Gene Saunders writes: "Why does RSS 2.0 use RFC 822 instead of the (infinitely more modern) RFC 2822?"

Here's why we went with RFC 822:

1. Any scripting software that was used in Internet applications would already have to deal with RFC 822 dates, since that was the format used in email. For most app developers, I imagined, they already had library routines that dealt with 822 format dates. The script environment I was using certainly did. Over the years I've never heard a complaint that people were unable to process 822 dates. ";->"

2. 822 dates are not only machine readable, they are also human readable. One of the goals of RSS was to be non-intimidating for non-technical users -- they should be able to look at a file and make sense of what's there, where ever possible.

3. Believe it or not, the decision was made in 1997, seven years ago. RSS is a venerable institution, so its anachronisms should be appreciated as one respects a fine wine or an elder statesman, or a format that spawned an incredible market.


Um. Right answer, different question. 2822 is the update of 822 that, among other things, added four digit years. I'm afraid the answer to "why 822+four digit years?" is that neither one of us had enough time to compare 822 to 2822 to see if it made any other difference when I noticed that by saying just "822" we weren't allowing for four digit years.



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