Is there any reason use "no-reply@example.com" for author tag in rss?


(Jong Eun Lee) #1

Look below code, line number 17.
Is there any reason use "no-reply@example.com"?

How about remove "no-reply@example.com" on list.rss.erb?


(Jeff Atwood) #2

What does the RSS spec require here?


(Gerhard Schlager) #4

From the RSS 2.0 Specification:

<author> is an optional sub-element of <item>.

It’s the email address of the author of the item. For newspapers and magazines syndicating via RSS, the author is the person who wrote the article that the <item> describes. For collaborative weblogs, the author of the item might be different from the managing editor or webmaster. For a weblog authored by a single individual it would make sense to omit the element.

<author>lawyer@boyer.net (Lawyer Boyer)</author>

I guess it could be removed since it’s optional and there is already a link to the author’s profile page in the <description>. I get that we don’t want to disclose the user’s mail address, but the no-reply address doesn’t make much sense either.

My feed reader shows it like this:


(Jong Eun Lee) #5

I agree!
It doesn’t make much sense either.


(Jeff Atwood) #6

It’s because the RSS spec says

It’s the email address of the author of the item

Do you maintain the spec is incorrect?


(jaming) #7

I think the issue is "no-reply@example.com" is not the email address of the author of the item—it is hardcoded. Seems like a bug to me.

Have a look:

Source of screenshot:


(Jeff Atwood) #8

Do you think we should be publishing the email address, in RSS, of every person who posts on Discourse?


(Gerhard Schlager) #9

No, just remove it. There is no value in showing a wrong email address and disclosing the real one is just irresponsible.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

Is it valid to put data in a field that requires email, which no longer contains email?


(Gerhard Schlager) #11

I don’t think so. I’d completely remove the <author> item (not just the email address) since it’s optional and worthless. The author’s name is already in the <description> field and it links to the author’s profile page.


(Christian Ledermann) #12

just an idea: one could use the foaf:mbox_sha1sum as defined in foaf FOAF Vocabulary Specification which identifies the author uniquely without disclosing his real email address.


(Gerhard Schlager) #13

Well, the spec says:

It’s the email address of the author of the item.

So, using anything else is not really an option. Moreover, the hash would be as worthless as the current no-reply address. Or did I miss something?

As I see it the purpose of the optional <author> field is to identify the author and to provide an email address that lets me contact the author. Due to privacy concerns that’s not really an option here. However, the first thing in the <description>field is the name of the author and a link to the user’s profile page. Isn’t that enough?


(jaming) #14

I agree, it will still be clear who wrote what posts.