It is clear that information about Atom is too diffusely spread
out, making it difficult for people to grasp and evaluate the
I am working on
for next week. I will attempt to pull together the big
picture in these presentations. These presentations will be
posted on the web for all to see. They will cover Atom on an
element by element basis.
Atom is based on RSS in exactly the same sense that
RSS is based on
protocols that came before it. Attribution will be
specifically given to
UserLand, and the
working group. I welcome constructive suggestions for
additions to this list. I am not particularly interested in
hearing reasons why one or more of these names should not be
It is time for an overhaul of the
checks were based on limitations of popular validators at the
time. These questions have been
discussed, but have never been resolved. Such checks will
be removed pending resolution. One thing I would like to hear
input on is whether or not people consider
directories as an authoritative list of what modules are
allowed on a RSS version basis.
I have no plans on stopping publishing either
RSS 1.0 or
feeds myself. In fact I do plan to maintain the validity of
those feeds. So, if consensus is reached as to what is or is
not valid in such a feed, I will see to it that such checks are
codified into the validator and that my feed conforms.
I have seen outrageous statements made in the past few days,
both for and against Atom. Let me remind everybody that I
my comments. If you wish to engage in hyperbole, please do so
on your own weblog.
What can I (as in the web developers out there) do to move Atom further along? Perhaps (in my case) an improved (more complete) PHP implementation is probably where I can be most useful. I have a few ideas of CMS and Atom, and eventually I have some time free - ParticleWave has caught my interest and seems to fit very nicely into what I have in mind.
Sam, I aint much of a specification creator/discusser - that I leave to the knowledgeable folk (the ones putting in a lot of hard work). I actually have no idea how far along we are on this particular road - do we have a roadmap of sorts that is applicable / sensible today?
Is the quietness of discussion a sign that we are getting close to completeness, or is it because we know something needs doing and we are all waiting for someone else to do it?
The list of RSS 2.0 modules on the Berkman site is missing Dublin Core which is prominent in its absence. Besides that I think the list is kosher.
As for relative links, my technique works for me and I haven't heard any complaints. I'm sure the XML purists would prefer xml:base and I'd support that if feeds started to use it correctly.
I personally would like your opinion on why the ATOM API can't use RSS payloads. I've seen a couple of people imply that this would be a favorable decision including myself, Don Park and Steve Jensen of Google.
Isofarro: I believe that Atom is close to complete.
Dare: Have you suggested that Dublin Core be added? Does RSS Bandit also support content:encoded? xhtml:body?
As to RSS payloads, over time, I have pointed out a number of deficiences that I believe need to be addressed in RSS before I believe that that would be a viable option (in fact Steve Jenson recently posted a similar list).
What is plainly apparent to me is that this information needs to be pulled together into one place and presented coherently. I am actively working on doing exactly that.
One thing that will be explicitly covered in that presentation is why certain aspects that are not crucial in a syndication context are pivotal in a editing context.
At that point, we can jointly figure out how best to proceed, in full consideration of the current RSS install base, roadmap, and requirements.
I haven't suggested any additions to that list, until you linked to it I wasn't aware of its existence. RSS Bandit does support content:encoded and xhtml:body.
I've seen Steve's issues and I don't see any of them as show stoppers, they just require some decision to be made that people feel is acceptable. None of them hurts RSS Bandit and from what I've seen they aren't making the MetaWeblog API unusable either so they're significance seems a tad overblown. As far as I've seen there's no showstopper on Steve's list so I definitely would be interested in seeing whatever document you end up pulling together to argue the unsuitability of RSS for the purposes of the ATOM API.
I read Scoble's posting and comments related to what seems like Ev playing around a little bit with an Atom feed, and I read Don's suggestions about going with RSS 2.0 (did I read that correctly?), and I was, well, a bit amazed at what I was reading. I wasn't going to respond in either of those comment threads because, well, you can read the comments and guess why. This is the first time I've actually deliberately sought out a moderated thread.
I can't be the only one who remembers day one of Atom and starting with a clean from scratch data model. I can't be the only one who remembers the purpose on Atom was to not be beholden to the past, to start fresh, to hopefully create something from all of the experiences we've had from the past -- good and bad. We were creating a data model that would then be used by all of the functionality covered in Atom -- syndication feed, API, export/import, the whole thing. We were modeling the blogging business, and using this to build new functionality. It was an open effort to create open specs to build open functionality to be used by open people -- webloggers.
The whole purpose of Atom was to try something new and invite people who have not been a part of the conversation in the past to get involved. I vividly remember the first few days of the effort.
Yet I watched the thread at Scoble's and I see, well, I can't describe what I see in words I want to use because Sam, you'd have to moderate me. But I look through that list and I see a lot of people who signed on to support Atom when it first started. Nothing has changed in the technology to make this different -- the only thing changing is the politics.
I wasn't happy about Atom not being RDF. I wasn't happy when I felt RDF/XML was set up as a strawman to get kicked down (my perception, allow me that). But now, playing with my own little apps lately, I've come to realize that I don't think it is that big a deal -- so what if its not RDF/XML? Doesn't stop me using RDF for what I want. There is enough room in the world for Atom and my and others use of RDF/XML vocabularies. I was wrong for pushing RDF/XML so strongly. I should have presented the case, argued dispassionately for it, and then moved on. Sometimes we just need to step away to realize when we're pig headed about something.
Well if there's room for Atom being plain XML and RDF/XML vocabularies, the same should be said of the syndication feed -- I support RSS 1.0 and 2.0 and can easily support Atom, and use autolinks for tools to grab what they want, or I want.
I don't understand this animosity to Atom from it seems RSS supporters, or to RSS from, it seems, Atom supporters. I do understand the animosity between people, though. It's just too bad that the one is mistaken for the other.
I look forward to your presentations, Sam. But I am so surprised that people have forgotten the first days of this effort and the purpose so quickly.
Of course, to be honest and not pretend I haven't added to the FUD in the past, I have also not been happy with the Atom process in the past, and vocal about this. It seemed that every time I would do anything with Atom, or get involved in the lists, or the conversations I would find myself getting irritable and uptight and extremely defensive and, frankly, discouraged. But then I look at the threads that surround these disucssions today, at Don's and especially at Scoble's and I begin to see that it wasn't the process (though wiki still bothers me, sorry), and it wasn't the technology -- it was the constant and wearing aggression associated with these topics.
Forgive me for bringing in a seemingly unrelated issue, Sam, but I see this type of discussion happening and that there are no women involved, and about the only woman who was involved quit because of frustrations with the process and I say that there will never be a woman involved with Atom, or RSS for that matter, when the issues are centered more around ego than technology or usability. And sadly, issues may always revolve around ego and not usability and technology as long as there are no women involved, if this makes sense.
(I hope this didn't come across as moderatable material -- it's more of a statement of opinion not meant to be nasty.)
Atom had such a simple start, and we had a few days of sweetness in the beginning, and we all seemed like we wanted to work together, and you know, it wasn't a bad thing. Too bad we lost this somewhere along the way.
I was a little burned out on my pet project after a furious spurt of activity to complete my presentation for DALUG. It turns out that was sort of fortuitous; there's been a new draft of the Atom API......
Quote: If you agree with what I wrote in "Making Atom Happen", please add your voice of support below. [DonPark]. Randy: Sigh! I got more to say, but iM a little busy right now. Got deadlines. I'll re-blog Friday or the weekend. Comments over on...
Great to hear about the presentations Sam, looking forward.
I too am frustrated that there isn't a finished format+API, slap bang, all done by now. But being realistic, given the range of input to the project it's bound to take a long time, no matter how perfect the processes are (and they're obviously not that ;-). Rome wasn't built in a day, dudeo.
I must admit to being surprised how fickle some folks are, tears when they don't get exactly what they want now. I dread to think what some of them are like Christmas morning.
The reasons for why-not-RSS are addressed in 'Motivation' on the Wiki, but it lacks the loud voice some of the reactionaries carry. So good luck with the presentations, and keep that nose to the grindstone ;-)
I was a little burned out on my pet project after a furious spurt of activity to complete my presentation for DALUG. It turns out that was sort of fortuitous; there's been a new draft of the Atom API and one thing I was stressing over was...
The problem is not technical, it's emotional. The Atomites v RSSers problem. Which, is now on the same level as the RDFers v RSSers problem of only six months ago. We've moved from one problem, to an identical problem w/ Atom taking the role of...
Some eight months ago, Sam quoted me saying Atom is dragging out. Rss is not moving. Sigh. Does anybody believe we are in a better position eight months later? The latest version of the Atom syntax spec is backwards incompatible w/ the previous...