Your forthcoming feed errors

Back in July, Sam Ruby said of the “Obsolete Version” warnings the feedvalidator produces for Atom 0.3 feeds:

Possibly as early as October, and certainly no later than the end of the year, these warnings will be converted over to errors.

According to the cvs commit mailing list, that time was a couple of hours ago, so once the public site syncs that’ll be that, and will no long tell you your Atom 0.3 is anything but obsolete.

And as Ben de Groot notes, that means that as of now, WordPress 2.0 is going to ship with an Atom template that produces a feed which will not validate.

That’s not the end of the world: I’d guess very few consumers will remove Atom 0.3 support in the near-term, there may well be other validators that will continue to approximately validate 0.3 feeds, and if nothing else, having just recently removed the template we offered to users of old versions of Movable Type that shipped with invalid feeds, we can certainly find room on the error page to offer WordPress users an Atom 1.0 template.

Anyway, I don’t have any room to get up in arms about it, since I don’t have a working patch in the bug (and, I’m a selfish bastard with a workable if personalized Atom 1.0 template of my own), but I would like to understand why that’s the way it is.

Of course, at the most basic level, there is no patch.

As far as I’m concerned, that’s enough: if someone who understands both Atom and WordPress cares enough to provide a patch which will actually work (the current patch assumes incorrectly that WordPress can guarantee that posts and titles are well-formed XML, and given the crappy state of support for type="xhtml" in aggregators at the moment, that WordPress users want to be foot-soldiers in the battle to improve that support, and also does some rather odd special-case ignoring of the user’s express wishes when Technorati is fetching the feed), and does it while there’s still enough testing time before 2.0 ships, and it still doesn’t go in, that would be interesting.

And if nobody provides a workable patch, well, the most basic tenet of open source is that you’re the only one you can order around.

Luckily for me, Trac (or at least WordPress’s installation of it) is so unfriendly, and WordPress’s process is so opaque (and remember, this is coming from someone whose baseline is Bugzilla and Mozilla, fer gossake!) that I don’t feel at all involved in WordPress development or in its fate, so I can just watch how it plays out — by remembering that I’ve got the bug page bookmarked, since if Trac will actually send bugspam, it’s beyond me how to persuade it to do so.


Comment by IO ERROR #
2005-12-16 10:26:36

Ben, you could at least try working with us, rather than against us.

Comment by Ben de Groot #
2005-12-16 12:46:44

No what’s that supposed to mean?

2006-01-18 09:51:21

[…] Apparently, 2.0 is going to ship with an invalid feed on account of Atom 0.3 is no longer a valid or supported spec and Matt is refusing to support the new spec in the next release, or explain his reasons for this decision. […]

2006-01-22 16:02:01

[…] Owen, I don’t know enough about the ins and outs of these feeds to be of much use, but there are people who do. [Phil Ringnalda seems to care, and you could probably talk Sam Ruby into helping with test cases—and if nothing else, Sam’s focus on it would get some interesting comments from Mark Pilgrim on the subject, and that would make enough of a kerfluffle to get some attention. ] But I am certainly arguing that we need to take time and figure out what testing needs to be done—fishbone diagrams, whatever. […]


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