My Views on Feeds

This document conveys my views on feeds and, in effect, my philosophy when making this program.

Feeds are inherently simple. They contain a list of items, with the newest or most important items nearer the top. Each item contains a title, link, and short description. This allows people to get the gist quickly and follow the link if they want the specifics.

One thing with which I don't agree is Atom and HTML Syndication Format. These are overly complex and contain the entire article. Feeds need only to contain a summary; web pages can contain the full details of items that a user wants to read. That's why ESF is such a lovely format.

And readers of feeds need to be simple, too. They're small browsing companions that complement web browsers. That's one problem with HTML Syndication Format—(X)HTML is great for web pages that need to be read, accessed, and archived by robots like search engines. But feeds themselves need to small and contain only information; leave the bloat and large bandwidth usage to browsers, please!

And speaking of web browsers, I oppose their built-in feed readers (built-in readers in mail clients make much more sense). As I mentioned before, feeds and web pages are too different, and them building in support for feeds would further blur the lines and make managers on T3 connections want to make every feed item a dozen videos.

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