RSSA new RSS validator is based on the open source feed validator, but it's primarily for validating RSS, not other formats. It's just for testing now (it seems to work okay), and if your RSS feed validates, please use the badge it generates to indicate that. I worked on this validator app with Andrew Grumet because we felt that RSS is an important format and deserves its own validator without confusing people about other choices. Let new formats make their way without hitching a ride on RSS. If you have comments or questions, please post them below.


I strongly suspect that this comment will not remain here for long, but IMHO, there is absolutely no reason for doing this, apart from some pissing contest that nobody cares about.

Oh yeah, it would also be interesting to know what open source feed validator yours is based on. Is there any reason for not providing a link?

Wherever it comes from, it validated my RSS 1.0 feed. That could come in handy.

It's the Ruby-Pilgrim validator. To Stefan, obviously I disagree, users matter, and they should be able to use an RSS validator without any confusion. Sam and Mark are using RSS to market Atom. One can forsee the day when all mention of RSS is removed from their validator. It's not a pissing contest, it's a way of saying to Atom that it should earn its place not, ride on RSS's back.

I'd be willing to bet that he is referencing the validator titled "Feed Validator" that is authored by Mark Pligrim and Sam Ruby, two of the more prominent and vocal members of the ATOM movement.

Said validator was originally an RSS validator, but was recently expanded to support ATOM as well.

Providing a link would seem contrary to purpose, which appears to be to encourage use of this validator for all your RSS validation needs (ostensibly INSTEAD of the original validator upon which this one is based). In fact, this introduces an additional badge for indicating that your RSS feed is valid, although this one is blessed by the RSS author and the RSS committee (or whatever its formal name is).

"Sam and Mark are using RSS to market Atom." - I don't see that. There's a feed validator, and it supports both Atom and RSS feeds. That's all... I can't see the use of Yet Another Validator. If there are problems with their validator, why don't you modify their code and submit it back to them? That would be a much more constructive way, IMHO.

And, by the way, your validator doesn't work:

Sorry! There was an error: Poorly formed XML text, it must end with a . (At character #898.)The error was detected by Frontier 9.0 in mainResponder.respond. Webmaster: Time: Mon, 02 Feb 2004 21:17:42 GMT.

The validator has been written by Mark and Sam, so it's their right to add to it whatever they deem suitable. I, for one, am happy to have one validator to make sure all of my feeds - even the Atom one - are valid. Dave, from a lot of your past writings, I gather that you deem it appropriate to give credit where credit is due. Providing a service based on their work without even providing a link simply does not fit with that attitude. Things would be different had you written your own validator.I may, of course, be wrong in assuming that they have every right to publically state that their validator is intended to be used on RSS feeds. Maybe they are violating some trademark of yours? Ironically, I get the feeling your actions promote Atom, quite contrary to what you obviously intended.

P.S.: I know that there is no trademark on RSS, as well as I knew what was meant by "the open source feed validator.

Stefan, I did say upfront this is a test.

So what if it's a test?

BTW, I see that you have changed the announcement on (carefully avoiding to cite the authors' names). Oh well.

Atom files validate as RSS. I'm pretty sure that they shouldn't. Especially since does automatically differentiate between the two formats. The congratulations page calls them RSS feeds as well.

Using RSS is an expression of support. I can't imagine why you'd encourage people to use your preferred logo, which is not the widely known yellow and orange xml logo.

I just validated an Atom feed and it says it is a valid RSS feed...

So there's a bug in there somewhere...

> users matter, and they should be able to use an RSS validator without any confusion.

Where's the confusion? You have a feed, you click on the feed validator, it tells you where any problem are. The fact that the validator can also validate Atom feeds is irrelevent - it's like saying that people shouldn't use Microsoft Word because it can also open RTF files, and that would confuse users.

> Sam and Mark are using RSS to market Atom.

In what way? The various flavours of RSS are the status quo in syndication, I don't see any way of talking about Atom substantially *without* referring to the RSS family from time to time. A comparison to the status quo is inevitable when producing a new format - for instance, you aren't going to get a lot of reviews of Vorbis that skirt around how it compares to MP3.

I also don't see what this has to do with the capabilities of a validator. They wrote some software, they give it away, they add support for a new format, and suddenly you think that the validator is a plot to "steal" RSS mindshare? Like Stefan said, it really does sound like a pissing contest.

> One can forsee the day when all mention of RSS is removed from their validator

You mean removal of the RSS validation capability? I can see that happening too, I really can. But it hasn't happened yet, so I don't see why you feel you need to make this move now. A pre-emptive strike to get all their users so when support for RSS is dropped it won't matter? That's not going to happen with less functionality.

What do you see as a positive result of this fork? Can you improve the basic architecure in a way that Mark and Sam disagree with? So far, you seem to have just removed functionality and rebadged it. How is that at all productive?

> it's a way of saying to Atom that it should earn its place not, ride on RSS's back.

How on *earth* does it say that? How does a less featureful knock-off of a validator make Atom "earn its place"?

I want to clarify a couple of things.

Manzuhai seems to imply that we are forking the code and Jim actually calls it a fork. This is not the case. All we did was provide a new front end.

Manzuhai, we did find a problem with the validator. At least it's a problem to us. We'd like to report 404 Not Founds as 404 Not Founds, not as syntax errors. Assuming nobody gets to it first, when I write a patch for that I'll submit it to Sam and Mark, and if they like it they can roll it back in. That's how open source works.

To the folks who object to our promoting RSS, could you please send an email to the folks at Blogger and ask them to provide free RSS2.0 feeds to their non-paying customers---the ones who get free Atom feeds but have to pay if they want RSS---and then report back?


Andrew --

Blogger doesn't have *any* paying customers.

Try it -- Go to Blogger and try to give them some cash.

RSS support is just legacy for their old Blogger Pro accounts.


"A new validator based on the open source validator" would seem to imply a fork to me, I apoligise if I was mistaken, but the majority of my points hold true for this as well - what's the point of competing when the only difference is less functionality?

Might I suggest being more precise and calling it "a new validation service" instead? I definitely feel "a new validator" refers to software, not a service.

Yeah Andrew, you da man.

Rod, Andrew's point still stands. Blogger is definitely tilting the table, as are IBM and SixApart. So look at this as an effort to tilt just a little, the other way.


Jim, it's not less functionality, it's the same functionality. And if there's no point -- why are you so worried about it?

Great work! This is a good idea, especially since Mark has indicated that he's not interested in supporting his validator anymore.


> Jim, it's not less functionality, it's the same functionality.

You call it an "RSS validator". You say that "RSS is an important format and deserves its own validator". You say that "it's primarily for validating RSS".

If you now say that it's the same functionality, do you mean that it's actually an RSS *and* Atom validating service? If it's exactly the same service, how is it an effort to "tilt the other way?"

> And if there's no point -- why are you so worried about it?

Saying that something seems pointless doesn't make me worried about it. I am curious to know why you are doing it.


> Mark has indicated that he's not interested in supporting his validator anymore.

Has he? He's said that about some other feed-related software, but this is the first I've heard of him wanting to drop the validator.

Nothing to see here, move along...

The validator says my Atom feed is valid RSS. Now *that's* confusing!

Danny, imagine my surprise when I hear that you're criticizing something I did. Shocking. ";->"

Your validator removes the feed autodiscovery capability, removes the SOAP interface, and removes all the documentation. If this is your idea of innovation, you're off to a roaring start.

You say your validator is for RSS, not other formats. Are you planning on removing Atom support from your validator? Currently your validator claims that my Atom feed is "valid RSS". Looks like *you're* the one trying to boost RSS on the coattails of the recent upswing of Atom support.

Wow. Just when you think a bunch of three-year-olds are immature..

Dave/Andrew: You provided a service. Thank you.

Those who don't like it: You are bithcing and moaning about the Atom/RSS pissing contest. Get a F**king life. Pick a side and stay on it, but *please* keep your mouth shut. It's like Democrat vs. Republican vs. There's no answer that will make everyone 100% happy. Be glad for what you have. At least Dave didn't patent the concept, ala Microsoft.

Everyone: No one that is an average user cares which format is which or even why. If you want to evangelize your favorite format, do it with respect to the other alternatives.

Mark: You put the validator code out there. Quit complaining. Everything in life doesn't have to be a battle.

Finally, this is not a troll post. It's a "everyone quit acting like a princess" post. If you wrote the validator code, be proud that someone thought it was good enough to use again.

<insert more swear words>

One of the things I've enjoyed about the weblog communitiy is the level of intelligent writings and interaction. It's comment strings like this that tell me otherwise.

Mark, if you didn't want us to use it, why did you release your validator as open source? Totally puzzled. We thought about possibly calling your SOAP interface, but that would make it possible, even likely, that you would play games with it like you did with pointers from * to your weblog. You can't have it both ways Mark, by turning away my users you pretty much forced me to route around you. Aside from that, by running it on my server, we're not using your bandwidth. I could see you complaining if we had gone the other way. Is there any way to win with you, or are we caught in a perpetual lose-lose loop?

Mark, go back and read Dave's post at the top. You seem to think that the new validation service is about innovation when it isn't. What is it with programmers that they can't see beyond the narrow boundaries of their Emacs buffers? Geez.

But there may yet be innovation in the core codebase. See my comment about the 404s above. Also, maybe we can tweak the text/xml formatter to return the feed type. It doesn't do this now, so we don't have an easy way to tell RSS feeds from other kinds.

Dave, I will criticise when you try and lock people in to your own products. I think this current case is especially cheeky, given that it's riding on someone else's open work (supporting Atom _and_ RSS) and you're turning it *against* their current work.

...and it is confusing that your validator says Atom is valid RSS.

Danny, this is what has always troubled me about your criticism, you say I'm locking people into my products, but we're talking about formats here, I don't make any money off RSS, never have, in fact it's cost me a lot of money. I'm not complaining, but when you imply that I'm doing something dishonorable based on incorrect information, well I gotta object.


> Mark, if you didn't want us to use it, why did you release your validator as open source?

Mark didn't state that he didn't want you to use it. He responded to your claim that it's identical functionality to the service that he runs in the negative, and he responded to your claim that his validator is somehow promoting Atom at the expense of RSS by pointing out that it looks like it's the other way around. Both appear to be true, but you seem to have sidestepped the question to turn this into another persecution thread.

Please Dave, if you are going to disagree with somebody, stick to what he actually says instead of attacking a straw man. At the moment Mark is responding to each of your claims in plain English and you are just making vague criticisms like "riding on the coat-tails of RSS". You are making it difficult to agree with you. I often disagree with some of Mark's attitudes and actions, but in this case, I actually agree with what he is saying, and you haven't addressed any of it.

Wow. It took a full hour until first flamer arrived at the scene? And Danny Ayers needed almost half a day!? The RSS stalking scene isn't what it used to be.

Well Jim, I don't want to get into a debate, okay?

Dave, you're attitude is unfair, as an happy Radio user, i'm very disapointed.

Dave, said it was a test, and now have your first bug report: your validator reports Atom feeds as "valid RSS". Please fix this bug and stop flaming everyone who reported it.

Heh, I'm honoured to be mentioned by "GrandmaDuck".

Dave, the products I was referring to were RSS 2.0 and OPML. It's irrelevant what your motives for the lock-in are - financial, ego boost or whatever. Given that Userland's products are based heavily on these formats I find it hard to believe that you've not made any money out of them, but that's not my point.

Just so you don't misunderstand, I think your hypocrisy is dishonourable. Promoting your own products with intensional exclusion of alternatives, whilst purporting to be open yourself. You regularly criticise MS for activities comparable to those you've been engaged in recently.

I also think you've abused the generosity of Mark and Sam by rebranding their work to further your own exclusive ends.

Dishonourable - yes, that's the word.

TJ, you and Bob for some reason have the same IP address as Mark Pilgrim. ";->"

None of these things you raise have anything to do with this topic, so I'm not going to respond.

To Danny, OPML is not a product, it's a format. As I've said elsewhere I lost a lot of money on UserLand.

This thread has devolved into the usual mess around RSS. Luckily almost no one is paying attention.

Good luck to all of you and thanks for all the fish.

Stalker, and proud of it? I'm not surprised.

OPML is a product, check in your dictionary. If you can't see the relevance then it's not surprising this kind of mess follows you around.

Well you ignore my questions when I sign my name, so I thought I'd try a pseudonym. Turns out you treat everyone who questions you equally poorly. Now I know.

Here are some straight questions about your validator:

1. It currently validates RSS 1.0 feeds. Will your validator continue to support RSS 1.0?

2. It currently validates "funky" RSS feeds, defined by you as feeds that use Dublin Core. Will your validator continue to support Dublin Core?

3. Your validator currently claims that Atom 0.3 feeds are "valid RSS". When will you fix this bug?

4. Will your validator continue to support Atom 0.3, properly labeled?

5. Will your validator support future versions of Atom, as the specification evolves?

6. Andrew has stated that he has made some changes to the underlying code that were not in the original (other than cutting four or five useful features). Will you or he be sending us these changes to us so we can incorporate them into a future version of the feedvalidator project? (You are not legally obligated to, but if you don't, you are not allowed to claim that your project is not a fork.)

dear trolls: please do not feed each other

Check out these rather paranoid e-mails from Dave and Andrew on the berkman-thursday

Jim, Mark offered it up (to me) last October on the Atom list. I think he said "he wanted to take a step back."

Thanks, Randy.

Two bugs to report: Both on validating an Atom feed when the feed validates. Both errors are on the suggested img tag

1.) border="0" is invalid for strict doc-types. So this attribute should be removed. For reference, the HTML specification covering this is at

2.) The alt text supplied is inadequate. The purpose of the image is to indicate a valid Atom feed - so consequently a more appropriate alternative text should be "valid Atom feed". discusses this problem

I see the same two problems occur on valid RSS feeds too.

Considering most of the modern blogging tools create XHTML, it may be a better idea to correctly close the img tag in an XMLish way.

Thanks for the thoughtful report. Responses.

1. If we don't included the border attribute then when the text is displayed in the browser there will be an ugly border around the image. What does the W3C say about that?

2. I made this change for both Atom and RSS.

3. Re "most modern blogging tools" I'm going to sidestep that one, and assume that the user knows whether or not he or she wants XHTML, and leave it as HTML. I'm not a member of that particular religion and I don't want to get into an argument about which blogging tool is most, or modern, etc.

4. Thanks for not flaming. In a normal world one wouldn't need to do that, but RSS has never been a normal world that way.

> If we don't included the border attribute then when the text is displayed in the browser there will be an ugly border around the image.

The border is there to tell users that it is a link. If you are happy with removing this cue (for instance, if the context already makes it clear, or the link is non-essential), then suggest a different border with CSS. In the context of supplying code to users to put on their site, I'd suggest leaving them with the default presentation, and if they want to change it they can. This has a parallel with your choice to leave the decision of HTML vs XHTML up to them. If you really must suggest a certain presentation, then use the style attribute. For instance,

> 1. If we don't included the border attribute > then when the text is displayed in the browser > there will be an ugly border around the image. > What does the W3C say about that?

If the blogger doesn't want a border on linked images, then a style the linked img in the stylesheet with:

a img { border: 0; }

Dave,Didn't know where else to post this, so this'll have to do. I noticed that the RSS Validator (yours) report warnings as errors. That is, the Feed Validator (Mark's) report a <OBJECT in the description as a warning, but yours reports it as an error. As they are using the same code, I'd expect similar results. Anywho, countless reasons why this would be true, I just wanted to make a note somewhere.


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