like I was saying,
I've kept my head out of the RSS frey lately. This past post about GUIDs and
their properties of rocking in RSS hadn't had much thought behind it, other
than that the idea of having something well defined and uncontestably intended
for the use or uniquely identifying a weblog post seems like a good idea,
especially if it's a permalink. Because, you know, permalinks seem great things
to serve as both globally unique identifier and locator in one go.
I had a feeling that I was confused about the purpose of the link element in RSS 2.0, but having not really studied the spec, I just kept to maintaining a student mind and assumed that there were Things Not Yet Understood. Now I read the spec, curiosity sparked by the recent hubbub over at Mark's place and Phil's place.
Dave wrote that the link tag in items was "designed for something else". Cool by me, I assume that I am not yet well informed. So, I read in the spec, where assumedly I'll be illuminated as to its designed purpose, that link is "The URL of the item". To me, this means that the link tag was designed to point at the item, being the URL of that item. And, as far as I can tell, "the item" is what is being described by the item tag, in other words: the weblog entry.
But this seems contrary to the statement that it's been "designed for something else". Designed when and documented where? Jon Udell writes that RSS is in no way broken, but I personally think it's got a funky widget or two in it and is not free of confusion. Bah, really I don't care. I still think a GUID for a weblog entry is a good idea, and that maybe some people who comment on links exclusively should have a tag devoted to that. Maybe in a separate namespace devoted to link-blogger vocabulary.
Meanwhile, I'll be making occasional pokes at participating over at Sam's wiki and The Echo Project. I like the wiki approach he's offered for participation, especially the potential for zero-ego participation when it works. I love seeing something I contribute in a wiki eventually float free from my attribution, to later land in the midst of a summary elsewhere. And in the end, if it all works right, it'll be something that everyone had a part in, yet no one owns, and further yet didn't take a formal committee to approve.