[uf-discuss] Tentative proposal for "What's New" listings

Stephen Paul Weber singpolyma at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 05:25:50 PDT 2006

Well, having been in RSS 2.0 for awhile (since I hate ATOM...) I don't
think this is really a problem at all.  Everything, everywhere is
single-escaped (XML-style) and things that will be escaped when the
content is rendered as XHTML (description only) are double-escaped.
In this case, it's in the title.  Therefore, " might make some
sense, but since that literal is in the original we get the XHTML
version "  either " or " will work in the title, and
" will work in many web-(browser)-based readers, because it
will be 'accidentally' rendered as XHTML.  I could probably add an
html_enitity_decode statement to all non-XHTML fields...

On 9/28/06, David Osolkowski <qidydl at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 9/26/06, Andy Mabbett <andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk> wrote:
> > >there instead of &quot; would
> > >be perfectly legal and solve the problem, the escaped ampersand is my
> > >code escaping out your HTML entities, which the validator then finds
> > >bad because there should be no enitities in a <title>).
> >
> > it seems reasonable to me that, if the HTML in question contains "&"
> > then the corresponding title component of the feed should contain
> > "&amp;". Why is that not the case?
> Unfortunately, escaping special characters in RSS feeds is almost
> entirely unspecified.  They can be unescaped, single-escaped,
> double-escaped, even triple-escaped, and there's not always
> standardization on one method.  This is one of the big reasons the
> Atom format was developed in the first place.  So if the HTML *source*
> contains "&amp;" (for the sake of playing nice), converting that to
> RSS could produce any of "&", "&amp;", or "&amp;amp;" and each one
> would be considered valid by different people and software.  I believe
> this is also why the feed validator prints a warning; it honestly
> doesn't know whether this will work or not.
> http://weblog.philringnalda.com/2005/12/18/who-knows-a-title-from-a-hole-in-the-ground
> illustrates some of the variety in support for handling different
> methods of escaping even when using a format with well-defined rules.
> If possible, it makes things easier to just not use any special
> characters in your title at all.
> - David
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- Stephen Paul Weber, Amateur Writer

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