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MS RSS extensions: do we/don’t we?

For those of us not attending Gnomedex, the announcement was somewhat understated. I found out the details of Microsoft “enabling RSS at the platform level” at some point during a slow period over my lazy weekend.

As a facilitator of content distribution, rather than an aggregator developer, Simple List Extension was the aspect of the announcement I was most interested in.

So, RSS will be able to reflect lists ordered by attributes other than chronological order (as now)… The key question, of course, is how widely will this be adopted by other content providers, and in turn, aggregator developers? And even then, do we (the BBC) want to implement them in our publicly-offered feeds?

The fact that Dave Winer was consulted, and that the extensions have gone down well with developers will certainly be a key factor I think. Also, Microsoft releasing the extensions via a Creative Commons licence is a bonus, even if it does seem a little too much like a token gesture to improve developer relations rather than a fully-fledged IP licensing policy shift by the company.

I certainly think we have a lot of content that could be made available, or made available better, with Simple List Extensions, so we’ll have to wait and see. It’s obviously not my final decision. It’s times like this I’m glad we have an XML working group that brings together all the right people across the BBC’s new media divisions to decide.

(BTW: do let me know if you have comments/views on the above, I’d love to hear them…)

Published in BBC News Website Thoughts and Rants Web Services

One Comment

  1. These vendor specific extensions must stop. Does anythink think IBM, Apple, Yahoo! are going to implement Microsoft’s XML extensions? Of course not. But surely they’ll create their own. This must stop. Or we’ll end up with clutter, where most of the s in an RSS document are vendor specific.

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