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[resolved] rss widget specification (3 posts)

  1. porttikonki
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    I have a blog at serola.wordpress.com where I added RSS widget to serola.multiply.com. Then I found that WordPress seems to support only link-tags on imported RSS-feeds. The result is that Worpress shows only the news titles but I cannot open them. The link is missing.

    I had a debate on this with Multiply's admin and they reffered to RSS specifications at blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss where it is said:

    "In some systems, link is a permalink to a weblog item. However, in other systems, each item is a synopsis of a longer article, link points to the article, and guid is the permalink to the weblog entry. In all cases, it's recommended that you provide the guid, and if possible make it a permalink. This enables aggregators to not repeat items, even if there have been editing changes." (Technology at Harvard Law, Internet technology hosted by Berkman Center, RSS 2.0 Specification.)

    I am not an expert but I just want to inform you what is the possible reason why WordPress shows some of the imported news titles without links on RSS widgets.

    And if this is not the right forum for this then please, someone? Let me know to whom should I direct this?

  2. Samuel Wood (Otto)
    Tech Ninja
    Posted 8 years ago #

    While GUID is usually a permalink, it doesn't have to be and the specification makes that very clear. GUID is a string that uniquely identifies the item. The purpose of it is to enable aggregators to not repeat items by having a unique identifier. Permalinks are considered to be unique, and so they are particularly well suited for such a task.

    However, the link tag is the far, far more common way to provide an actual URI for a story, because that is what it is designed to do. The specification also makes that very clear:

    "An item may represent a "story" -- much like a story in a newspaper or magazine; if so its description is a synopsis of the story, and the link points to the full story. An item may also be complete in itself, if so, the description contains the text (entity-encoded HTML is allowed; see examples), and the link and title may be omitted."

    In other words, the link is generally only omitted if the item is complete in itself and you don't need a link to anywhere.

    So while they are correct in that the GUID can be a permalink to the story, it's purpose is not to be a link to be displayed/clicked on, but to be a unique identifier. As such, it should never be used in an anchor tag, because it's not guaranteed to be a URI. The link IS guaranteed to be a URI, and a URI that leads to the story contents at that.

    You will be hard pressed to find any RSS 2.0 feeds that fail to include a link tag, and Multiply's admin is wrong.

  3. porttikonki
    Member
    Posted 8 years ago #

    Thank you Otto :)

    That makes sense. I thought so too, but as a newbie, I did not knew who to believe.

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