The genius behind RSS is that all the work of dealing with RSS happens on the client side. This means that writing a client is relatively hard, while developing a new feed is easy. This was a brilliant move, because you want a nice selection of RSS readers, but you want gobs and gobs of feeds for them to consume.
The tricky part of a protocol has to go somewhere - and in the case of RSS - they put it exactly where it belongs.
Just something to think about when you're designing a protocol of some sort - make sure you decide who's doing the heavy lifting, and choose that party carefully.