POSTS FOR 2004

The Power of Feedback

Software308 words2 minutes to read

I’ve been using the Feed Demon RSS reader since 1.0 rc4, which was around November-ish. I liked it so much, that when 1.0 went final in January, I bought a license. This was the first time I’d ever actually bought shareware, and it kinda made me feel good. Wierd.

Anyways, the only real problem I had with Feed Demon was that it didn’t properly parse the feed for Dunstan’s blog. I went back and looked at his XML, and he wasn’t using a <link> tag for his permalinks. He was using the <guid> tag instead. Hmmm…

I went and dug up the RSS 2.0 specification so that I could read up on the <guid> tag. The tags details say this:

If the guid element has an attribute named isPermaLink with a value of true, the reader may assume that it is a permalink to the item, that is, a url that can be opened in a Web browser, that points to the full item described by the <item> element.

That’s all fine and dandy, but Dunstan’s <guid> tag didn’t have that. Oh no! Was Dunstan’s XML feed not well-formed? *Gasp!* I read on, and came across this:

isPermaLink is optional, its default value is true. If its value is false, the guid may not be assumed to be a url, or a url to anything in particular.

Okay, okay. So Dunstan knows what he’s doing. Fair enough. But will my favorite feed reader never be able to properly read Dunstan’s Permalinks?

I submitted this as a bug report on the Feed Demon newsgroup last week. Today, Nick Bradbury released Feed Demon 1.1 Beta 1 (it kinda rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). This issue is fixed in this release. Woo-hoo! There’s also basic support for Atom 0.3, which is kinda cool too.

I love the power of feedback.

Ryan Parman

Ryan Parman is an experienced software engineer, open source evangelist, and passionate user advocate currently living in Seattle. He is the creator of and , and worked on DevOps and Security at . He is now bringing learning into the digital age as an Engineering Lead and Site Reliability Engineer at . Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than .