Wed, 24 Aug 2005
Do you have a valid RSS?
I was trying to view my blog as RSS feed in various web-based RSS readers. Some of them displayed my texts differently from my expectations, so I started to wonder what exactly is a correct RSS. I knew that RSS file is a XML document, so it has to be well-formed, but nothing more.
I have found a RSS specification, and even a RSS feed validator. The problem is that the contents (body) of the message should be a plain text, without any XML markup. And when you want to include HTML tags in the story body, you need to quote <, >, and & as HTML entities (<, >, and &, respectively).
As a quick hack to Blosxom I wrote a simple plugin "zap_markup", which can quote the required characters for some flavours (usualy the "rss" flavour). I have added an option to keep the first paragraph only (the RSS specs suggest a maximum length of 500 bytes per story (item) body).