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I have recently started using feedvalidator.org to validate my RSS feeds. The RSS reader reads the feeds fine but the feed validator says they are not valid feeds. I tried other RSS feeds like

http://feeds.nytimes.com/nyt/rss/HomePage
http://feeds.latimes.com/latimes/news
http://feeds.ign.com/ignfeeds/all/

All of these feeds are invalid according to feed validator. But, these are nytimes, latimes and ign we are talking about. Are they not considered about an invalid RSS feed? I tried searching for disadvantages of an invalid RSS feed but couldn't find much.

Thanks, KA

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 26 '11 at 6:14

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2 Answers 2

Very simply, the disadvantage is that some particularly strict feed readers might refuse to process your feed if it's not valid. I don't know any specific feed readers that do that.

If you want to fix your feed, you'll have to look at the specific error messages given by the feed validator. For example, the feed from nytimes.com occasionally uses an (X)HTML tag (<em>) inside a <media:description> tag, when the schema doesn't allow for random tags being used there. Ways of working around that are stripping (X)HTML tags from your feed content or marking those kinds of fields as pure text by using <![CDATA[ ]]> sections. That latter solution is a bit ugly, though, and technically feed readers shouldn't magically render it as (X)HTML, either.

As far as I know (but I'm not really an expert on this stuff), there is no convenient and proper solution for this.

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Feed readers, like web browsers are fairly tolerant of invalid data. However it's probably better to do what you can to reduce the number of errors in case it's so invalid that it can't guess what the data should be. –  paulmorriss Sep 26 '11 at 10:46
    
One specific example of a feed reader choking on an invalid feed would be attempting to use If This, Then That (ifttt.com) to parse the feed and do some action based on the contents. –  JCL1178 Dec 30 '13 at 22:47
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Feeds are a way to syndicate your content in a (more) machine readable way. So if your feed is invalid, those machines may not be able to parse it. Might as well not have built them in the first place then.

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