Blog posts tagged "mark.pilgrim"

rss_parser supports attributes

January 28th, 2003

Mark just released a version of rssparser that supports parsing attributes, with <admin:generatorAgent> as an example implementation. So when we start the next revolution of service enriched RSS feeds rssparser will be there as well.

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In support of standards

January 26th, 2003

Mark Pilgrim is dangerous; a good writer and deep thinker with a mind blowing amount of whuffie. So when he starts talking about competitive advantage of ignoring standards, unfortunately people hear more then I think he said. There seems to an anti-standards wind blowing through the blogosphere this morning, and its kind of alarming. I would like to think about alternatives.

Capitalist Mindset

In ensuring discussion all sorts of wonderfully capitalist metaphors about accured interest, natural costs, and competive advantage have floated to the surface. So here are a couple of more, XML::RSS has an overwhelming mindshare, and namespace lockout in the Perl community, giving us a virtual monopoly. Its true Amphetadesk, an RSS aggregator written in Perl, chose to go its owny way, and perhaps that proves Mark’s point for the niche market of aggregators.(which is a loud, and very profile market I give you that) But there is still a lot of demand from people who aren’t aggregators and I feel like XML::RSS should be able to do something with its market power. Think Microsoft, but in a good way :)

A few thoughts on making things better

  1. Help people produce valid feeds. XML::RSS was one of the biggest offenders in this regard. It actively worked against people, unescaping their HTML entities, and not re-escaping this. This has been fixed in the next release.
  2. Give helpful error messages when parsing fails. In the long term it would be nice to port the RSS Validator to be part of the toolkit to tell people exactly whats wrong with the feed. Feed consumers might be more outspoken if they knew why the feed broke and whose fault it was. Despite my minor gripes about it, the RSS Validator is a very powerful tool.
  3. Until we port the Validator, perhaps when RSS hits a parsing error, we can say.
    RSS parsing error on line 345, column 12 [like we do now, plus]
    For more info on why parsing failed see:
  4. Now that XML::RSS has a webpage, we should be putting up articles, and links to articles showing best practice, and talking about pitfalls.
  5. Other ideas?

What are the toolkits?

What are people using to parse RSS these days? Python has Mark N.'s and Mark P.'s rss_parsrer, PHP has hundreds of solutions, and lots of doing it by hand, but I think PHP-RSS was close to a standard, and I think MagpieRSS is gaining acceptance. What do people use in Java? In C? In those other languages? What does NetNewsWire use? And all these Windows aggregators?

Yup still, geeking out on RSS despite what I said yesterday.

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Quick Links from the Underground

November 21st, 2002


Mark is back from his near month long hiatus, and on fire.

newdoor – is an aggregator that learns using seed data from Blogging Ecosystem. Usable agents, and the promise of webservices in one fell swoop.

He is also talking about how hard it is being perfect, and the traps of XHTML 1.1.


Over at the boingboing guest blog, Clay Shirky has also been on fire.

Continueing the theme of group forming found in new door, Shirky hilights seminal documents in 3 online communities (LambdaMOO, Slashdot, and Wikipedia), in his post Morning constitutional(scroll down), links to work on developing a social rhetoric, and links to the oldie, but still relevant, The Tyranny of Structurelessness.

Online Organizing Sucks

I’ve got lots of links, ideas, and rants about group forming, online organizing, and managing discussions all bubbling inside my head right now. No time to blog them. Hopefully soon.

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Trying to stay out of the RSS wars

September 17th, 2002

In the immortal words of Mark Pilgrim, “He is, of course, kidding. At least I hope he’s kidding.”

He was referring to Aaron’s RSS 3.0 spec, but I’m referring to Mark’s <blink> suggestion. Small, domain specific changes, are why we like namespaces. Have you considered perhaps using a <link> element with DCMI Qualifier, Type=”Quirky”? (Type, used to categorize the nature or genre of the content of the resource.) And how you’ll write documentation for those of us born after the golden age of vinyl?

And do you pronounce it “blngk” or “b-lngk”?

I can’t understand how some people (this is not directed at Mark) can on one hand argue for the simplification and clarification of RSS, and on the other hand support a format where tags get added willy-nilly. But if you are going to support such a format, can it at least include the stipulation, “If people want to add an element to RSS, then just send it to [Aaron] and [he’ll] add it to [the] list of all elements in use.”

….but if I was going to get involved, I might point out that Morbus need to work on his sense of humor, I’ve thought this ever since he joked about shooting his girlfriend, while Dave has serious anger issues, but Bill has always been great the few times I’ve corresponded with him.

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