January 21, 2004

Topix.net adds RSS support

by skrenta at 11:12 PM

We added RSS support to Topix this morning. There was a bit of internal debate before turning it on -- some of the folks in our office didn't exactly see why we should put out feeds for a platform that only a handful of people are using. But I made the case for it (what was it again?) and put our little orange badge of XML pride up on every news page on topix.net.

Topix.net is, as far as I know, now the largest publisher of non-blog RSS feeds on the net. We have a feed for every ZIP code in the US, a feed for every public company, a feed for every sports team, a feed for every movie star, band and musician...and more.

I told Dave Winer about it ... but he flamed me. He said I had used the wrong version of RSS, and would never henceforth utter the name 'Topix'. Sigh.
(so much for perl -MCPAN -e 'install XML::RSS')

A couple of lives ago, I was engaged in my own protocol war. It seemed important at the time, but looking back I marvel at the effort we put into arguing over the alignment of bits in a class of protocols that, nearly a decade later, almost no one on the Internet has adopted. At least we always argued in a different city.

If there is user demand for us to add stuff to our feed that XML::RSS isn't supplying, we'll do it. Rest assured, however, that it will be assigned the proper engineering priority alongside the rest of the stuff we want to build.

In the meantime, if RSS mavens reading this could check out our feeds and let me know if they are mostly working, I'd be grateful. I tested them in a couple of RSS readers that I downloaded, and they seemed to function, but I'm no RSS guru (obviously). :-)