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Feed Validation Service: pubDate versus lastBuildDate

From: Alan Peery <peery@io.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Jan 2007 10:31:05 +0000
Message-ID: <45B9D869.6040401@io.com>
To: www-validator@w3.org, feedvalidator-users@lists.sourceforge.net

In trying to work with the an RSS feed from IBM that contains support 
news on one of their products 
(http://www-306.ibm.com/software/support/rss/tivoli/2366.xml?rss=s2366&ca=rsstivoli), 
I found that all of the pubDate fields are set to the same time, 
evidently the the feed was last output from the backend database it must 
live in.  While the RSS 2.0 spec 
(http://www.rssboard.org/rss-specification#requiredChannelElements) 
isn't very precise expected values, I think the intention was for the 
pubDate field to be when the *item* was published. 

This would then make a feed where all the pubDate entries were identical 
suspect, as the user had possibly misread the intention of the spec and 
put a date appropriate for lastBuildDate into pubDate.  I think the 
validator should emit a warning in this case, indicating possible 
misinterpretation of the two fields...  As an example, IBM probably 
didn't release information about Fix Packs 6,4,5 and 3 on the same 
day...  Having the pubDate garbled this way makes it impossible to sort 
the RSS feed by date, which is how I noticed the issue in the first 
place as the items were out of order in the RSS file...



<item>
<title>IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0 Fix Pack 6 (6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0006)</title>
<description>6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0006 This is a cumulative fix pack for IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0.</description>
<link>http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=2366&amp;context=SSZ8F3&amp;dc=D400&amp;uid=swg24014654&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=UTF-8&amp;lang=en&amp;rss=ct2366tivoli</link>

<pubDate>Thu, 25 Jan 2007 06:41:28 EST</pubDate>
<category>Fixes and Utilities</category>
</item>
<item>
<title>IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0 Fix Pack 4 (6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0004)</title>
<description>6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0004 (Updated 2006/12/20) This is a cumulative fix pack for IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0.</description>
<link>http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=2366&amp;context=SSZ8F3&amp;dc=D400&amp;uid=swg24012716&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=UTF-8&amp;lang=en&amp;rss=ct2366tivoli</link>

<pubDate>Thu, 25 Jan 2007 06:41:28 EST</pubDate>
<category>Fixes and Utilities</category>
</item>
<item>
<title>IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0 Fix Pack 5 (6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0005)</title>
<description>6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0005 This is a cumulative fix pack for IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0.</description>
<link>http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=2366&amp;context=SSZ8F3&amp;dc=D400&amp;uid=swg24014287&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=UTF-8&amp;lang=en&amp;rss=ct2366tivoli</link>

<pubDate>Thu, 25 Jan 2007 06:41:28 EST</pubDate>
<category>Fixes and Utilities</category>
</item>
<item>
<title>IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0 Fix Pack 3 (6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0003)</title>
<description>6.1.0-TIV-ITM-FP0003 This is a cumulative fix pack for IBM Tivoli Monitoring Version 6.1.0.</description>
<link>http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=2366&amp;context=SSZ8F3&amp;dc=D400&amp;uid=swg24012350&amp;loc=en_US&amp;cs=UTF-8&amp;lang=en&amp;rss=ct2366tivoli</link>

<pubDate>Thu, 25 Jan 2007 06:41:28 EST</pubDate>
<category>Fixes and Utilities</category>
</item>


Alan
--
Alan Peery
Alan.Peery@-tractare.co.uk
http://www.tractare.co.uk
Received on Friday, 26 January 2007 14:21:44 GMT

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