Jan is funny: “Looks like we all know how to play email-whack-a-mole. Or, as the French say, ‘couriel le whack-whack’.”

Telstra wants to be as cool as Apple: “Australia’s largest telecommunications company is set to make a giant leap into the music business with a plan to launch an online record shop this year.” I wish they’d actually concentrate on being the national carrier.

I’ve been thinking about presentation info in RSS feeds recently, thanks to some of the ugly abuses of CSS on Advogato, and validation issues on planet gnome. So it’s good to see some discussion out there about the same problems.

The problem is that the description element contains encoded gumpf. You can’t even say it contains encoded html – there’s no way to validate the gumpf without decoding and parsing it. Just gumpf. And even if it were a block of straight, unencoded XHTML (which would be better for just about everybody, except perhaps the few users who write their own markup in blog entries), you’d still have CSS problems through style attributes.

A fascist solution, stripping unacceptable tags (which would have to include img tags) and some attributes (even style on a p tag is going to be a PITA), would make planet gnome suck a fair bit. For instance, the screenshots in Nat‘s Dashboard blog are absolutely necessary. You couldn’t strip those without harming the content. They are content. 88MPH includes little images on entries as highlights and jokes, but occasionally they’re also important to the content.

Luke Stroven, the quiet but incredible contributor behind gnomedesktop.org, recently added category icons to the backend2.php feed, which show up very nicely when aggregated. He prodded me to add hacker head icons to the other feeds, but due to an inflexibility in the aggregation software, I have to fudge spacer images for the feeds that don’t have associated icons. This makes the FootNotes feed look a bit odd (the image is stuck out a bit by the spacer).

Do I strip images with align attributes? Or maybe the ones with text-align styles? Should I just strip all of them out? Mail me if you have any bright ideas.

Maybe we shouldn’t be syndicating encoded snippets of HTML at all.

I am immensely grateful for Sun’s contributions to GNOME, and its wonderful employees who work with us. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for their Chairman and CEO, Scott McNealy, who gives me the irrits every time I read about him:

Q: The Linux community led by Linus Torvalds says the whole SCO-Linux dispute is a tempest in a teapot, that any problems with Linux can be easily corrected.

A: That is what Napster [Inc.] said also, wasn’t it?

And after some more bile, he ends with:

Throughout the ups and downs and in and outs of the industry, there has never been a question about our integrity or character.

I want Sun to do well for my friends, but not for McNealy’s attitude. What a distasteful interview.

So, James is my personal hero of the week. He suspected that planetgnome was ‘losing’ entries with no title element, so while fixing the permalink bug, he also added title elements. Looks like Raph integrated the patch overnight, so Advogato feeds work correctly on planetgnome again. Thanks James and Raph! Of course, I still have to fix this significant bug on my end before I shift planetgnome to its new home. :-)

Curtis Hovey mailed me tonight, to point out the third item on his projects and tasks list. He was happy to have completed it only a few minutes earlier. Meanwhile, I am totally psyched about Medusa. Curtis, you totally rock for bringing it back from the dead. Thank you! :-)