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Permanent link to archive for Tuesday, December 21, 2004. Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Brief list of Scripting News podcasts. I had a bit of time to play today, so I wrote a script that lists the podcasts on Scripting News going back thru 2003. I want to produce an OPML version of this too.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

WGBH report on Adam Curry and podcasting. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

There's a Technorati user's group meeting tonight.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Washington Post: "The Washington Post Co said today it is buying Slate." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Slate: "Today the Washington Post Co announces that it is buying Slate from Microsoft Corporation." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

For your holiday enjoyment: 12 Days of PodcastingPermanent link to this item in the archive.

Wired: "The operators of apologize to the service's users and quietly pulls the plug. The shutdown follows hot on the heels of Hollywood's legal moves against BitTorrent tracker servers." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Ed Foster: "When Baker walked into that CompUSA almost two years ago, there was basically no way for her to see the Windows XP or Norton AntiVirus EULA before she put her money down." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Watching a TV ad for Verizon Online DSL. $29.95 per month. Why they don't say you can make free long distance phone calls with Skype?  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named skypeLogo.gifSpeaking of Skype, I wonder if they know how central they've become in the podcasting world? One feature to die for, a way to record a call to an MP3. I'd be happy to meet with people from the company. Are they in Silicon Valley? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Multiple-enclosures on RSS items? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Disclaimer: These are my thoughts, not spec text.

This question comes up from time to time, and I've resisted answering it directly, thinking that anyone who really read the spec would come to the conclusion that RSS allows zero or one enclosures per item, and no more. The same is true for all other sub-elements of item, except category, where multiple elements are explicitly allowed. The spec refers to "the enclosure" in the singular. Regardless, some people persist in thinking that you may have more than one enclosure per item.

Okay, let's play it out. So if I have more than one enclosure per item, how do I specify the publication date for each enclosure? How do I specify the title, author, a link to comments, a description perhaps, or a guid? The people who want multiple enclosures suggest schemes that are so complicated that they're reduced to hand-waving before they get to the spec, which I would love to read, if it could be written. Some times some things are just too hard to do. This is one of them.

And there's a reason why it's too hard. Because you're throwing out the value of RSS and then trying to figure out how to bring it back. There's no need for items any more, so you might as well get rid of them. At the top level of channel would be a series of enclosures, and then underneath each enclosure, all the meta-data. Voila, problem solved. Only what have you actually solved? You've just re-created RSS, but instead of calling the main elements "item" we now call them "enclosure".

Sometimes linear thinking leads you to a dead-end, and this is one of those times, imho. You end up in a torus, there's no wall that says "you may go no further" but somehow you keep going in circles, chasing your tail, re-inventing RSS, when there's absolutely no need to.

So people ask how will we fit show notes into RSS? Maybe we won't. When you get into show notes, think outlines, and think about linking MP3s into outline structures. I think this has more potential. I could be wrong of course (not joking).

Comment here.


Last update: Tuesday, December 21, 2004 at 5:49 PM Eastern.

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