Jenny's poll reminded me that RSS truncation shouldn't be an either/or choice. So I'm experimenting with some extra tags in my RSS feed.
The basic feed continues to send truncated descriptions. It adds a [fullitem] tag that has the complete text of the item. Of course no newsreaders use this yet. But I want to make sure that sending this extra tag won't cause problems. In Radio it seems not to, but I want to see if AmphetaDesk, NewsIsFree, Meerkat, and others are OK with it. If not, please let me know!
I've also added a [pubtime] tag, just to see if I can. As Sam Ruby keeps pointing out in another context, extra information shouldn't be a problem so long as the required core elements are present.
There's also a long-format feed which is just an XSLT transform of the basic feed. In that version, [description] is the complete item, and [blurb] is the truncated description. So now there's choice. You can subscribe to either the basic feed with short descriptions, or the long-format feed with long ones.
The next step would be to experiment with the news aggregator. Given a feed containing both short and long items, it ought to be possible to let the user toggle between them, perhaps even on a per-channel basis.
Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2002/05/08.html#a225