A new era begins today for the RSS Advisory Board, an independent organization formed in 2003 that publishes the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) specification, helps developers create RSS applications and broadens public understanding of the format.

The board is taking on eight new members: Meg Hourihan, Loïc Le Meur, Eric Lunt, Ross Mayfield, Jenny Levine, Randy Charles Morin, Greg Reinacker and Dave Sifry. I'm serving as chairman this year unless they kick me to the curb.

The new members are an accomplished group that includes software developers, tech execs, educators and writers, all of them outspoken on the subjects of syndication and related technology, and all of them avid bloggers.

Under the board's charter, the organization holds its deliberations on RSS-Board and encourages feedback from RSS publishers, software developers and users on RSS-Public.

I'm bringing the first item to the board: a proposed specification for RSS that represents completely new documentation for the existing RSS 2.0 format.

This new specification is dubbed "Rss-Draft-1" and has not been adopted by the board. It's offered to encourage public review for at least 60 days. The goal of the spec is to make RSS simpler to implement by providing examples for all elements, better presentation and a more formal approach.

As an RSS Advisory Board member since May 2004, I'm glad to see the organization continue in a manner that encourages the public to take an active role in the effort.


Congratulations to all the new members and best of luck in moving syndication forward.

Congratulations, Randy! Thank you for posting the news at WebLoggers.Org.


Might I suggest a "Feed Validation" awareness promotion...Thousands of feeds are not "well-formed"....

I couldn't agree more! New documentation is well overdue but I can only wonder how the RSS-Board intends to "document" a completely dysfunctional element such as skipHours which has no notion of time zones?

And where is the offical schema for RSS 2.0?

As stated, this January 31 announcement is dishonest at face value. A a review of the current implementation of the so-called documentation as expressed by the Rss-Draft-1 proposal is a joke.

I'm willing to give the RSS-Board a chance to see what comes of it but at this point in time a cursory review of what eight or more members are alleged to have produced is a farce.

Clinton, I'll be creating schematron, relax-ng and XML schema documents after the new proposed spec is voted on. I intend to present them to the board. Timeframe is April.

New documentation is well overdue but I can only wonder how the RSS-Board intends to "document" a completely dysfunctional element such as skipHours which has no notion of time zones?

The skipHours element is GMT. Do you mean skipDays?

Thank you Randy, its good news to hear you will create various schema documents.

Do it in private if the board must but I'm expecting an honest and straighforward acknowledgement preceding all such activity regarding certain elements which are completely dysfunctional, an amended specification to make them functional, officially suspended until such time that they can be made to be functional, or a line drawn through each dysfunctional element marking it as deprecated once and for all.

They say a broken clock is right at least twice a day. Is that what we are all working to achieve here? Is that the best we can do? I don't think so.

That's why all I can say in response to Rogers is to say it really doesn't matter if I meant skipHours or skipDays as both elements are dysfunctional and untrustworthy and there are several other elements which need to be re-engineered.

The way I see it, there are two potential tasks being discussed here:

Job A: Things that ought to be better in RSS.

Job B: Things that ought to be better specified in RSS.

The work currently being done on the proposed spec is entirely Job B.

Can we have clarification of the 'markup in title' issue? Without that, a revision of the spec is almost pointless.

We're working on that on RSS-Public now. I'm currently testing aggregators on one case affected by the issue: Trying to use the name of board member Loïc Le Meur in the different elements of an RSS document.

Why does Ross Mayfield appear before Jenny Levine in the list of board members on the right hand side of this page?


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