The Atom Project

Last Modified: 2004-04-12


[MAILTO]Sam Ruby <>
[MAILTO]Tim Bray <>

Applications Area Director(s):

Ted Hardie <>
Scott Hollenbeck <>

Applications Area Advisor:

Scott Hollenbeck <>

Mailing Lists:

General Discussion:
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Description of Working Group:

Atom defines a feed format for representing and a protocol for editing Web resources such as Weblogs, online journals, Wikis, and similar content. The feed format enables syndication; that is, provision of a channel of information by representing multiple resources in a single document. The editing protocol enables agents to interact with resources by nominating a way of using existing Web standards in a pattern.

Atom consists of:

The format must be able to represent:

The editing protocol must enable:

The working group will use experience gained with RSS (variably used as a name by itself and as an acronym for "RDF Site Summary", "Rich Site Summary", or "Really Simple Syndication") as the basis for a standards-track document specifying the model, syntax, and feed format. The feed format and HTTP will be used as the basis of work on a standards-track document specifying the editing protocol. If other submissions are made to the working group under terms accepted by the IETF, the working group may consider them as alternatives, based upon their merits.

The Working Group will also take steps to ensure interoperability, by:

The Working Group's primary focus will be on delivering an interoperable format and corresponding protocol; it is expected that all but the most basic, generic metadata and functions will be accommodated through extensions, rather than in the core documents.

Goals and Milestones

Aug 04 First meeting, 60th IETF
Sept 04 First Atom Feed Format Working Group Internet Draft
Sept 04 First Atom API Working Group Internet Draft
Nov 04 Hold Atom interoperability event
Mar 05 Request Last Call for Atom Feed Format
Mar 05 Request Last Call for Atom API
Apr 05 Submit Atom Feed Format to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard
Apr 05 Submit Atom API to IESG for consideration as a Proposed Standard

Internet Drafts


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