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January 28, 2003 9:19 AM


Dave Hyatt has been exploring RSS/HTML/Safari/NetNewsWire theory and posits...

One really good point several people brought up in response to my previous blog about RSS and Web browsers was that many feeds contain only article excerpts.

In other words RSS feeds seem to break down into two categories: feeds that contain only short excerpts of articles and feeds that contain entire articles. It does seem like integration makes less sense if the majority of feeds fall into the first category.

Then the RSS aggregator becomes useful as a filtering mechanism, with the Web browser being used only to view the articles that you ultimately decide to read.

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So, my RSS feed contains both an excerpt AND the full length version of the blog entry (RSS 2.0 baby!) and I think that affords the user a choice (choice is good!). You can read just the excerpt, or the full post based on your... choice! You can format the post however you want in your own home made RSS news reader, or see it how I present it (on the actual website). NetNewsWire happens to show the entire post if available. Other aggregators only use the excerpt.

If NetNewsWire integrates WebCore sometime in the future (chances are that it will) will there be a way for the user to apply their own style sheet to my posting? Or will I put more robust formatting in my CDATA'd posting text?

Will I own the presentation of my postings in RSS or set it free?

I have HTML to present my junk one way, and offer it up in a dead clean format for you to see it your way. Web Browsers are these things that we use to see what others have put on the web to be viewed in a specific way. That's why we have standards and rail on about horrible (and inconsistent) box model implementations.

I regret dragging Dr. Martin Luther King down to the level of mark-up pedantry, but he said in his "I Have a Dream" speech that he hoped "that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." HTML/CSS shows the color of the skin and RSS reveals the content of its character.

For now anyway.

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