“When they drop off the end of the feed; tougher, and I don’t want to. But I feel that I’ll be respecting the fact that it has been removed by not making it internet-accessible”
I think you should, and I don’t think you are.
I doubt anyone really reads beyond the top 30% of the page on Abnib anyway – most people check often enough that it isn’t necessary. I think once and article drops off a feed that it should be deleted from your database, (or, as a compromise, replaced by a stub which suggests the original URL, but doesn’t contain the content). I’m finding it hard to explain at the moment exactly why I think this – it’s not a concrete concept in my head, but for an aggregator to do more than a determined web surfer seems wrong.
Cacheing content forever is kind of violating the unspoken contract of RSS – something along the lines of ‘here is my content for you to view in a form which is more convenient to you, but it is still my content’. Yes, you *could* save everyones RSS feed on your home PC, but would you if you had to do it manually? Having a bit of software perform the same role seems a little wrong.
Unconvincing argument, I know, but I’m uneasy about this.