There has been a lot of debate following my initial post about Really Simple Subscription. Shortly after I suggested using the feed URI scheme, NetNewsWire developer Brent Simmons came out in favor it, and in the comments to my post we heard that Safari RSS (part of Apple’s upcoming Safari 2.0) will use feed:// quite heavily.
But other solutions have been proposed, such as the Universal Subscription Mechanism (USM) authored by Randy Morin. I’ve spoken with Randy about USM, and he knows that I have a number of issues with the “reflexive auto-discovery” mechanism. However, part of his proposal includes convincing feed producers to provide the correct Content-Type header for their feeds, and I’m 100% in favor of this. Although having the correct Content-Type doesn’t entirely solve the problem, it would take us a big step in the right direction.
If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to read all the comments beneath Brent Simmons’ post, including Danny Ayres’ comment that he “can’t actually see [much] conflict between these approaches, implementing one doesn’t rule out implementing the other.” I agree. We’d all be better served if we realized this isn’t either/or situation and stopped endlessly debating which solution is better. I’m in favor of feed:// because it’s simple for everyone to implement, but I’m also in favor of evangelizing feed producers to use the correct Content-Type. And once it’s fleshed out some more and answers my concerns about privacy, I may like Dave Winer’s solution as well.