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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

Some thoughts on an iCite validator

posted: May 13, 2003 2:36:50 PM

A goal with the iCite net is having some kind of standard or profile so that anyone who wants to can build the software that runs / is iCites and that connects to the iCite net. I have been reeling a little bit watching the recent battle over RSS standards and also seeing some of the commentary about fixing Trackback and the blogging APIs. It is scary to imagine that some player in all of this could fracture and fragment the means for systems that use these features to work together.

Sam Ruby, in his RSS Profile Design Considerations post is talking about the RSS validator as a way to encourage standardization. This is an approach I have been thinking about for iCites (specifically, iCite containers and iCite gateways). That is, build prototype iCites (in iCite containers accessible through iCite gateways) and create a validator that validates iCites in iCite containers and through iCite gateways. Then, let other people build iCite containers and gateways and test them against the validator.

By the way, if this is interesting to you, I recommend that you click through Sam's post to Timothy Appnel's post: RSS Profile Design Considerations: A Conversation Starter.

So, I just tried to RSS validate the iCite net development blog's RSS feeds, and none of them validate. The standard, brief ones don't even get specific errors in the validator, which I have to assume is because of the XHTML being broken by the post excerpter (that I mentioned in this post).

The full content feeds just get an error about there being relative URLs in the description portion of the RSS. So, this is because I have used some relative URLs in my blog entries. Maybe I need to add some code that resolves these URLs before they are put in the RSS feed, though I think that it would be better for newsreaders to resolve them the way browsers do. I will suggest that this "error" be reduced to a "warning" by the validator, though I better first check the RSS spec documents and see what they say.

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