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So Robert made another "RSS is the ultimate solution" post and almost everyone jumped on it like rabid dogs.  Me included...

I have taken particular offense (not really the right word, as I greatly respect much of what Robert brings to the surface, and his opinions are usually fairly good - a healthy discussion is also nothing to get angry about!) at a reply to my comment there:

"It's also a way of getting the content itself delivered and stored on my computer."

This is a fairly annoying and completely false assumption regarding RSS.

The concept of the content being delivered to you is an excellent one, however this is NOT what RSS does.  RSS is a simple XML file (or webservice) sitting on the web waiting to be collected by your computer.

It does not tell you when it is updated.  It doesn't send itself down the line to you.  It isn't even distributed as far as your ISP's servers like E-Mail/Usenet is!

RSS is being used to solve a problem because it wasn't designed from the ground up as a syndication format - it was designed as a machine readable version of a site, hosted in the same way as the site itself.

A true solution to the problem would be to send the appropriate part of the RSS file down the line via some active means - even if it's just as far as the ISP's servers, this is a much more logical solution.

It has a plethora of benefits just a couple of which are instant or near instant updating of your readers with what they're interested in and far less bandwidth usage in all scenarios at all ends.

The technology already exists with MSN Alerts, MSN/AIM/Yahoo/ICQ/Jabber and dare I say it, E-Mail (shame this has been spoilt by the spammers and is useless for its purpose).  Why can't we use one of these instead of making a square solution fit a round problem?

RSS frustrates me for what it's being turned into, and for how that is being done.

Permalink  2 Comments 

ouch by dan at 06/06/2004 12:26:52
that was horribly complictated, i think il have 2 go and read some of the debate to decided which side of the arguement im on.

rss by byte at 08/06/2004 01:40:36
RSS bring me (okok, so my deskbar brings the RSS to me) the register headlines, and an update on the blog of a london call girl (what? its well written!) so ill stick with RSS.