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Posted on Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

Dave!In updating my RSS template (thank you Neil!), I noticed that the name of the template is "INDEX.XML" and then it suddenly occurred to me why I occasionally get emails asking me "do you have an RSS feed?" Well, it's probably because nothing here actually says "RSS," including the syndication badge I've got in my sidebar. It's the classic case of calling something by one name, then referring to it by a completely different name, but I was just following what everybody else had done.

And that begs the question... why do all of the RSS logos and badges say XML when everybody calls it RSS? Shouldn't the logo say "RSS" if you're going to call it RSS?


And yes, I realize that RSS is an XML-based format, but nobody ever calls it "XML" so it's just confusing. The problem is, if I switch it, then it will be different from all the others, and those who know to look for XML won't find it. I suppose I could put two badges up but that would probably confuse things even worse. Who thinks up this stuff?

Categories: Blogging 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Ben says:

    Dave Winer. It’s all his fault.

  2. Dave2 says:

    OooooohhooooOOO! I’m going to tell HIM you said that. Get ready for a Winer number there Ben!

  3. Dennis says:

    Or you could always shrink down the letters a little bit and put XML/RSS. But then it would be too small to read and neither group would find what they want.

    Obviously this is just one of those questions that goes continuously in a circle, never reaching a satisfying answer.

  4. Those orange XML icons are the dumbest thing. It’s like the internet eight years ago when everybody thought all navigation should be a giant image map — nobody’s quite figured out the proper way to present RSS content yet.

    Fortunately, if you simply replace “XML” with the more precise “RSS” nothing is lost and everything is gained. People scanning for an orange icon still find it and people who have no clue why they’d want to download some arbitrary XML document will instead see those three sweet letters that they may have heard spoken in connection with something useful.

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