Thanks to Mark Pilgrim and Sam Ruby, there’s now a damn fine RSS validator available. (Am I the only one, though, who thinks it’s a tad bit sneaky to tell Movable Type users that the way to make their RSS 0.91 files valid is to convert them into RSS 2.0 templates?)


Sneaky, yes, but it skirts around a nasty timezone problem in getting MT to generate valid RFC822 dates, since in 2.0 you can just use dc:date in W3CDTF instead.

• Posted by: Phil Ringnalda on Oct 22, 2002, 5:41 PM

There’s really not a problem generating proper RFC822 dates in 0.91 with MT, though; you just have to hard-code in the time zone. Since it’s for a fixed weblog, which (presumably) is in a fixed time zone, I didn’t have a problem with that. :)

• Posted by: Jason on Oct 22, 2002, 8:39 PM

Do these templates expose a weblogger’s email address to spammers through un-encrypted mailto’s?

• Posted by: derek on Oct 23, 2002, 9:52 AM

I don’t mind too much hardcoding in the time zone, but I am going to have to remember to change it when we exit Daylight Savings Time… so it’s still a bit of an issue, albeit a minor one.

• Posted by: Bryant on Oct 23, 2002, 10:00 AM

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball has a solution for those who want to have valid .91 templates for Movable Type. I’m trying it out now. Should work for now.

• Posted by: Mike on Oct 23, 2002, 10:49 AM

Derek, alas, yes — RSS files *do* expose an email address to spammers. I just use an email address that only exists there — — so that at least I can track the spam that gets to me via scraping my RSS.

• Posted by: Jason on Oct 23, 2002, 1:33 PM

There’s even sneakier intentions ahead.

The spam issue is unavoidable. If you’re going to use a feed and you value any sort of feedback from readers, you need to give them a contact reference. You could certainly put an HTML page URL in place of a mailto address. Let them at least come back to a web page specifically geared to send a message to you. The only other solution is to make use of various spam blocking/filtering tools or whitelist creators. The whitelist creators are perhaps a better solution in that when you get an unknown message you send back a reply asking the user to unlock their access. If they never reply the message just gets thrown out and the address blocked. If they reply the message gets unlocked and passed on to your account.

• Posted by: Bill Kearney on Oct 25, 2002, 1:02 PM
Please note that comments automatically close after 60 days; the comment spammers love to use the older, rarely-viewed pages to work their magic. If comments are closed and you want to let me know something, feel free to use the contact page!