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Jon Udell: "Let's be clear: RSS is in no way broken." 

Chris Pirillo: "The RSS feeds on this page were set up to help you keep track of new products on" 

William Gibson: "In the age of the leak and the blog, of evidence extraction and link discovery, truths will either out or be outed, later if not sooner." 

BBC: Fed cuts US rates to 45-year low

RIAA going after small traders: News.Com, Post, BBC, Times, Register

Washington Post article on the role NY Times reporter Judith Miller played in the army unit which she was embedded in during the war. "Interrogating Iraqis was not the mission of the unit, these officials said, it became a 'Judith Miller team,' in the words of one officer close to the situation." 

News.Com: "Microsoft's path to expand the Windows empire is leading directly to search king Google." 

Jonathan Dube claims to have the most complete directory of professional journalist weblogs. 

Last semester, Diane Cabell, a director at Berkman, and a group of law school students, drafted a terms of use and privacy policy for weblog hosting at Harvard Law. It was our intention to create a template that other universities, schools and libraries could use, and a user-friendly agreement that non-technical people (like me!) could understand. Here's a place for comments and questions. After we got through this long process, Diane said "You're thinking like a lawyer now!" I'm sure she meant that as a compliment.  

Stewart Alsop: "Will Longhorn rock the world?" 

Post IDs 

FWIW, in RSS 2.0, I thought there should be a core-level post ID element, but I thought there was a pretty good chance, based on experience with the Blogger API, that each tool would have a different way of expressing it.

The compelling app for post ID's is backup and restore. If I'm using RSS to back up a weblog, and if I need to do a restore, the post ID's must be preserved, or when I regenerate the site after a restore, permalinks will break. Also since Radio and Manila are programming environments, developers may have created applications that depend on post ID's being preserved. The same is true of many other blogging tools.

Rather than put this in the core, I decided to put it in a namespace, specifically for Radio, and to revisit the issue after other blogging tools started using RSS 2.0 seriously.

The lizard brain of RSS 

Simon Willison is helping a friend get an RSS feed together for her weblog, and had some questions and had to guess because there is no FAQ. Of the three decisions he made, I strongly agree with two of them. Now for the third -- should he use link or guid to represent the permalink to the post? I believe he should use guid because that's what it was designed for. Link was designed for something else.

First, link has the easier name because it predates guid by three years, and its design is central to the initial design of RSS, to model items with three bits of data, title, link and description. Look at a News.Com story as the prototype for early, lizard-brain-level RSS. Every story they produce has all three items. My.Netscape presented each "channel" in a box, with TLD's. Now when weblogs started using RSS, almost immediately, not every post would have all three, in fact since Frontier was the main weblog tool at the time, and didn't support the common weblog-post model so familiar today, you might say that no weblog posts supported this model. It wasn't until Blogger came along in mid 1999 that TLDs were possible in weblogs. It wasn't until mid-Y2K that Manila supported TLD-type posts.

Anyway, I'm explaining all this background for a purpose, to say that, imho, link should be used only to link to the article being described by the post, it should only be used in the TLD context. I believe that was a very solid application and shouldn't be muddied. Of course many feeds these days take link seriously, like for example all 68 of the BBC feeds announced yesterday.

Now that said, Radio uses link the way Simon uses it. But then guid didn't exist when Radio shipped. Now that it does exist, I really feel strongly that people should use it, and let link be pure.

See also: Guids are not just for geeks anymore.

See also: RSS2-Support mail list.


Last update: Wednesday, June 25, 2003 at 8:33 PM Eastern.

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