In an under-the-hood article on how Microsoft's RSS Engine handles enclosures in Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Vista, program manager Walter vonKoch offers an important note: If you're publishing a podcast or another enclosure larger than 15MB, Microsoft only will download it from servers that support partial downloads with the HTTP Range header.


Great, I'm just working on getting more public television stations interested in syndicating their local web content by way of RSS, and now IE will be capping enclosures in a way that locks out any full-length audio or video program. Just a couple months ago I was praising them for including RSS support in IE7 and helping to make it more mainstream than ever.

BTW, am I the only one that's noticing the spin-doctoring they've put on this supposed security precaution? You don't make drivers more secure by capping the speed-limit on their car engines; you do it by making the roads more secure. The same thing applies here. Don't cap the RSS engine; make the servers more secure in and of themselves.

Microsoft needs to grow to meet this expanding technology, not cap it until they can get around to doing their job.

Do you know what web servers those stations are using? I'm curious about how well HTTP range is supported. If it's in Apache and Microsoft IIS, that would make this a non-problem for most publishers.

They run the gammut from Apache and IIS to just about any server you can name. Think local and cheap and you're in the proper mindset. Many are entirely unaware of the capabilities (or lack thereof) of their servers and attempting to explain the neccessity to change to a better one is often a circular argument that resembles the old Abbott & Costello "Who's On First?" comedy routine.

Thus far, those of us that have been pushing for the addition of RSS feeds to public broadcasting station sites have been able to avoid the entire issue of server choice. It shouldn't matter until you get into the backend part of it like dynamic feed creation, database access, or integrating outside feeds into site content.

Any site that can plop a complete and valid RSS XML document onto their server (and has the bandwidth available in their hosting account to support it) has a valid feed. They have every right to expect that feed to go out and be complete when it reaches the end user. That's the point of XML (and falls well within the scope of this board in broadening the public's understanding of RSS.)


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