17 Jan 2007 robogato   » (Master)

Advogato Status Report

If you haven't been following the saga of Netscape and the RSS 0.91 DTD, here's the summary: On Jan 12 the folks at Deviceforge noticed that Netscape had removed the DTD from their website sometime after Jan 1, 2007. After Slashdot picked up on it, enough people complained that even someone at Netscape acknowledged the problem.

Yesterday, we got an official pronouncement from Netscape. They've agreed to restore the DTD but only until July 1, 2007 after which it will be removed again. Why? According to Netscape, your application shouldn't be "relying on the availability of a static document on a third-party Web server" like, say, a DTD. It's not clear what will happen to RSS 0.91 after July 1. Maybe Netscape will transfer their copyright on the DTD to the W3C and the URL will change. Maybe everyone will have to update their RSS software to ignore the DTD. Maybe everyone will stop using RSS 0.91. Who knows.

Why do we care? Because mod_virgule has always generated RSS 0.91 feeds for the articles on the main page and the user blog feeds. Most RSS readers don't bother to check the DTD but many do, and if the DTD is gone, no more Advogato feed. There was already a task on the ToDo list to bump all our feeds to RSS 2.0, so I did that today as it seemed like the easiest way to bypass the whole issue. All Advogato feeds are now RSS 2.0. I also added some of the optional tags that make life easy for aggregators like guid and pubDate.

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New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!