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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Computing, Libraries, Tennis, India & other interests of Vikas Kamat

Case Against RSS Feeds Durable Link to this BLOG
The Case Against Public XML feeds

I know that people have been talking a lot about RSS (XML feeds) for the last two years or so, and every now and then I consider providing them, always deciding not to.

Once I was narrating to my father, a computer-illiterate, on how I am trying to optimize the search engine for Kamat's Potpourri.. "Bappa, currently it takes over a minute to find something on our website, and I want to reduce it to a few seconds".
My dad told me not to sweat. "If the people are so impatient as not to wait for even a minute to find what they want, they better go somewhere else." he declared.

You must pardon my father, he didn't know anything about the Web at that time. But the importance of his opinion is not lost on me. I do not want to serve computer robots, or those who are impatient. I want to serve only those who are interested in our work.

That's the real reason why there's no public feed of our site. Here are some more:

  • HTML is designed for use by humans, while XML is designed for use by machines. It is my opinion that XML feeds belong only in an automated B2B environment. They are of very little value in a public domain ever since the failure of the more eyeballs =  better funda.
  • When I researched some of the RSS feeds to write this blog, I found that most of them were invalid, or broken, and  were irrelevant in general.
  • Exposing  the XML feeds to public tremendously decreases the Readership/Traffic ratio (not good).


(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Monday, October 28, 2002
Last Modified: 1/23/2003
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