- Issues

Last updated by Anon on Tuesday, 08/07/2001 - 19:58

There's some dispute about what the <item>.<link> should point at. Most news style feeds tend to use it to point at the html of the story to which the item refers. So if the headline is for a Slashdot story, the link points at the story. This lends itself to a display of headlines as a list where each one is linked to the source. This makes the headlines the equivalent of a banner ad, driving traffic to the source of the information. Ideally this link stays valid for some long time and is more or less permanent. Hence it's a "Permalink".

Long time Bloggers feel that links in the blogs that they write are more important than the words they write about them. When this is turned into a feed, they tend to put the URL of the site they're pointing to in the <link> element. This means that a reader is going to click through to the site they're referring to, not the site containing their own words. This gets further confused because many of the blogs that do this, don't ever put a permalink into the feed that points at the words in the headline title or description.

This second point of view is understandable but I have to say I don't like it. There's some discussion about this on the ReallySimpleSyndication mailing list about 0.93. It may be that this ends up introducing an optional <item>.<permalink> element to allow both styles of working in one feed.

    Distributing lists of feedsupPermalinks