James H (j4_james) wrote in suggestions,
James H

Blank entry titles in Atom feeds.

Blank entry titles in Atom feeds.

Short, concise description of the idea
When the subject of a journal entry is blank, the corresponding title element in that journal's Atom feed should be blank too.

Full description of the idea
The way the system is currently implemented, if the subject for a journal entry is blank, the corresponding title in the journal's Atom feed is set to a combination of date and author. Not only is this a misrepresentation of the data, but when displayed in an aggregator's list view the feed is basically unusable.

Contrast this with the RSS implementation. A blank subject results in an RSS entry with no title. When viewed as a list, a newreader/aggregator will typically substitute the first few words from the journal entry as a title. This is a whole lot more useful when scanning a list of entries for an item of interest.

An ordered list of benefits
  • When displayed in an aggregator's list view, an entry that has a meaningful title will be far more useful to a user than one that just displays a date and author (information that's probably alreadying being displayed).
  • Providing a blank atom:title when the journal's subject is blank is a more accurate representation of the source data than a faked title.

An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • None that I'm aware of.

An organized list, or a few short paragraphs detailing suggestions for implementation
  • Note that the Atom specification requires that every entry in a feed MUST have a title, so removing the title is not acceptable. It should be included but should be empty.
Tags: syndication, ~ submitted - needs retagging
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