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Re: Will Atom have a "don't process invalid documents" rule?
I don't think anyone's in favor of this but I'll explain why I'm
against it anyway.
1. Even if we have this rule, there will be invalid feeds. Someone will
write some code, they'll test it, it'll work, and then one day they'll
have a weblog entry that includes AT&T or ]]> or something and their
feed will break and they won't notice.
2. Aggregators compete for users. Users want to read these feeds, even
if they're broken. Users will switch to aggregators that read these
feeds and the rule will be useless, since folks will likely test with
those aggregators. The only way we can keep the rule in effect is by
getting _everyone_ who writes an aggregator to act against the wishes
of their users, which seems like a bad idea.
3. Essentially the same effect can be achieved by having a validation
display (like Straw's smiley face) and an easy-to-use validator.
4. This is not to say that all aggregators should have to process
invalid documents, or that they should work have to guess about what
the feed author meant, or that we should encourage or tolerate bad
feeds. We should try still try to get rid of bad feeds, but taking
things out on the users is the wrong way to do it.
Aaron Swartz: http://www.aaronsw.com/