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With a debate unfolding over what Microsoft plans to call its first implementation of RSS, the industry has moved a step closer to a third, full XML version of the popular web publishing technology.

The first public draft of the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) 3 Lite specification was released for review and comment on Thursday. RSS 3 Lite is designed as an "efficient" and "succinct" form of RSS that is meant for aggregators who need just a small amount of metadata to describe a link.

RSS Lite 3 works by removing features that are considered "irrelevant" to low-end clients. These features have either been removed entirely or made a part of the RSS 3.0 Full specification, which has yet to be released as a first public draft.

RSS 3 is meant to replace the RSS 0.9x standards, which contradict each other, and RSS 2.0, which was seen as a derivative standard with inadequate documentation and poor support of "modern needs", according to organizers.

John Avidan, who maintains the RSS 3 homepage, said on his blog this latest implementation differs from an existing RSS 3 specification that was text based and had no takers.®

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