When testing my self-built aggregator (more on my Dutch blog, I will write about it in English when the time is right), I noticed that the feed of this blog doesn't provide full text. I like to have full text, so I went to the WordPress Options to enable it. To my surprise, the radio button next to 'Full text' already was checked. So I opened my feed to look at the source.
Turns out, WordPress doesn't use the description element to put the full text in. Sure, there is a description, but it contains no more than a summary. The full text is in content:encoded, an element similar to description. Why is that? I've seen several blogs use that specific element, and never have I seen just one advantage of using that element from a separate namespace instead of the standard RSS-provided description. Someone once told me it can be used to put non-encoded HTML in, enclosed in CDATA tags, but why not just encode it and put it in the description? Except for the encoding, there's no difference. And you can put the CDATA in the description as well.
Now I have to make a decision for my aggregator: when there's a content:encoded element, as well as a description, which one do I use? The fact that I have to make that choice is wrong. It should be clear what to use, without having to compare elements.