Dare Obasanjo: At this point I'd like to note that HTTP provides two mechanisms for web servers to tell clients if a network resource has changed or not. The basics of this mechanism is explained in the blog post HTTP Conditional Get for RSS Hackers which provides a way to prevent clients such as news readers from repeatedly downloading a Web document if it hasn't been updated.
The functionality is clearly there in HTTP. The word is clearly not getting out to everywhere it should be.
- Propose language for Atom that the Last-Modified, ETag, and Content-Transfer-Encoding headers that HTTP specifications indicates MAY be used in HTTP protocols, SHOULD be used in the case of Atom.
- Update the feedvalidator to provide warnings when feeds are detected that don't support these headers. This would apply not only to Atom, but also to all flavors of RSS.
I can't change the world, but these two actions I can take.