How about we all start mining our server logs and start 'outing' the bad RSS readers? Ones that don't:
- honor scheduling instructions
- use gzip to save bandwidth
- follow and learn from redirects
- use eTags
- understand HTTP headers
Now, BottomFeeder does the big ones there - etags and gzip. I'm not sure what he means by "understand HTTP headers" - too vague. As to schedule - well, that's harder than he seems to think. For non-blogs, there may well be a regular update schedule. For blogs though - they tend to be "as the blogger decides to post". Heck, I've noticed that many of the news sites I read have updates more frequently than their schedule claims - so I'm not sure how much value that tag has in the real world. Supporting it wouldn't be hard; I'm just not sure it buys a lot.
Earlier, I posted support for another Bill Kearney rant on RSS feed bloat. However, I don't fully agree with him. He wants RSS feeds to be headlines only, and have the end user follow the links to full content. That works for news - but I hate that posting mode for blogs. When I said I don't want full content, I meant that I don't want a whole HTML page buried in the description. Headlines only I find irritating.
There's another interesting trend starting to pop up in this conversation thread over on Sam Ruby's Blog. Reading all the way through, I get the distinct impression that these people haven't seen NNTP. Why do I get that impression? Because the whole direction of the comment API, embedding RSS in other contexts, etc. - the direction that's heading is threaded conversations. Well, we have that already, in a non-bloated format - it's called NNTP. I suggest that these guys set up a moderated news group on one of their servers, because it will save them a whole lot of time and effort....