Yes, this makes two blog posts today, and yes, I’m going to talk about XML again.
I’ve suspected this for a while, but hadn’t looked into it. Thanks to Sam Ruby, I see that someone has: Who knows an XML document from a hole in the ground? shows that indeed, a lot of RSS/Atom parsers are not reading XML as XML… or at least, they’re not understanding the namespaces.
This wasn’t a problem when most feeds were bare-bones, and before Atom. Now, only a couple of years after I expected, all sorts of data and metada is starting to be put into feeds, with lots of different namespaces.
This is one of those things were if you’re a feed reader, and you don’t understand namespaces, you are broken, and need to be fixed. There’s no way around it, end of story.
That being said, I’m much more optimistic now than I was about those fixes actually happened. Phil Ringnalda’s Atom
title tests really did help and pushed a lot more readers into supporting it properly. Now let’s see some real XML parsing.