An item may represent a "story" -- much like a story in a newspaper or magazine; if so its description is a synopsis of the story, and the link points to the full story. An item may also be complete in itself, if so, the description contains the text (entity-encoded HTML is allowed), and the link and title may be omitted.Furthermore, there is a mechanism for specifying permalinks: the guid element.So, some recommendations could be proposed:1. Use the guid element -- and make its value a permalink. This allows aggregators to know for sure what the permalink of an item is: there's no guessing as to whether or not the link element is a permalink.2. Make the link element a permalink or an external link, depending on the nature of your feed. As in the quote from the spec, a full article could use an external link, but anything short of a full article could use a permalink. If you make the link element an external link, but also supply a permalink (#1 above), then you offer readers a choice.
Rather than say which I think is right, I'll say which I prefer.
I much, much (much) prefer the style where the link points to the permalink and any external links are embedded in the description.
And if there is a permalink, I much much prefer that it is put in link rather than that link is left out altogether.
There. That was painless.
oh, and, good work ;)
I'd personally like to see clarification of how guid and permalink relate to URIs. Given a bit of guessing, I think the best way of minimising confusion would probably be to use guid as the URI of the item content, i.e. the permalink - this sounds like suggestion (1.) here. Link element(s) could point to any remote articles the item was about.