Really Silly Stuff?

Eric complains that my RSS feed (the Movable Type default) provides only puts the first few lines (20 words, actually) in the description. I’m not sure this is entirely bad; it certainly saves bandwidth, and I think RSS was originally designed mainly for headline syndication, not for whole articles (Slashdot doesn’t use anythings but headlines and links, for example). Besides, maybe I’d rather people have to go to the Web page to read the whole entry; it won’t be mangled by whatever aggregator they’re using, and they might make or read some comments.

Still, in the interest of playing with fun new toys, I’ve got an experimental new RSS feed with full entry descriptions. I don’t plan to switch to this anywhere else on the site, though, at least not for now.

Of course, Eric’s RSS has some problems too. The lack of <link> tags for the entries, for example. Eric also complains about not being able to easily find the RSS feed for LiveJournal sites. While little orange XML buttons are handy, tools that can parse the HTML header for <link> tags (different ones) have no trouble with LiveJournal sites. While LJ’s own aggregation engine, ironically, can’t do this, tools like NetNewsWire will find the RSS feed automatically if you enter the URL to many sites. I think this is cool.