The following RSS Advisory Board proposal has been made by members Rogers Cadenhead and Eric Lunt and seconded by Randy Charles Morin.

Under the board charter, this begins a seven-day discussion period so any interested parties can comment on the proposal. The best place to comment is on the mailing list RSS-Public. When the discussion period ends, the board will have seven days to vote on it.


In the time I've been serving on the RSS Advisory Board, I've been asked fairly often to look at a Really Simple Syndication feed and help someone figure out why it isn't working.

The first thing I do in response is load it in the Feed Validator, the open source validator developed by Sam Ruby, Mark Pilgrim, Joseph Walton and Phil Ringnalda that supports RSS and Atom. I did the same thing when I was drafting the proposed specification, pasting each example into a sample document and running it through the validator to catch potential mistakes.

At FeedBurner, Eric Lunt has a similar troubleshooting approach when users have problems with their feeds, so we're making a joint proposal.

Proposed: The board should officially recommend and use the Feed Validator.

A validator complements a specification, as long as they're in agreement. In the three years the validator has been around, I've asked Ruby a half-dozen times about its interpretation of RSS, and each time he was quick to address my concerns. If there's an area where the validator and board members have disagreed over an aspect of RSS, my experience has been that he eagerly defers to our judgment.

I've leaned on the validator so often that I recently became one of the developers so I could pitch in on RSS-related issues.


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