a RSS 2.0 feed for the latest files on their FTP site.
Late afternoon (Pacific time) status on the namespaces conundrum. On the RSS2-Support list Phil Ringnalda sums up the options. Ben Hammersley's thread has reached an impasse. Simon Fell tests the popular aggregators for namespace support. At this time there is no consensus on how namespaces should work in a plain vanilla format like RSS 2.0. That's what we're looking for, consensus. And it will probably have to be a compromise.
LM Orchard: "I don't think that this is a fundamental flaw with RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0, or namespaces. This is an issue of versioning, understanding the technology's implications, and reverse-compatibility."
Ben Hammersley: "If this was 0.94, the breakage would be unacceptable. But as this is 2.0, we've got to take the hit."
CNN: UN backs dwarf tossing ban. "The pastime, imported from the United States and Australia in the 1980s, consists of people throwing tiny stuntmen as far as possible, usually in a bar or discotheque." Thanks Daypop!
Hixie's Natural Log: Trackback vs Pingback.
Reuters: Turkey seizes weapons-grade uranium.
Phil Wolff: "What would you be willing to do as a journalist to improve your chances of getting your story listed on Google's front page for a prime time hour?"
Justin Klubnik released a RSS module for trackbacks. Why do I like this? Because he claims support for RSS 2.0, a format I'm trying to build support for. A win-win. That's how flow works on the Web. We help each other, and share our gratitude. I know it sounds corny, but that's how it works, when it works. Thanks Justin.
Relationship between RSS and weblog APIs
I got an email during the week from Steve Zellers asking if the MetaWeblog API spec would be updated to call for RSS 2.0 item-level metadata, instead of calling for RSS 0.92 metadata. I told Steve I'd look into it, and at first glance it seemed like a good idea.
I just reviewed the relevant section of the MetaWeblog API spec, and don't see any problem, because 2.0 is totally a superset of 0.92, we now have some new vocabulary, like pubdate, comments, guid, etc that can travel over the MetaWeblog API, so unless there are any objections, I'll change the spec next week; and people who have a MetaWeblog API implementation can start thinking about how they might want to use the newly defined struct elements.
Thanks for keeping an eye out on this Steve. Good work.
Also note that there are rumblings of change re the Blogger API. We expect a new API from Pyra shortly. Let's hope it's forward-compatible as the MetaWeblog API is. Or, even better, it would be fantastic if they adopted the MetaWeblog API. Now that would be super cool.
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