Tuesday, February 24, 2004

EPICURIOUS: ENGLAND: SHROVE TUESDAY: "While Brazilians samba in the streets of Rio, and New Orleans throws its most famous party of the year, the English celebrate with Pancake Tuesday."

 

Wow, I just get done talking about some cool extensions for NewsGator 2.0, and another one pops up.

John Bristowe and Jeff Julian have built an ESF extension for NewsGator. With this extension installed, if a feed publishes information about an event in a certain way, a new item will get added to Outlook's calendar with the event details.

John has a sample feed and a screenshot in Outlook on his weblog...check it out. This is really beginning to demonstrate the power of RSS extensions, when used with an extension-aware client. Nice job, guys!


[Greg Reinacker's Weblog]

ThisisLondon: "At first glance, the price of nearly �100,000 for a property in London may seem unexceptional.
Until you realise that this will not buy you a home - but a parking space. "

Saturday, February 21, 2004

spectator.co.uk: "SPOKEN HERE: TRAVELS AMONG THREATENED LANGUAGES
By Mark Abley"
The Atlantic | March 2004 | Great Scot | Hitchens: "Between Kipling and Fleming stands John Buchan, the father of the modern spy thriller

by Christopher Hitchens "
BBC NEWS | Magazine | The really simple future of the web

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Telegraph | News | Police get data guidelines after Soham
I'm not dead. I am just holed up in boot camp upgrading my MCSE to W2003.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

"Religion killed whisky in Wales, but now it's back "

Telegraph | News

"Microsoft removes swastika from software" I installed this fix without really looking too much at it.

Times Online - Sunday Times

Times Online - Sunday Times: "Falconer gave no clear indication of who in the cabinet was to take over the lord chancellor�s historic duty of insisting that the government accept the limitations on its actions dictated by the rule of law.
In recent months there have been several government initiatives � including the asylum bill and the domestic violence bill � that may constitute a serious breach of the law. So far as is known, there has not been a word of disapproval or even of caution from Falconer."

spectator.co.uk

spectator.co.uk: "A question for students of European Union studies at the University of Neasden: why did the ten new members who will join the Union on 1 May decide to do so? Was it: a) that they believe their economies will benefit from being part of a single market, and that their citizens will be enriched by the free movement of people and capital across borders; or b) that they are terribly excited about European directives on jam labelling and can�t wait until their lawnmowers comply with levels of noise emissions laid down in Brussels? "

spectator.co.uk

spectator.co.uk: "When it is clear that an illegal immigrant cannot be returned to his country, he should be given a work permit: to better himself is, after all, the reason why he came. He would then not be a burden on the state or on society in any way, and would be much less vulnerable to what amounts to modern slavery."

Wired News: The Russian Nesting Doll of Games

Wired News: The Russian Nesting Doll of Games: "Now comes a fan-made plug-in that allows Sims characters to effectively play SimCity inside The Sims. "

The New Republic Online: Lights! Camera! Being!

The New Republic Online: Lights! Camera! Being!: "Letters, 1925-1975, Hannah Arendt and Martin Heidegger
Edited"

Telegraph | Opinion

Telegraph | Opinion

Telegraph | Opinion

Telegraph | Opinion: "In AD 62, some 30 years after the crucifixion of Christ, another Jesus, the son of Ananias, was brought before the Jewish high court in Jerusalem on the charge of fomenting disorder during the pilgrimage Feast of Tabernacles. The magistrates first tried to silence him by a severe beating. It did not work, so they handed him over to the Roman governor Albinus because they were worried that he might be God's prophet. He administered an even worse beating to the accused before interrogating him. This Jesus refused to reply. But this story has a happier ending than that of Jesus of Nazareth. As Jesus, son of Ananias, was without followers, the governor concluded that he was a lunatic and let him go."

Telegraph | Opinion

Telegraph | Opinion: "Maxine Carr has been denied common justice."

Telegraph | Opinion

Telegraph | OpinionProfile: Professor Bernard Lewis

Friday, February 13, 2004

Auction VAT

BBC NEWS | Health | Mobile 999 callers 'pinpointed'

BBC NEWS | Health | Mobile 999 callers 'pinpointed': "The London Ambulance Service has become the first in the UK to use new technology to pinpoint the location of mobile phone callers."

 

John Gotze writes to say the Danish government has included RSS 2.0 in its "government interoperability framework called the Reference Profile."


[Scripting News]

Paolo Valdemarin nails it. 

Microsoft source code leaked out. The software giant says part-blueprints of its Windows operating system have been leaked on the internet. [BBC News | Technology | UK Edition]


I've always been told that Linux is secure because all source code is available on the web. Now they're telling me that Windows is not secure because some source code has been leaked on thw web. Who knows... maybe some hacker will fix some bugs ;-)


[Paolo Valdemarin: Paolo's Weblog]

spectator.co.uk

spectator.co.uk: "�Benny was pulling the moss off the rocks a few feet away when suddenly he let a roar out of him and threw his hat to me,� wrote Alex Gillies, his partner � sorry, pardner (I don�t want to make them sound like some New Labour couple from Islington). "

This partner vs pardner distinction reminds me of the time that I assumed the Pride Rugby Sevens was a gay event rather than sponsored by a brewery.

The Sun Newspaper Online - UK's biggest selling newspaper

The road from Morecambe Bay leads to Downing St. Compare this with Bush's proposals in the US regarding illegal immigrants. This is a terrible indictment of Blair.

Economist.com | Public inquiries

Economist.com | Public inquiries: "Everybody likes an inquiry�except MPs, who are holding one of their own to inquire into the proliferation of inquiries"

AK-MP3

Audio Books For Free, a British-based company is selling MP3 players which can be attached to an assault rifle.


The "AK-MP3" player is built into the ammunition clip of a Kalashnikov. It can be swapped with the real magazine carrying bullets and inserted into the weapon.

The device is being advertised on the internet by a Buckinghamshire-based company set up by a group of Russian businessmen who sell audio books.

It comes with enough storage space to hold 3000 audio books or 9000 songs.



Former Russian rock star Andrey Koltakov, a partner in the dotcom company offering the AK-MP3 for sale, said: "This is our bit for world peace - hopefully, from now on many militants and terrorists will use their AK-47s to listen to music and audio books."

The accessory costs just over $200 or around $400 with hundreds of audio books already loaded on to it.

According to those marketing it the stainless steel body makes it "uniquely suitable for outdoors".

AK-47s are nicknamed widow-makers and are the favoured choice of killers across the globe from Marxist guerrillas in Colombia to Saddam Hussein loyalists in Iraq. They were also used by IRA snipers. They are capable of firing 600 rounds a minute.


BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | French FM faces India Sikh anger

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | French FM faces India Sikh anger I was wondering why I hadn't heard any protest about Sikhs and the French ban as I remember a controversy about turbans when motorcycle helmets where made compulsory in the UK. Guess I just hadn't heard about it.

Why is the Drudge Report described as a right-wing website? 

The campaign of Senator John Kerry, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, faced its first media storm after a Right-wing website alleged that he had asked a woman to leave the country for personal reasons.


[Telegraph News | Breaking News]

Thursday, February 12, 2004

The New Republic Online: etc.

The New Republic Online: etc.: "'Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition ... to the early use of military force by the US against Iraq. I share your concerns. On January 11, I voted in favor of a resolution that would have insisted that economic sanctions be given more time to work and against a resolution giving the president the immediate authority to go to war.'

--letter from Senator John Kerry to Wallace Carter of Newton Centre, Massachusetts, dated January 22 [1991]

'Thank you very much for contacting me to express your support for the actions of President Bush in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. From the outset of the invasion, I have strongly and unequivocally supported President Bush's response to the crisis and the policy goals he has established with our military deployment in the Persian Gulf.'

--Senator Kerry to Wallace Carter, January 31 [1991] "

Yuk Yuk

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | iPod designer leads culture list

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts | iPod designer leads culture list

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Audible revolution

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Audible revolution Online radio is booming thanks to iPods, cheap audio software and weblogs, reports Ben Hammersley

BBC NEWS | Business | BT Group shrugs off revenue drop

BBC NEWS | Business | BT Group shrugs off revenue drop: "Sales of broadband and information technology products rose 31% to �838m in the third quarter.
'This has offset much of the impact of the 6% decline in our traditional business,' said chief executive Ben Verwaayen."

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | The drugs threat to Afghanistan

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | The drugs threat to Afghanistan Interesting map in this BBC article

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Maharashtra woos medical tourists

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Maharashtra woos medical touristsThe Indian state is hoping to lure patients from the West, with surgery around five times cheaper, writes Ben Wright.

Seminar Details - Multi-University/Research Lab (MURL) Seminar Series

Seminar Details - Multi-University/Research Lab (MURL) Seminar SeriesWeblogs and how we can work together
Who: Dave Winer


Pluck Product Info: RSS Reader & Power Search

Pluck Product Info: RSS Reader & Power Search Looks interesting.

Telegraph | News | Palestinian PM's firm 'helps build Israeli wall'

Telegraph | News | Palestinian PM's firm 'helps build Israeli wall': "The family of the Palestinian prime minister has been supplying concrete for Israel's security barrier, it was claimed yesterday, as legislators launched an investigation into companies profiting from the trade"

PC Pro - Computing in the Real World

PC Pro - Computing in the Real Worldhttp(s)://username:password@server/resource.ext will no longer be supported by IE or Windows Explorer
Oh Dear. I used to use this all the time. I must find the Registry fix.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy: "Indulge in a dream scenario for a moment: Suppose the world awoke tomorrow and, miraculously, every country suddenly enjoyed the same per capita income as the United States, or roughly $40,000 per year. Global annual income would soar to $300 trillion, or some 10 times what it is now. And while we�re at it, suppose also that international education levels, infant mortality rates, and life expectancies all converged to the levels in rich countries. In short, what if foreign aid worked and economic development happened overnight instead of over centuries?"

Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy: "Indulge in a dream scenario for a moment: Suppose the world awoke tomorrow and, miraculously, every country suddenly enjoyed the same per capita income as the United States, or roughly $40,000 per year. Global annual income would soar to $300 trillion, or some 10 times what it is now. And while we�re at it, suppose also that international education levels, infant mortality rates, and life expectancies all converged to the levels in rich countries. In short, what if foreign aid worked and economic development happened overnight instead of over centuries?"

Wired News: Munich Open Source Plows Ahead

Wired News: Munich Open Source Plows Ahead: "Munich is struggling with its planned migration from proprietary software to open-source applications, according to news stories in the German press that paint an increasingly gloomy picture of what had originally been widely described as a shining success story for Linux. "

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Telegraph | News

Telegraph | News: "Atkins diet founder was obese"

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Downloads outsell DVDs and vinyl

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Music | Downloads outsell DVDs and vinyl: "Sales of legal music downloads have reached a new high to become the second most popular singles format in the UK. "

BBC NEWS | Business | India dismisses outsourcing fears

BBC NEWS | Business | India dismisses outsourcing fears

Times Online - Health

Times Online - Health Real insight into horror from Thedore Dalrymple. How I oscillate between admiring and abominating his pieces.

W3C recommends Semantic Web specs | CNET News.com

W3C recommends Semantic Web specs | CNET News.com

Electric Cinema | The Experience

Went to the Electric Cinema last night to see "Something's Gotta Give". Good movie, but great moviehouse; leather seating, footstools and tables for food and drink.

ThisisLondon

ThisisLondon: "Until now, most firms have been reluctant to launch any type of e-book because portable electronic screens have proved harder to read than the printed word.
But now technology giant Philips has developed digital displays which look like paper and can be read at any angle and in any light.
Its device - developed in co-operation with a company called E Ink Corporation - uses 'electronic ink' to create screens that are six times brighter than traditional liquid-crystal displays used in flat-panel TVs and computers."

The Wreck of the BBC

The Wreck of the BBC

PREVIEW: Curious George

PREVIEW: Curious George: "In teaching literature, there is the question of whether one ought to be teaching what one does in the first place. Lionel Trilling made this point in his essay 'On the Teaching of Modern Literature,' in which he quite appropriately asked if it is right to inculcate the dark visions for the young of such standard curriculum writers as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, and Freud. I felt much the same teaching the perhaps less dark but still difficult Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Willa Cather to people at the end of their adolescence, who already had enough on their minds, and in their hormones, without having to worry about, say, Joseph Conrad's essential message that we come into the world, live, and die absolutely alone. Does one really need to know this at nineteen?"
Exactly what I thought about Crime and Punishment.

Trackbacks: The .Text Perspective

Trackbacks: The .Text Perspective

Telegraph | Opinion | Kerry won't scare any of the big beasts

Telegraph | Opinion | Kerry won't scare any of the big beasts

Sunday, February 08, 2004

NEWS Travel - On the spice trail [September 28, 2003]

NEWS Travel - On the spice trail [September 28, 2003]: "Money can buy worldly goods and minions to carry out your every wish, but it can't buy anonymity when you're Paul McCartney.
So it was when the former Beatle jetted into the tiny state of Kerala along the south western tip of India early last year in search of inner peace. "

World66, the travel guide you write: visited countries

World66, the travel guide you write: visited countries Must fill in the map here

BBC NEWS | Technology | Computers power Cirque spectacle

BBC NEWS | Technology | Computers power Cirque spectacle We saw Cirque's London show in the Alber Hall a feek or so ago.

The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Philippe Van Parijs - Reviewed by Pierre-Yves N�ron - GNOSIS - Volume VII, No.1 - 2003

The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Philippe Van Parijs - Reviewed by Pierre-Yves N�ron - GNOSIS - Volume VII, No.1 - 2003 More on the basic income idea

BBC NEWS | Technology | Halo sequel delayed until autumn

BBC NEWS | Technology | Halo sequel delayed until autumn

WSJ.com - A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight

WSJ.com - A Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. in Terrorism Fight: "'We have time, we can wait,' he quotes the Jordanian as saying. 'We got rid of the Crusaders. We got rid of the Turks. We'll get rid of the Jews.'
Hearing this claim 'one too many times,' Mr. Lewis says, he politely shot back, 'Excuse me, but you've got your history wrong. The Turks got rid of the Crusaders. The British got rid of the Turks. The Jews got rid of the British. I wonder who is coming here next.'"

The Chronicle: 1/16/2004: Lending a Lasting Hand

The Chronicle: 1/16/2004: Lending a Lasting Hand: "Back to Basics

The most controversial of the plans is the universal basic income, whose best-known contemporary proponent is Philippe van Parijs, a professor of economic and moral philosophy at the Catholic University of Louvain, in Belgium. In his 1995 book Real Freedom for All: What (if Anything) Can Justify Capitalism? (Oxford University Press), Mr. van Parijs argues that the liberal value of freedom presumes that humans have an array of realistic choices. And having such choices, he says, depends in turn on having at least a certain level of resources. Therefore society should guarantee everyone a basic income, which would be financed through progressive taxation. The basic income, Mr. van Parijs says, should be as large as the economy can efficiently sustain."

This basic income idea is fascinating.

Illegal immigrant who fought in Iraq to try for citizenship

Illegal immigrant who fought in Iraq to try for citizenship

Thursday, February 05, 2004

ThisisLondon

ThisisLondon: "Two people were shot early today when a gunman opened fire at a West End nightclub part-owned by actress Leslie Ash and her ex-footballer husband Lee Chapman.
A security guard and a clubgoer were injured at the SO.UK Soho nightclub next to the Teatro private members' club in Shaftesbury Avenue"

BBC NEWS | Technology | Janet's breast makes net history

BBC NEWS | Technology | Janet's breast makes net history: "Janet Jackson's breast has become the most search-for image in net history."

SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Voluntary sector | Reversal of fortune

SocietyGuardian.co.uk | Voluntary sector | Reversal of fortune: "Bill Gates is the world's wealthiest man - and history's most generous philanthropist. Raekha Prasad asks him how he combines ruthless capitalism with enlightened giving "

Thanks Matt 

I lost my copy.  I love the Internet:  Hagakure (PDF). [John Robb's Weblog]

I've been meaning to read this ever since seeing the excellent Ghost Dog. Thanks John.


[Curiouser and curiouser!]

Mark Pilgrim explains the different flavours of RSS 

I have often stated (1, 2, 3) that there are 7 different and incompatible versions of RSS. This was based on an embarassingly simple formula: I counted the version numbers in use (0.90, 0.91, 0.92, 0.93, 0.94, 1.0, and 2.0) and came up with the number 7. But recently some people have taken to claiming that there are not 7 versions (despite obvious evidence to the contrary), and even if there are, that they are somehow compatible with each other so it doesn't really matter. So I dug a little further to precisely document the incompatible changes in each version of RSS.

I would like to publicly apologize for my previous misstatements. There are not 7 different and incompatible versions of RSS; there are 9.

In March of 1999, Netscape released RSS 0.90. RSS 0.90 looks like this:

Example 1. RSS 0.90


<rdf:RDF

xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"

xmlns="http://my.netscape.com/rdf/simple/0.9/">

<channel>

<title>Mozilla Dot Org</title>

<link>http://www.mozilla.org</link>

<description>the Mozilla Organization web site</description>

</channel>

<image>

<title>Mozilla</title>

<url>http://www.mozilla.org/images/logo.gif</url>

<link>http://www.mozilla.org</link>

</image>

<item>

<title>New Status Updates</title>

<link>http://www.mozilla.org/status/</link>

</item>

</rdf:RDF>

In July of 1999, Netscape released RSS 0.91. Netscape's RSS 0.91 was intentionally incompatible with RSS 0.90. They dropped the RDF-compatible syntax and redesigned RSS to be pure XML. They also added a DTD which defined several allowable entities (more on these below).

Netscape's RSS 0.91 looks like this:

Example 2. Netscape RSS 0.91


<!DOCTYPErss SYSTEM "http://my.netscape.com/publish/formats/rss-0.91.dtd">

<rss version="0.91">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textinput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textinput>

<skipHours>

<hour>0</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &lt; 2, 3 &lt; 4.

In HTML, &lt;b&gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

In June of 2000, Userland took Netscape's RSS specification, removed Netscape's copyright statement, made several incompatible changes, added a Userland copyright statement, called it RSS 0.91, and claimed that it was compatible with Netscape's RSS 0.91.

Userland's flavor of RSS 0.91 looks like this:

Example 3. Userland's RSS 0.91


<rss version="0.91">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>24</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &lt; 2, 3 &lt; 4.

In HTML, &lt;b&gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

Userland's RSS 0.91 is incompatible with Netscape's RSS 0.91 in several ways:

  1. Netscape's RSS 0.91 specifies that <hour> within <skipHours> has a range from 0 to 23. Userland's RSS 0.91 specifies that <hour> has a range of 1 to 24.
  2. Netscape's RSS 0.91 contains a textinput element. Userland's RSS 0.91 contains a textInput element. Note the capitalization; XML element names are case-sensitive, so this is a completely different element.
  3. Netscape's RSS 0.91 uses a DTD which allows publishers to use 96 named entities: &nbsp;, &iexcl;, &cent;, &pound;, &curren;, &yen;, &brvbar;, &sect;, &uml;, &copy;, &ordf;, &laquo;, &not;, &shy;, &reg;, &macr;, &deg;, &plusmn;, &sup2;, &sup3;, &acute;, &micro;, &para;, &middot;, &cedil;, &sup1;, &ordm;, &raquo;, &frac14;, &frac12;, &frac34;, &iquest;, &Agrave;, &Aacute;, &Acirc;, &Atilde;, &Auml;, &Aring;, &AElig;, &Ccedil;, &Egrave;, &Eacute;, &Ecirc;, &Euml;, &Igrave;, &Iacute;, &Icirc;, &Iuml;, &ETH;, &Ntilde;, &Ograve;, &Oacute;, &Ocirc;, &Otilde;, &Ouml;, &times;, &Oslash;, &Ugrave;, &Uacute;, &Ucirc;, &Uuml;, &Yacute;, &THORN;, &szlig;, &agrave;, &aacute;, &acirc;, &atilde;, &auml;, &aring;, &aelig;, &ccedil;, &egrave;, &eacute;, &ecirc;, &euml;, &igrave;, &iacute;, &icirc;, &iuml;, &eth;, &ntilde;, &ograve;, &oacute;, &ocirc;, &otilde;, &ouml;, &divide;, &oslash;, &ugrave;, &uacute;, &ucirc;, &uuml;, &yacute;, &thorn;, and &yuml;. Userland's RSS 0.91 removes the DTD, therefore all of these named entities are invalid and may not be used.

In December of 2000, the RSS-DEV Working Group released RSS 1.0, which they claimed was compatible with RSS 0.90. (In fact, it is completely incompatible and shares no elements with RSS 0.90 at all, since it uses a different namespace.) RSS 1.0 was also intentionally incompatible with both Netscape RSS 0.91 and Userland RSS 0.91, due to RSS 1.0's RDF syntax.

RSS 1.0 looks like this:

Example 4. RSS 1.0


<rdf:RDF

xmlns:rdf="http://www.w3.org/1999/02/22-rdf-syntax-ns#"

xmlns="http://purl.org/rss/1.0/">

<channel>

<title>Example Dot Org</title>

<link>http://www.example.org</link>

<description>the Example Organization web site</description>

<items>

<rdf:Seq>

<rdf:li resource="http://www.example.org/status/"/>

</rdf:Seq>

</items>

</channel>

<image rdf:about="http://www.example.org/images/logo.gif"/>

<image rdf:about="http://www.example.org/images/logo.gif">

<title>Example</title>

<url>http://www.example.org/images/logo.gif</url>

<link>http://www.example.org</link>

</image>

<item rdf:about="http://www.example.org/status/">

<title>New Status Updates</title>

<link>http://www.example.org/status/</link>

<description>News about the Example project</description>

</item>

</rdf:RDF>

Later in December of 2000, Userland released RSS 0.92, which they claimed was compatible with their flavor of RSS 0.91.

Example 5. RSS 0.92


<rss version="0.92">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>24</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &lt; 2, 3 &lt; 4.

In HTML, &lt;b&gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

RSS 0.92 is incompatible with Netscape RSS 0.91 for all the reasons that Userland RSS 0.91 is incompatible with Netscape RSS 0.91. It is also incompatible with Userland RSS 0.91, because the content model of <description> was changed from plain text to HTML. The RSS 0.92 example (example 5) appears identical to the Userland RSS 0.91 example (example 3) in every way except the version number, but it means something different. To create an RSS 0.92 feed that means the same thing as example 3, you need to escape the <description>, like this:

Example 6. RSS 0.92, properly escaped


<rss version="0.92">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>24</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &amp;lt; 2, 3 &amp;lt; 4.

In HTML, &amp;lt;b&amp;gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &amp;lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

In April of 2001, Userland released a draft of RSS 0.93, which they claimed was compatible with RSS 0.92 and their flavor of RSS 0.91. Although never officially blessed for public use, RSS 0.93 is in fact currently being used by companies as large as Disney (who is quite proud of it). RSS 0.93 shares the same content model as RSS 0.92, and is therefore incompatible with all versions of RSS prior to 0.92. It also adds an optional <expirationDate> element, the significance of which will become apparent shortly.

RSS 0.93 looks like this:

Example 7. RSS 0.93


<rss version="0.93">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>24</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &amp;lt; 2, 3 &amp;lt; 4.

In HTML, &amp;lt;b&amp;gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &amp;lt;a href=

</description>

<expirationDate>Sat, 29 Nov 2003 10:17:13 GMT</expirationDate>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

In August of 2002, Userland released a draft of RSS 0.94, which they claimed was compatible with RSS 0.93, RSS 0.92, and their flavor of RSS 0.91. Although never officially blessed for public use, RSS 0.94 is currently being used by several popular technically-oriented sites such as Ars Technica, as well as the official project feed for at least one RSS aggregator.

RSS 0.94 is incompatible with all previous versions of RSS in several ways:

  1. RSS 0.94 is incompatible with RSS 0.93, because RSS 0.94 drops the <expirationDate> element introduced in RSS 0.93.
  2. RSS 0.94 introduces a significant change to the content model: a new type attribute on the <description> element, which gives the MIME type of the description. The default type is "text/html", which means that if not specified, RSS 0.94 shares the content mode of RSS 0.92, and is therefore incompatible with all versions of RSS prior to RSS 0.92. And if type is specified, RSS 0.93-aware clients that do not know about the new attribute will misinterpret the content by incorrectly assuming it is HTML.

Due to odd historical circumstances, no official copies of the RSS 0.94 specification exist. The above-linked RSS 0.94 specification incorrectly claims that it describes RSS 2.0.

RSS 0.94 looks like this:

Example 8. RSS 0.94


<rss version="0.94">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>24</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description type="text/plain">1 &lt; 2, 3 &lt; 4.

In HTML, &lt;b&gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

In September of 2002, Userland released RSS 2.0, which they claimed was compatible with RSS 0.94, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.92, and their flavor of RSS 0.91. RSS 2.0 is incompatible with all previous versions of RSS in several ways:

  1. RSS 2.0 drops the <rating> element that was allowed in Netscape's RSS 0.91, Userland's RSS 0.91, RSS 0.92, RSS 0.93, and RSS 0.94.
  2. RSS 2.0 drops the type attribute introduced in RSS 0.94, because it is a mistake to add confusion to the all-important description element. The RSS 2.0 specification states that <description> may contain HTML, but there is no way for consumers to programmatically distinguish HTML from plain text (especially text that talks about markup). In other words, the content model for RSS 2.0 is Here's something that might be HTML. Or maybe not. I can't tell you, and you can't guess.

RSS 2.0 looks like this:

Example 9. RSS 2.0


<rss version="2.0">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>24</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &amp;lt; 2, 3 &amp;lt; 4.

In HTML, &amp;lt;b&amp;gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &amp;lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

In November of 2002, Userland released RSS 2.01, which they claimed was compatible with RSS 2.0, RSS 0.94, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.92, and their flavor of RSS 0.91. RSS 2.01 changes the semantics of the <skipHours> element. In RSS 0.94, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.92, and Userland's RSS 0.91, hours had a range of 1 to 24. In RSS 2.01, hours now have a range of 0 to 23. RSS 2.01 shares the content model of RSS 2.0, which means it is incompatible with RSS 0.94 and all versions of RSS prior to RSS 0.92.

RSS 2.01 looks like this:

Example 10. RSS 2.0, post-11/11/2002 (RSS 2.01)


<rss version="2.0">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>0</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &amp;lt; 2, 3 &amp;lt; 4.

In HTML, &amp;lt;b&amp;gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &amp;lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

The RSS 2.01 specification was published in place of the RSS 2.0 specification; no official copies of the RSS 2.0 specification exist. As you can see from example 10, RSS 2.01 feeds use the same "2.0" version number as RSS 2.0, making it impossible to programmatically distinguish them. All RSS 2.0 feeds must be assumed to be RSS 2.01 feeds, despite the fact that RSS 2.01 is incompatible with RSS 2.0. This means that, if you published an valid RSS 2.0 feed on November 10th that contained <hour>24</hour>, you would wake up on November 11th to find that your feed had become invalid while you slept.

In January of 2003, Userland changed the already-published RSS 2.01 specification, to add a <rating> element again. The content model remains the same, which means RSS 2.01 is still incompatible with RSS 0.94 and all versions of RSS prior to RSS 0.92.

RSS 2.01 now looks like this:

Example 11. RSS 2.0, post-1/21/2003 (RSS 2.01 rev 2)


<rss version="2.0">

<channel>

<title>Example Channel</title>

<link>http://example.com/</link>

<description>an example feed</description>

<language>en</language>

<rating>(PICS-1.1 "http://www.classify.org/safesurf/" l r (SS~~000 1))</rating>

<textInput>

<title>Search this site:</title>

<description>Find:</description>

<name>q</name>

<link>http://example.com/search</link>

</textInput>

<skipHours>

<hour>0</hour>

</skipHours>

<item>

<title>1 &lt; 2</title>

<link>http://example.com/1_less_than_2.html</link>

<description>1 &amp;lt; 2, 3 &amp;lt; 4.

In HTML, &amp;lt;b&amp;gt; starts a bold phrase

andyou start a link with &amp;lt;a href=

</description>

</item>

</channel>

</rss>

Once again, the new RSS 2.01 specification was published in place over the old specification; no official copies of the previous version of the RSS 2.01 specification exist. Neither the revision number of the spec ("2.01") nor the version number of the format ("2.0") was changed, making it impossible to programmatically distinguish between them. This means that if a feed contains a <rating> element and declares itself as RSS 2.0, it is impossible to know whether the feed is valid unless you also know when the feed was created.

Summary

There are 9 versions of RSS, all of which are incompatible with various other versions. RSS 0.90 is incompatible with Netscape's RSS 0.91, Netscape's RSS 0.91 is incompatible with Userland's RSS 0.91, Netscape's RSS 0.91 is incompatible with RSS 1.0, Userland's RSS 0.91 is incompatible with RSS 0.92, RSS 0.92 is incompatible with RSS 0.93, RSS 0.93 is incompatible with RSS 0.94, RSS 0.94 is incompatible with RSS 2.0, and RSS 2.0 is incompatible with itself.


[dive into mark]