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Book review: Darwinia
Reviewed: Friday, August 11, 2006

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Common Lisp and RSS
Thursday, June 22, 2006

I've just started to start to work on an RSS feed for the Enterprise Lisp System Checker. The thing is, I can't find any Lisp libraries that make generating RSS feeds as easy as I think it should be (Kevin Rosenberg's CL-RSS is still available but seems unmaintained and only generates and parses RSS 0.92 feeds). So, in typical lisp hacker fashion, I wondered if I should first write a simple RSS library; something that can parse and generate RSS 0.92, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds. If I did, there are two obvious designs: a object based one and a language based one. In the former, there would be classes for feeds and items and the usual things would happen to create, parse and generate feeds. In the later, RSS feeds would like like an XML template language (e.g., LML2, YACLML, and so forth).

The language approach would be conceptually simple but provides no useful abstractions (and no help in parsing). I think that templates make sense for a language like HTML because HTML content can be just about anything. RSS, on the other hand, always looks like a channel description and a list of items. The template just doesn't help that much. So on to objects and classes and such...


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