Aug 8, 2008

Sorry, This Has Been Bothering me

I know that there are a lot bigger fish to fry but I have been monitoring the use of RSS on the ePrize site for over two years now. While I was happy to see certain sections get RSS-enabled, I'm not too happy with how shoddy this implementation has been.

The idea of signing up for updates to promotions has been tossed around for years (I believe Keith Simmons brought it up). Once the "Portfolio" page got an RSS feed, I threw it onto my iGoogle and have been looking at it ever since. Unfortunately, whoever (or whatever) is spitting out that feed doesn't seem to realize what RSS is all about. The list should be in order of last to first chronologically, not alphabetically. That is, when new promotions go up, the list should be updated with those new things. Also, a description would be nice as well rather than just a link. And, best of all, the RSS should be VALID.

Valid code and ePrize haven't been friendly for years. Looking a the table-bound ePrize site should clue you into that. But, gosh, how hard is it to make a simple XML file? Pretty tough apparently. Look at how nasty the code comes out when running a simple validation against the feed. This is even a Feedburner feed and they probably cleaned up some of the mess. So, you get an A for effort but an E for execution. That averages to a solid C for contemptible.

Speaking of C....