Sometimes, I really wonder how a columnist manages to get paid for their writing. Take this eWeek column by Jim Rapoza, for instance. It's supposedly about RSS, but it could be about anything - it's filled with platitudes, very light on real information. After reading it, I'm not convinced that Rapoza has the slightest idea what RSS is:
One of the main benefits of RSS is its simplicity. In minutes, I can write an RSS file to syndicate a column or blog, and there are tools that make this process even easier. But the simplicity of RSS also means that it doesn't have a whole lot of intelligence over its delivery.
Many large sites that deliver RSS feeds recently started complaining that they are being hit every hour with a flood of reader requests that is, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as a denial-of-service attack. This happens because most RSS readers are pretty dumb about when they check for updates, and there's little the server can do to control this.
The dreaded "RSS is DDOS" rears it's head. Odd - Slashdot somehow manages to deal with badly behaved clients - there are, in fact, solutions to this problem (if there weren't, massively popular sites like Yahoo and Slashdot would have folded up eons ago). But hey, those paragraphs show some passing familiarity with a recent wave of blather. What about this?
But this is also that time when many of the problems and deficiencies in RSS will be discovered, and enterprise users of RSS will expect these problems to be fixed as soon as possible. If the developers and caretakers of RSS are unable or unwilling to do this, many companies may decide to take a pass on the technology.
So, to those developing products that use RSS: Find ways now to address some of RSS' shortcomings and dig for problems heretofore unknown so the technology doesn't become a burden on those who decide to use it. To the RSS community: Find a way to work together to create one standard, which will be much more robust and responsive than multiple competing standards.
Insert almost any topic from the last 30 years in the IT sector, and you could write those two paragraphs. It was a stock column, with the acronym RSS copy/pasted in. What a waste of pixels...