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hmm (-1, Flamebait)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646712)

causing certain feed readers - Microsoft's Live.com RSS gadget

Cant they sue Microsoft for stealing bandwidth, and bad design?

Re:hmm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646756)

You can't sue Microsoft for bad design!

They're still in business, aren't they?

Re:hmm (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646884)

You can't sue Microsoft for bad design!

They're still in business, aren't they?


I know, i was trying to be funny.....hey so where you.

whoops (1)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646760)

The unavailability of this file had the effect of causing certain feed readers - Microsoft's Live.com RSS gadget, for one - to refuse to display RSS 0.91 feeds

Cant they sue Microsoft for stealing bandwidth, and bad design?

Re:whoops (4, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647216)

Cant they sue Microsoft for stealing bandwidth, and bad design?

Uh, if Microsoft could be held liable for bad design, their buildings would already have been burned to the ground, their women stampeded, their cattle raped, the ground sown with salt and the wells poisoned.

Redirect (3, Insightful)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646718)

And they can't set up a redirect to the new hosting location?

Re:Redirect (1, Offtopic)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646948)

Exercise your right view ads. thinkoutside.org [thinkoutside.org]

There, I fixed that for you.

Re:Redirect (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646978)

Wouldn't they then be serving 4 million redirects per day? The point is that they need to eventually break it to make people stop relying on that path.

Re:Redirect (4, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646984)

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently
Content-Type: text/html
Location: http://127.0.0.1/

Re:Redirect (5, Insightful)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646986)

And they can't set up a redirect to the new hosting location?
What in the world would be the point? That would merely duplicate the problem to a different location. As was clearly stated in the article by Mr. Finke, four-million hits every day is a crapload of bandwidth wasted re-downloading a file that will never change. The RSS 0.91 spec is finished, complete, and yes, for all intents and purposes, written in stone. Stop looking at it every damned day. It will not change. Ever. It's truly stupid for client-side software to be accessing it over the Internet to read its forever-static contents. That's like checking the writings of a dead poet every day to see if anything's changed.

And any dev who codes his app to check a file like this every day instead of caching it client-side should be smacked oh-my-god-so-frickin-hard.

Re:Redirect (5, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647172)

And any dev who codes his app to check a file like this...
They might not even know that they're doing it if they're using Microsoft's Swiss Army Chainsaw XMLHTTP COM object and set the flags wrong.

Re:Redirect (0, Redundant)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647432)

They might not even know that they're doing it if they're using Microsoft's Swiss Army Chainsaw XMLHTTP COM object and set the flags wrong.

And naturally that's Microsofts fault? Not the developer who doesn't know anything about their tool?

Re:Redirect (2, Funny)

BobNET (119675) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647534)

And naturally that's Microsofts fault? Not the developer who doesn't know anything about their tool?

I wouldn't worry about it, many developers have firsthand experience with their tools...

Re:Redirect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647730)

You might even say it's their right-hand man-hood.

Re:Redirect (3, Informative)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647614)

I didn't say that it was Microsoft's fault. It's just that it's a powerful tool with thousands of uses that's simple (on the surface) to use, but it pays to read the fine print carefully because many things aren't obvious. (/me remembers wasting time wondering why my XPath queries weren't working...)

Re:Redirect (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648288)

bandwidth wasted re-downloading a file that will never change. The RSS 0.91 spec is finished, complete, and yes, for all intents and purposes, written in stone
Maybe they're using the pre-release one, waiting for version 1.0 to be released :)

Re:Redirect (2, Interesting)

naChoZ (61273) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648604)

And any dev who codes his app to check a file like this every day instead of caching it client-side should be smacked oh-my-god-so-frickin-hard.

Ironic because Netscape is guilty of this poor practive themselves. I have an old sun u2 box that I recently revived. I had a copy of netscape messaging server/netscape enterprise server on it (used by the isp where I worked at the time). I wanted to archive some old mail off of it before I wiped the drive. I couldn't start it up because there were so many files containing references to http://developer.netscape.com/products/servers/ent erprise/dtds/nes-webapps_6_1.dtd [netscape.com] which of course doesn't even exist. Couldn't even start up until I replaced all references to that file with local file uri links.

URIs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647688)

This is the perfect reason to use URIs hosted on p2p, rather than individual sites. It's going to be more and more of an issue, as RDF takes off.

Re:Redirect (2, Insightful)

Albanach (527650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648908)

To be fair, the article points out that they have already put in place a redirect.

They point out that it might not be entirely sensible for millions of newsreaders to rely upon downloading a static file from the web each time they open a feed. Most newsreaders (like the one built into Firefox use a local cached copy.

They restored the file so these newsreaders will continue to work for a period long enough that they can be altered to use a local copy.

Whether it's reasonable or not for them to remove the file is, I guess, up to the reader to decide. Personally though, I think it's a fair point that you should never rely on a file hsoted on a server which you have no control over - the file can be altered, vandalised, or in this case simply removed without warning and without you being able to do anything about it.

Not enough time!!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646770)

Developers who made the mistake to use that external resource in their code most likely don't have the brain resources to adapt until July.

(This is not a troll. Resignation and bitterness, maybe. But not a troll.)

Re:Not enough time!!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646900)

That is kind of like declaring PI to be a volatile double variable, in case it changes in real time...

Re:Not enough time!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648000)

You've never worked for S.B. Johnson Software, have you?

pi meter (1)

shani (1674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648198)

In Greg Bear's book Eon, one of the ideas is building with geometry. A mathematician investigating one such structure asked some engineers to build a pi-meter to use when she was exploring. I wondered what such a thing could mean, and indeed how one would build such a device...

Re:pi meter (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648854)

The curvature of space varies along The Way, which affects the value of Pi.

Re:pi meter (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17649334)

pi = any circle's circumference / diameter. At least on a Euclidean plane, anyway. It's a bit incorrect to think that the value of pi varies, as it's defined in a particular type of geometry. There are also purely mathematical ways to define the value of pi, independent of geometry. Still, the idea of measuring space to get the value of "pi" is a valid way to think about measuring the curvature of space.

Now, let's say space is curved, like a sphere. (Like, oh, the one we live on.) If you draw a circle, say, the circumference of the Earth (along the equator), and then try to measure the "diameter" on the sphere (over one of the poles), you'll find it's much larger than the actual diameter (straight through the planet's core), and hence the "value of pi" will be much different. (In fact, it'll be 2, give or take a few decimal places since the Earth isn't a perfect sphere.)

To create a "pi meter", you might think of a device consisting of a fiber optic loop, like in a laser ring gyro; you simply measure the amount of time it takes for light to go around to measure the circumference of the loop, as well as using another pulse to measure its diameter. If space curves (as indeed it does, although not in any way that's noticeable far from, say, a black hole), you'll find a discrepency between your measurement of circumference / diameter and the defined value of pi.

You could also do the same thing with a piece of string and a ruler, but it wouldn't be convenient enough to call it a "pi meter".

Re:Not enough time!!!! (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648274)

then they can use that time to find a new job?

I hate grammer nazis (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646776)

The RSS 0.91 DTD has been restored to its rightful location on my.netscape.com, but it'll only stay there until July 1st, 2007. Then Netscape will remove the DTD, which is loaded four million times each day. Devs, start your caching engines.
...but I fixed it for you anyway.

Re:I hate grammer nazis (0, Offtopic)

freefrag (728150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646930)

Slashdot should put in macros to change "it's" to "it is" and "they're" to "they are." I bet that would cut down on grammar mistakes pretty quickly.

Re:I hate grammer nazis (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647104)

You forgot 'there' ==> "their" and "forget" ==> "forgot"...

Re:I hate grammer nazis (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647002)

Kelsey Grammer? Look, what is so hard about spelling "grammar"? Are you one of thiose guys who spells "hypocrisy" as "hypocracy" too???

My favorite scene from The Blues Brothers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647774)

Elwood: Grammar Nazis!
Jake: Pfft. I hate Grammar Nazis.

well, DTD is better than DDT for the environment (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646790)

While they are swishing this about, it's good it's not dichlorodiphenyl-trichoroethelene DTD is much better for the environment.

Why can't we just move it? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646806)

Developers should take the opportunity to move to Atom. In the mean time we could use something as simple as round-robin DNS to share the load or have Mozilla, Google or the internet archive host it. It's a historical document and should reside at a permanent URI.

Re:Why can't we just move it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646940)

'...permanent URI.'

This is another demonstration of the flawed notion that content on the internet "lives forever". Perhaps you mean "long-lived, mostly reliable URI".

Re:Why can't we just move it? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647024)

> Perhaps you mean "long-lived, mostly reliable URI".

Yes, and I have a couple of name suggestions for this, we could call it a "permanent URI" or "persistent URI".

Purl [purl.org] may be a good choice for this DTD.

Re:Why can't we just move it? (2, Interesting)

Paulrothrock (685079) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647116)

Kind of like Example.com [example.com] . That was set up in RFC-2606.

Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647332)

That's a domain for use in documentation. I bet the bandwidth costs from attempted email delivery are huge even though there are no MX records and the server doesn't accept SMTP connections. In addition to spam harvesting, people like me have been using xyz@example.com to satisfy email address requirements for years. Ideally a production MTA would return example.com email as undeliverable without attempting delivery.

Attempting email delivery to example(.com|.org|.net) is roughly analogous to developers not caching a DTD or hard coding third-party NTP server addresses into their code.

Re:Not really (2, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647400)

I bet the bandwidth costs from attempted email delivery are huge even though there are no MX records and the server doesn't accept SMTP connections. In addition to spam harvesting, people like me have been using xyz@example.com to satisfy email address requirements for years.

That's what the .invalid TLD is for, also defined in RFC 2606 [ietf.org] .

".invalid" is intended for use in online construction of domain names that are sure to be invalid and which it is obvious at a glance are invalid.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647842)

I have this hunch that most online systems requiring an email address don't accept the .invalid TLD. When I've written these things I've validated the user supplied address against a regex that definitely did not contain the string .invalid in the list of valid TLD.

Re:Not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648608)

When I've written these things I've validated the user supplied address against a regex that definitely did not contain the string .invalid in the list of valid TLD.

WTF? You include a whitelist of TLDs? So basically, every time a new TLD arrives, you have to update all your web apps? Why are you reinventing the wheel and adding in all sorts of bugs. There is a canonical regexp [ex-parrot.com] for email addresses. Use it.

Re:Not really (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649322)

If someone is feeling frisky, how does that look if you go to the trouble of separating the address into [part-before]@[part-after] and then do the validation in two steps? Or is that not possible for some reason?

Re:Not really (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650058)

It wouldn't matter. The part after the @ is the domain name, which is what .invalid would be part of. Unless the domain checks out, nothing left of the @ is used.

Re:Why can't we just move it? (2, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648362)

You know, if you're gonna be a smartass on this topic, you should at least understand the difference between a URI and a URL.

There's nothing flawed about the notion of a permanent URI. A permanent URL is the tricky bit.

Re:Why can't we just move it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648552)

And just what is the difference then?

URLs, URIs and URNs 101 (4, Informative)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649716)

URLs are a subset of URIs. A URL defines a location where a resource can be accessed. A URI may merely be the name of a resource, i.e. a URN.

For example, globally unique IDs in Atom feeds are often URNs, and hence URIs; but URNs aren't URLs, and you shouldn't need or want to try to connect to something just because it's used as a globally unique identifier in an Atom feed and looks a bit like a URL.

This is relevant because many Internet specifications use URNs (or in the case of HTML, FPIs) as spec identifiers. For instance, XML namespace identifiers are URIs; and while some of them happen to be URLs too, the XML namespace recommendation [w3.org] says:

The namespace name, to serve its intended purpose, should have the characteristics of uniqueness and persistence. It is not a goal that it be directly usable for retrieval of a schema (if any exists).

In the case of RSS 0.91, Netscape wrote the spec, and they used a URL and told people to connect to it to fetch the necessary information to parse the file. They could have used a URN, but I'm guessing they wanted to keep their options open as far as changing the spec on the fly.

(Of course, Dave Winer has a different approach to changing RSS specs on the fly...)

Spelling issue (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646810)

What's so fucking hard about spelling "its" correctly?

Re:Spelling issue (2, Informative)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647680)

What's so fucking hard about spelling "its" correctly?

An old Jedi mind trick:

Its apostrophe is missing, because it's been moved over here.

OR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17650326)

What's so hard about overlooking petty grammar mistakes? I know I know, your versatility dial is stuck on '0'.

Google? (1)

kesler (576674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646856)

Will Google Save the day yet again? Hopefully they'll step up to the plate yet again.

Probably (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17646956)

As that would give Google another way to track your every online move.

CmdrTaco (5, Funny)

MagicM (85041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646906)

Netscape Restores RSS DTD, Until July - from the that's-kinda-lame dept.
Two Stargate SG1 Films Announced - from the good-for-them dept.
Linux: x86 Linux Flash Player 9 is Final - from the i-still-hate-flash dept.

Looks like somebody is having a case of the mondays.

(On Wednesday.)

Re:CmdrTaco (5, Funny)

Valthan (977851) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647004)

I believe you would get your ass kicked for saying that to someone.

Re:CmdrTaco (1)

markhb (11721) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647018)

How about "from the cmdrtaco-went-overboard-at-CES-and-now-he-has-to- sleep-on-the-couch dept."?

I don't get it (4, Interesting)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646910)

I admit, I am not familiar enough with RSS. However this is a 2.3KB file that is not supposed to change. Why would developers NOT hardcode it into their RSS tools?

Re: Because software evolves by mutation (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647046)

No one ever writes a new XML (and most other Web2.0) application from the scratch. They all take an app they are familiar with and modify it to do new things. And some of the initial boot-strap processes are never looked into. If it works, dont mess with it attitude is pervasive. So someone long ago may be in a galaxy far away wrote an application that replicated and mutated by developers and others took it and did more mutations and it propagated. One side effect of this and similar cut&paste code development tactics is that bugs, security holes, inefficient algorithms, brain dead implementations also propagate.

Richard Dawkins asks this very fundamental question, why reproduce (sexually or asexually) using seeds and embryos? Why not propagate by cuttings and cloning? It happens in nature. Many fern like plants do it. Bananas have been reproducing by new shoots. Then he discusses how harmful mutations too propagage and how going back to the basics and recreating the embryo selects the beneficial mutations and puts a check on deletrious mutations. Books The Selfish Gene, Climbing the Mount Improbable.

Re: Because software evolves by mutation (2, Interesting)

Vreejack (68778) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647872)

That was insightful (hint to mods).

Now we need software that can breed sexually.

Or, more realistically, software that has a finer granularity and greater modularity so that the piece of ancient code that does this can be easily identified and swapped out, without needing to be understood by developers.
 

Re: Because software evolves by mutation (2, Funny)

Zak3056 (69287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648680)

Now we need software that can breed sexually.

Nahh, the risk of virus transmission is too high...

Re: Because software evolves by mutation (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648684)

Yes, but Richard Dawkins is married to a hottie from Dr Who. [bbc.co.uk] Why should he ever have to use "sex" and "why?" in the same sentence?

/sadfanboy

Re: Because software evolves by mutation (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648804)

Richard Dawkins asks this very fundamental question, why reproduce (sexually or asexually) using seeds and embryos? Why not propagate by cuttings and cloning?
Number one, nature is a horrible analogy to use in comparison with software; two, Darwin adequately answered this question and I think Dawkins should know the answer; three, every piece of software is not simply a rehashing of old code-- tons of it is brand new.

Re: Because software evolves by mutation (1)

araemo (603185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649720)

Perhaps it should be said that Dawkins begs the question... I think his book is a x00 page answer to said question. (Granted, I haven't read that book, but I know Dawkins' reputation. ;P)

Re:I don't get it (5, Informative)

jrumney (197329) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647138)

Developers use off the shelf XML parsers, which generally take care of validation for you. Netscape created this problem themselves when they stated in the spec for RSS 0.91 that well-formedness was not enough, RSS 0.91 feeds should be validated against the DTD. They then specified that document authors must use a PUBLIC doctype specifier, so the option of using a SYSTEM one (where the DTD is looked up in a local catalog) is not an option.

Re:I don't get it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647566)

PUBLIC doctypes simply give the URI of the DTD, and are exptected to always resolve to the same content. But there's no requirement that you use the default resolver.

Re:I don't get it (2, Interesting)

rholliday (754515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648990)

I'm also not an expert, but from what I know about DTDs they are supposed to be referenced when the content should validate against them. For example:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
This is at the top of every Slashdot page. Should IE or FF break if the W3 were to remove that file? Certainly not. But should it be loaded and validated if possible? I believe so.

If any XML or RSS gurus want to correct me on this feel free.

mirror ;) (2, Funny)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646912)

Re:mirror ;) (5, Informative)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647054)

Great, the entire internet community can rely on one random person's server instead of on one really big corporation's server. That should fix things.

Re:mirror ;) (1)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647222)

I'm not entirely joe-random user (i say jokingly yet seriously - i registered nether.net before aol registered aol.com), but what i'll say is that it's useful to have copies of these files around for all sorts of reasons, either historical or otherwise. Folks are welcome to add my host in as one in their list of places to find this. I've survived slashdottings in the past before with not a lot of effort (as my pages are primarily static, no ads), and hosted/mirrored large content before without trouble and at reasonable speeds, so while my offer may seem funny to you, it's a bit more serious than that. (asbestos-suit == on)

Re:mirror ;) (1)

NiteTrip (694597) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647326)

Wow nether.net! It was the first server to give me shell access back in the early 90s!

Thanks for that, I played many a mud through your server.

Re:mirror ;) (1)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648916)

i've periodically thought about rebuilding the system a few times but just haven't been able to allocate time/resources to it. @nether.net addresses still get a lot of spam and i've even been bouncing mails since at least 2001. I was about to rebuild it during one of my business trips, but then I got stuck in california when they shut down all the airspace for that week and rethought fully open access.

Re:mirror ;) (5, Funny)

CokeBear (16811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647572)

i registered nether.net before aol registered aol.com

But you waited until (UID 633928) to register on Slashdot?

Newbie.

Re:mirror ;) (1)

MyHair (589485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648330)

by CokeBear (16811):
i registered nether.net before aol registered aol.com

But you waited until (UID 633928) to register on Slashdot?

Newbie.


Yeah. uhuhuhuh. What a noob. Heh. uhuhuh.

;)

Re:mirror ;) (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648758)

Oi! You kids! Get off my lawn!

Re:mirror ;) (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649096)

*Yawn*

Its (0, Offtopic)

dsanfte (443781) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647050)

"RSS 0.91's DTD has been restored to its rightful location"


Unless we correct such errors, they will propagate, and that's bad for everyone in the long run.

Re:Its (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647130)

That's actually correct. It's is short for it is, its is the possessive. There is no its'.

Re:Its (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648048)

I think you should subscribe to this newsgroup [google.com] .

Let's be Evil (2, Interesting)

hackershandbook (963811) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647056)

.. and I thought it was only Microsoft and Google that tried to "break the web" on purpose ....

Re:Let's be Evil (1)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647618)

Don't forget Earthlink, who actually no shit HAS broken the internet, at least for their subscribers

"Caching" not the answer (5, Informative)

KrisWithAK (32865) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647202)

As I replied for the previous Netscape RSS DTD article http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=216818&cid=176 03480 [slashdot.org] , caching DTDs from the network is not the answer if there is the possibility they will not be there in the future:

The proper thing to do is for your application to use an XML catalog for resolving entities/URIs and bundle the DTD files with the application. There is a good article at http://xml.apache.org/commons/components/resolver/ resolver-article.html [apache.org] that helped me out. In addition, if you are using Eclipse with the web tools platform, you can customize the catalog so it resolves DTDs and entities locally. See http://wiki.eclipse.org/index.php/Using_the_XML_Ca talog [eclipse.org] .

Technical vs. Emotional (5, Interesting)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647226)

(I tried posting this as a reply to the blog posting, but I'm not getting the confirmation email, so I'll post it here)

From a purely technical standpoint, I agree with your assertion that, for well-baked files like RSS DTDs, clients should not be relying on a file hosted by an arbitrary service.

That being said, please understand that the emotional message you're sending is: "Don't rely on Netscape".

Why?

Back when RSS was first starting out, Netscape's documentation said to use Netscape URLs for the RSS DTDs. Witness this page [archive.org] , published by Netscape, from late 2000:

Now, a shade over six years later, Netscape is saying "Oh, yeah, what we told you to do? Never mind. We're not supporting it any more."

If Netscape/AOL was shutting its doors, that'd be one thing. If the service in question was obviously onerous, that too would be understandable. Or, if Netscape told people "For the love of all that is holy, don't use our URLs for your DTD needs!" from the get-go (based on that document, you didn't), any such reliance would be our own fault.

But, because AOL does not want to serve up two static files, each of which is smaller than the "Netscape Reports" graphic on the netscape.com home page, Netscape is abandoning a service they told people to use.

So what are we to think about Netscape's current services and their long-term usability?

Re:Technical vs. Emotional (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647402)

Yeah... until this story broke, I didn't realize they still existed. I guess they do,but it looks like I'm going to have to go back to ignoring their existence.

they don't (2, Insightful)

jonasj (538692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648898)

until this story broke, I didn't realize they still existed.
They don't. They haven't existed since 2003. AOL is just using the name for a portal and IIRC a dial-up ISP service.

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Brand+Necrophili a%22&safe=off [google.com]

Re:they don't (1)

VWJedi (972839) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650090)

Don't forget "The All-New Netscape Browser 8.1.2"!

dumb (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647258)

"should feed readers be relying on the availability of a static document on a third-party Web server (and thus a connection to the Internet)?"

Yeah, feed readers don't need the internet at all! What WERE you guys thinking?

Why is it done this way? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647272)

I never understood why web pages need references to these external things (or do they?). Why embed into a page a pointer to a document that you don't have direct control over? My own dumb pages do this as well since I switched from plain HTML to using CSS and SVG, but I don't have the time to figure out why it's in there or if it's needed. I just pasted it in like the examples I found. Now if I thought my web page was really important, I'd look into this a bit more...

Re:Why is it done this way? (1)

Pollardito (781263) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648374)

Why embed into a page a pointer to a document that you don't have direct control over?
because the interweb works because of external links :P

Re:Why is it done this way? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17649088)

You need to put a certain DTD URI into your documents because they essentially act like "magic cookie" values in binary file formats. It's the only way to tell if you're supposed to treat a document as HTML 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.01, XHTML, HTML strict, HTML transitional, whatever. That information isn't encoded in the DTD, so there's no way to identify a file format simply by pointing at a random location with the identical DTD.

The point of the URI is to act as an opaque identifier for a particular file format. Being able to fetch it is just a bonus, and a good programmer shouldn't rely on the resource being there at run time. URIs are used because the domain name system already delegates responsibility for namespaces; a different scheme could be used, but using DNS leverages the existing infrastructure. It's not perfect (as the RSS 0.91 example shows), but it works 90% of the time.

Well you know what this means (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647558)

You have five months to update your apps to use RSS DTD version 0.92!

Re:Well you know what this means (1)

BuffaloBandit (955011) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649240)

Seriously though,
Isn't 0.91 dead anyway?

Why not get on the 2.0 bandwagon?
Is there still value in 0.91?

Better than alternative (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648024)

It seems to me that having the ability to track the src and dest address of every website viewed (nearly) would be a huge financial gain to companies willing to sell that information. Netscape (read AOL) never really struck me as a "feel good, do good" company and I am surprised that they would not try to profit off of this. I distinctly remember thinking this as motive back when they declared everyone must use their DTD in the first place.

First woodpecker... (2, Insightful)

kabdib (81955) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648386)

This is why whenever I hear the words "architecture" and "web" in the same sentence that I snicker. Unpolite, but OMFG who designed this junk?

Oh, right. Nobody, really. It's amazing it works at all (... and sometimes it doesn't!)

Djikstra's quip, "If programmers build houses they way they built programs, the first woodpecker to come along would topple civilization" was and remains insightful.

Content based addressing (1)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648392)

The web needs some scheme for content based addressing. Like the urn:sha1 scheme used in gnutella. This (and some sort of reasonable caching scheme) would do a lot to alleviate problems like this. It could also help a lot with the Slashdot effect.

Re:Content based addressing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648704)

This is a freaking awesome idea!

Funnily enough, it's called.. (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649946)

A URN ;)

Universal Resource Name, if I recall correctly (which I often don't)

Against the idea of the web? (1)

untoldone (839361) | more than 7 years ago | (#17648504)

With my very limited understanding of the W3C and such, the the netscape blog post seems very anti-W3C ... as Daniel Glazman commented on the blog post

"cool URIs never change". This sentence has been on W3C's site for ages, constantly repeated by W3C staff in Web conferences.
However, it's not like the author of the post didn't have valid reasoning. That IS a lot of bandwidth, why should netscape be made to foot the bill when they don't get anything in return? No one sees any of their pretty ads when the users' machines just fetch the DTD -- netscape gets nothing off of hosting it ... beyond the ability to feel good about themselves because they keep RSS 0.91 stable for everyone else. I didn't even know netscape hosted this until I read the blog post ... Not having much experience with it, this seems like the exact same issue I had with the entirety of how semantic web stuff works: Lots of machine readable documents must be fetched from many different sources in order for one service to work. W3C says that this should work cause documents don't go away, but generally this is not the case -- companies go bankrupt, services change ownership (and domain). I feel like someone needs to work out (and use in practice) a system of distributing static documents like this consistently over lots of places so when one source dies or changes location -- the services that rely on it don't just stop.

Never depend on Netscape (AOL) (1)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649392)

Ever since they took DevEdge offline without warning, I've been weary to rely on them as a resource. This is just another step toward insignificance.

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17649462)

lost its earlier Surprise 7o the gig in front of slings are limited, Minutes. If that. wasn't on Steve's a full-time GNAA are looking ve8y turd-suckingly an operating system

So where should it go? (0)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649518)

Don't get it from archive.org. The Internet Archive isn't really set up to have a huge number of quick retrievals of the same tiny item. There's no front-end cache farm, and response will be slow. (This was a problem after they started archiving Greatful Dead fan recordings. The Deadheads, many of whom did too many drugs in the 1960s, would stream the same audio, over and over and over. The music archive had to be moved to a completely different system.)

Try to get this hosted by "w3c.org", which hosts other DTDs and seems to do a good job.

Like I Said Before (-1, Troll)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649626)


Morons...

IT geeks are some of the least intelligent designers of things in history.

As an example, now I'm futzing around with a client's Windows XP system. He wants to move the hard drive with XP intact from one machine to a newer machine.

Guess what? You guessed it! Can't be done.

First, Windows won't move without a repair install (or maybe a sysprep - that technigue apparently has been known to work.)

Then those Dell assholes rear their heads. He hasn't got a Dell reinstallation CD to do the repair install with. Okay, I can probably make one from the i386 directory. But it's not clear whether it will work on the new machine - or even if a Dell reinstallation CD will work. Because - and I can't get a straight answer from anyone as to which is true - either the Dell OS installers check for a Dell BIOS and won't load on any other machine - or they do. I've read it both ways on the boards and Usenet.

If I can't do the repair install with the Dell reinstallation CD he's ordering, OR I can't do it from the i386 install CD I can build, OR via a sysprep (and all of these are risky, so I have to back everything up first anyway), he'll have to go buy another full retail version of XP (for half or more of the cost of the new machine) to do either a repair install or a clean install.

NEVER buy Dell, HP or any of these assholes machines. Buy a white box, get a full copy of the OS.

Better yet, switch to Linux - which can at least figure out its hardware at boot time instead of relying on a stupid ass Registry...

I don't which is worse - geek morons or corporate management morons.

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