I was looking at the .NET guy's blog and saw that he's a little worried about bandwidth based on RSS requests. I got pointed to this by Michael Lucas-Smith (one of the TypeLess guys), and he said I ought to write something in the way of a dynamic feed. Here's the issue:
Simon Fell remarked that he's concerned about the bandwidth from RSS on his site. His site supports HTTP caching properly, so it's probably not that big a concern.
One very prolific blogger (no need to name him, since it isn't his fault) is using a tool that does not supporting HTTP caching properly. Right now, his RSS feed is 302K. Think about that: 302K x once an hour = 7.1 megabytes per day, per subscriber. Have one thousand subscribers? 7 gigs a day. And you know what? What this person says is too valuable for me not to subscribe to his feed.
Yeah, I'd say bandwidth is an issue for some people.
This sort of implies that, sooner of later, we're going to need to leave static RSS behind and support dynamic RSS -- perhaps even a push variant for some people (although with HTTP caching, what you're saving there is a bunch of connections, not any significant bandwidth, until you're really up into the big leagues).
So, instead of bickering about XHTML in RSS, how about we hammer out a new syndication system that's a little more dynamic, so that we only get the new posts when there are some, and not get any data at all when nothing is new?
I'm less worried than the .NET guy; then again, he's likely using IIS, while I'm using Apache. I'm also using Smalltalk, so even though I don't care that much, I whipped a servlet up in between watching tv shows this evening. The servlet keeps a cache of IP addresses and the relevant (latest) item grabbed from them. On each request, it only answers things newer than the last request. I'll get around to deploying it tomorrow; it's late, and I'm tired....