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Thursday, January 20, 2005


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Hurrah for compromise and collaboration.

I have one really dumb question about the feed:// protocol that I haven't been able to find an answer to -- are the double slashes really necessary at all?

From what I read feed:http://some.site.with/feed.xml is permissable and makes a lot of sense to me. This form is just like mailto: is to email so it doesn't take much to see how a link of this type will behave the same way -- it launches a local program and fires off an action. What does feed:// do differently then?

I guess the idea of an HTTP protocol alias is what sticks in my craw ever so slightly because of the precedence it sets. Not to be argumentative because I think getting MIME types right and giving users a consistent a simple way to subscribe to feed is avery good one. I'm just curious as to the thinking behind them and to find out what I'm missing.

Timothy, I believe feed:// is just a shorter way of saying feed:http://. If no protocol is defined, then HTTP is assumed.

Timothy, the "//" characters are necessary for URIs that include "authority" components (such as web hosts). It's written this way so that a URI parser can understand the structure of a URI without knowing a specific scheme (such as feed).



I'd be interested to hear why you don't like "reflexive auto-discovery" (I don't either).

Nick, the RSS feed link in the right sidebar is returning

Content-Type: text/plain

Could I ask a question or two? I this a typepad thing? If so, how would someone fix this? I'm compiling instructions for users.

Thanks for the reference. Much appreciated.

Robert, I just don't see reflexive auto-discovery as being reliable - there are too many situations where it would fail. If you were using FeedDemon and cared nothing about the guts of RSS, how would you react if FeedDemon told you that you can't subscribe to a feed because FeedDemon couldn't figure out the URL?

Randy, I actually sent a support question to TypePad about this earlier today, asking how to change the content-type to application/rss+xml. At this point I don't know how it's done, but I'm assuming it's possible.



Adding feed:// is unnecessary and it will only add another level of confusion. The best and simplest solution, IMHO, is to add the MIME attribute to the hypertext link. This works fine with the Auto Discovery, why don’t we follow suit and use the same method for the Auto Subscribe rather than inventing some thing new? Please see the following proposal:

RSS Auto Discovery & Auto Subscribe

Nick, any progress with Typepad's Content-Type issue?

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