In MS embraces RSS, I pointed out that the way their Simple List Extensions spec made the RSS
title element mean something completely different when it’s in
<cf:listinfo><cf:sort><title>The title</title>... than it normally does was a really bad idea. I’m quite happy to see that there’s a draft update to the spec, which uses their own element rather than using parents and attributes to say that a core RSS element means something completely different than its usual meaning.
But, that message,
do not redefine the meaning of core RSS elements, create your own instead, apparently hasn’t been very widely disseminated in Microsoft just yet, since Start.com’s Gadget manifests use an attribute on the
item/link to say “not only is this not really an item/link, it’s actually a code binding, but in fact this whole thing isn’t really a feed, and these aren’t really items, just a list of bindings.”
I look on the dark side of things, always seeing the worst that might happen, both professionally and avocationally, but that seems to me like a really awful idea: I can’t picture a good outcome from saying “create things which look just like RSS feeds but aren’t actually RSS feeds, for your own and other people’s sites, and put things that look just like RSS items, but aren’t actually RSS items, in those not actually RSS feeds.” And I really hope that Microsoft comes to realize that new elements are better than “extending” existing elements, before I run out of synonyms for “embracing” for my post titles.
Update: Scott says in his comments that they will change it, and Dare says he’ll be working with them on finding a way to do Gadget manifests that won’t make me scream, which calms most of my fears (since Dare’s far better about not breaking RSS than I am).