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How to handle RSS Feeds

From: Jesper Tverskov <jesper.tverskov@mail.tele.dk>
Date: Thu, 11 Mar 2004 09:54:43 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <000001c40746$7f713fd0$440bc650@tversdata>
I have started experimenting making RSS feeds to serve my articles about universal web design that way too, but I am not ready yet. I see many accessibility problems I would like to know the answer to.
Let my mention the first one. The newest versions of browsers like IE and Mozilla have a nice way of showing XML as a node tree with collapsible branches using JavaScript. 
Most other browsers will just show useless text or nothing. Lynx asks if you want to download the file.
My experiments show that it is easy if you know XSLT to make a node tree from scratch serving it as XHTML to any browser without JavaScript. But I don't expect most  web page authors will ever get but a simple knowledge of XML and never to get near XSLT.
The problem with the way IE and Mozilla show XML is that it is extremely nice. And when you look in VIEW SOURCE, it is extremely nice, because the file send to the browser is XML. You see the XML file in view source, no tricks to show tags, no JavaScript, nothing but the original XML-file. Very easy to copy and paste, etc. When you send a similar file as XHTML to serve any browser, VIEW SOURCE show you not the original XML-file but the XHTML transformation with a lot of rubbish like span-elements to make colors, thousands of ampersands, etc., to make it possible too show tags, JavaScripts if used, etc.
What I am saying is that the behavior of IE and Mozilla is so nice that it is hard to believe that anyone will ever serve the same XML-file as XHTML just to please any browser. Why bother serving any browser when the dish you serve is mediocre compared to what people get right away in modern browsers most people use. The RSS feeds need to be XML anyway, so do we actually have a problem?
How are other members of the list dealing with RSS Feeds or rather with the presentation of the XML node tree,  and what can be done about it?
Jesper Tverskov
Received on Thursday, 11 March 2004 03:46:40 UTC

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