Robert Sayre has created a Feed Autodiscovery reference that's growing more useful by the minute. He took the original document created by the RSS Advisory Board, placed it on a brand-new wiki, and is encouraging submissions from the public to cover autodiscovery for all syndication formats. One way people can help is to add software they use to the supporting products section if it supports feed autodiscovery. I like seeing a Creative Commons-licensed document I worked on put to use elsewhere, though over time ... read more

When Randy Charles Morin and I were trying to wrap up the RSS Autodiscovery specification, we removed references to Atom to avoid discord. Telling Atom publishers how to implement autodiscovery while they're working on their own spec seemed like a good way to spark a war between syndication formats worse than "Dick York vs. Dick Sargent" or "let the rabbit eat Trix." Naturally, our decision angered Atom developers. Sam Ruby: Push the reset button, and get a better attitude. I thought I had the right attitude. Even ... read more

The RSS Advisory Board has published a specification for RSS Autodiscovery, the most effective way to let readers know that your web site offers an RSS 1.0 or RSS 2.0 feed. (A similar effort's underway for Atom.) If you're using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or higher, you might have noticed an orange icon on the right edge of the address bar when you load some pages. This icon indicates that the site offers a syndicated feed. You can click it to subscribe to the feed in the browser's ... read more

In the 2.5 years I've been a member of the RSS Advisory Board, three questions have been asked most often by programmers having difficulty interpreting the RSS 2.0 specification: Can an item contain more than one enclosure? What elements are allowed to contain HTML? How do I deal with relative URLs? I think it's time that the board answered them. In February, work began on a new, written-from-scratch draft of the specification, with each revision announced and vetted on the RSS-Public mailing list. The main ... read more

James Holderness and Paul Querna have joined the RSS Advisory Board. Holderness is a software developer working on the Snarfer RSS reader for Windows whose past projects include the WebFerret search utility and Delrina CyberJack Internet application suite. He's also an active participant on the board's RSS-Public mailing list who contributed to the RSS Profile, a set of best practice recommendations for RSS in ongoing development. Querna is a software engineer at Ask working on Bloglines, one of the most popular ... read more

I submitted a proposal today urging the RSS Advisory Board to support the common usage of "podcast" and "podcasting" as generic terms that cannot serve as trademarks for Apple Computer or any other entity. Since its coinage in 2004, the word "podcast" has referred to all audio files delivered as RSS enclosures. This usage became so popular that "podcasting" was declared the 2005 word of the year by the editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary, who gave it the following definition: A digital recording of a ... read more

Liquid Orb Media and Chris Pirillo are trying to popularize a common OPML icon to identify OPML subscription lists. I'm no fan of OPML, but this icon's such an improvement over the alternatives I wanted to promote it. The similarity to the common icon for RSS should help spur adoption, since the formats complement each other. I've added an OPML link to the sidebar on Workbench that shows an example of how it could be used. The link opens an OPML file that lists feeds I'm reading with Bloglines. ... read more