I posted on some issues in RSS the other day. It's been a widely discussed topic; I saw this just now on Reflective Surface.
But there are still some problems. Obviously, not all tool developers care about generating well-formed feeds. Some even have a history of providing feeds that are almost garbage, if feeds are provided at all. That's the problem I see with any solution other than parsing at all costs: it may be harder to convince some providers to create tools that generate correct XML than write liberal parsers. And even if those developers could be convinced, there are still large amounts of deployed tools that won't be upgraded and will continue to generate invalid feeds.
I don't like this situation. As Dare Obasanjo said, it's quite depressing. XML was supposed to bring a new age to information processing. But real life is always different, and now we must deal with those problems in a way users can benefit. After all, there is no point in creating technology that cannot add value to people lives.
So it is back to the future
, just like the wild world of HTML - wild variations and client front ends that have to handle just about any darn thing that comes their way.