It’s just data

Atom discussions

Randy Charles Morin: Atom is dragging out. Rss is not moving. Sigh.

I could not have said it better myself.

I have seen outrageous statements made in the past few days, both for and against Atom.  Let me remind everybody that I moderate 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?

Posted by Isofarro at

RE: Atom discussions

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.

Message from Dare Obasanjo at


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.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

The RSS-Atom Schism

The same philosophy dictates an end to the disagreement over RSS. If they want respect for the formats and protocols...... [more]

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<em>Time for Atom to spread his word

Posted by sergio at

The Voice of Reason

Once again, leave it to Sam Ruby to gracefully and succinctly provide some much needed moderation and wisdom amidst the sturm und drang.... [more]

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Atom badly needs a new feed format specification. To the outside world, nothing has happened in months. It's time to finalise the format (or at least put out another working draft).

Posted by GaryF at

RE: Atom discussions

Sam,
  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.

Message from Dare Obasanjo at


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.

Posted by Shelley at

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...... [more]

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Atom is dragging out. Rss is not m

Unfortunately, I cannot attend either presentation. I expect them to be blogged in detail. Can we get telemetry during the presentation? Like Sam's pulse, blood pressure, etc?... [more]

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JustSayNoToAtomFeed - Atom Wiki

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...

Excerpt from iBLOGthere4iM at

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.

As Shelley points out, nothing technical's really changed since the start of the project. The case for Atom is even stronger on political grounds - the lack of activity around the RSS 2.0 spec confirms that the Berkman move was primarily a PR stunt.

I too would prefer that Atom was RDF, but would be happy for it just to be a well-defined, solid spec (I'd like extensibility too ;-).

Trying to fix RSS 2.0 is pure silk purse out of sow's ear stuff: the technical problems may be fixable, but some problems are - look at the this bout of FUD-mongering.

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 ;-)

Now about that extension mechanism...

Posted by Danny at

sam on atom

Sam posts his thoughts and plans regarding Atom and how he will maintain RSS support for his weblog. Thanks Sam! Every bit of information helps....

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Forward Progress

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...

Excerpt from The 80/20 Solution at

I don't see an RSS module based on geographical location.  Although I might not recgonize it if it were there.  Some links are here... [link]

Posted by mal at

I really, really, hope you do a good job finding consensus in the recent discussion when you choose what to talk about. Good luck.

Posted by Graham at

Atom, RSS and Fifty Thousand Feet

Many months ago, I got caught up in a debate regarding "funky" RSS feeds. I asked a question, never got...... [more]

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PaSS - What problem is it addressing?

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...

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Quick Links, December 10

Matt Goyer: Notes on job interviews at Amazon, Google, McKinsey and Microsoft Diego says The Atom Discussion heats up...... [more]

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Getting Frustrated w/ Syndication

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...

Excerpt from RSS at

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