RSS Is Designed To Be Extended

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RSS Now repeat after me, “RSS is designed to be extended.”

Good. Now repeat it again. It’s old hat that Microsoft has engaged in some perhaps anti-competitive practices in the past, often referred to as their “embrace and extend” philosophy. But embracing and extending isn’t always a bad thing.

Of course, I should expect a knee-jerk reaction against the announcement from the Slashdot crowd, but it seems they’re not the only ones up in arms.

What’s interesting about these reactions is the amount of misinformation and ignorance being spewed forth. Suddenly, “extend” has become a derogatory label. Yet these very same people will laud an application like Eclipse for its...gasp!...extensibility (and rightly so).

In this case, it’s hard to find a shred of so called “evil” in this announcement by Microsoft. They’ve chosen a CopyLeft license for Pete’s sake! You don’t get more open than that. You even have Lawrence Lessig applauding this, remember him? He“s the lawyer who helped the DOJ mount its Supreme Court showdown with Microsoft.

Face it folks, you’re just wrong this time. Microsoft releasing extensions to RSS is not going to be the death knell for RSS. An extension does not change or make proprietary the original RSS specification. As I said before, RSS is designed to be extended. Anyone can extend RSS. Heck, even I proposed an RSS extension, albeit one that gained just about zero traction (although I may sneak it into Subtext just to satisfy my megalomaniacal urges).

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