Why do the RSS-feeds contain <atom:link> entries?

I have created a RSS-driven campaign in Mailchimp. This campaign sends information to the subscribers whenever I release a new episode. Mailchimp hereby extracts the <title>, <description> and the <link> out of the new <item>.
<description> and <link> are fine, however mailchimp stumbles over the <atom:link> entries.

I’m already in discussion with mailchimp’s support asking them why they’re referring to the <atom:link> at all. However in parallel could you please tell me, why are these <atom:link> entries available in the RSS-feed?

Well, the <atom:link> elements are in there because we need them and this shouldn’t be a problem to any XML parser as these are perfectly fine elements referring to important information (meta data). It’s also not uncommon in podcast feeds so I don’t really see why it is a problem for Mailchimp.

What kind of “stumbling” does Mailchimp do?

Hi Tim and thank you for coming back on my question.
I have meanwhile studied the Atom-link recommendation within the RSS-Standard. I came to the same conclusion as you. Dropping a standard’s recommendation away for successful run of 3rd-party software is no feasible approach.
I have sent a mail to mailchimp, why the atom:link conflicts with their macro-language when extracting the RSS-feed contents. No reply yet due to the timezone deviation.

Ah, the “stumbling”. Mailchimp simply wrote to me:

It looks like there are atom:link tags in the feed and once those were removed, the tag was able to work properly, allowing that |RSSITEM:URL| to bring in the correct information.

I assume they are following a fool’s approach. If your washing machine is no longer functional because the hose has been exploded, closing the water valve does not really solve the problem. I still want to wash my clothes.

I’ll keep you informed.