[XML-SIG] Content Syndication

Mark Nottingham mnot@pobox.com
Thu, 1 Jul 1999 22:13:03 +1000

I'm just joining the list, but I've been thinking about content syndication
for a while, and it was suggested that this was a good place to talk about

> This boils down to internal politics.  If you click on the "Future
> link in the quickstart (http://my.netscape.com/publish/help/futures.html),
I have
> an example of the original RSS format I came up with, which does make
> use of RDF (channels have IDs, all nodes connect, dublin core is used,
> However, apparently this "overly complicated".  There are other technical
> I can't really go into.  Anyway, for now, RSS is basically an XML format,
and it
> may eventually have an RDF superset.

I sympathise; the DC et al is a Good Thing. However, from the other side,
one of the reasons RSS has caught on so well is that it is very simple. RDF
is not, and it is also not yet ready for prime time, IMHO (but I don't know
as much about it as I want to).

I don't know that dublin core really addresses the problems in content
syndication, as they exist now; most people seem to want to 1) syndicate a
original-content web site's news, and 2) syndicate WebLogs.

just to get this off my chest-
with optional <link url="...">...</link> throughout is my idea of the core
of the item declaration.
<title> is optional, and just denotes emphasis.

Other item elements/attributes (as they may fall):
* publication date - to allow sorting, cutoff, etc
* expiration date - so that content providers can limit how long an item
shows for
* content source (with url)
* content categorisation (with url to describe category or categorisation
system?) - provider-defined categories

Finally, and probably most important, one of the big problems right now is
that every standard (RSS, ScriptingNews, MoreOverNews, etc) is owned by
somebody. While external poeple may be consulted, decisions are still made
behind closed doors. As a result, not everyone will be willing to use the
final result, no matter how well-designed.

I think it would be a good idea to set up a syndication mailing list (on
findmail or whatever), so that everyone can meet on neutral ground, and set
some goals, work out the issues and define deliverables in public. Anybody
else thing this is a good idea?

Mark Nottingham, Melbourne Australia
mnot@pobox.com  http://www.mnot.net/