Sjoerd Visscher's weblog

My ideas about new web technology that can change the future of the world wide web.

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10/25/2002; 8:18:13 PM

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Friday, September 06, 2002

The future of RSS

It seems that the future of RSS is emerging. “What do you think?” asks Dave. I like it! Modules are just perfect for the next step in RSS use. And there's no burdon of the crippled syntax of RDF. There's no doubt in my mind that this is the way to go. But then there remains the issue of putting some of the old elements in modules.

Imagine a core RSS of these elements: rss, channel with title, link, description and language, and item with title, link and description. This is a core which you can't touch, because most older RSS implementations use these. This is also a core that's very useful and a low barrier to implement. The other elements should be grouped in modules, using namespaces. I believe that applications that use these elements are in active development, and can be easily changed. This requires some effort from implementors, but the result is a clean future-compatible RSS basis, that can remain popular as long as XML remains popular.

It is important though that older RSS files never become invalid, and that never any essential information is lost. So elements like image should become deprecated. And future RSS application might only support the module version of the image element, and they will ignore the old image element without namespace. But the application will still read the essential information that is available in the old RSS file.