Atom; nothing to see here

I feel dirty. I actually agree with Dave Winer;

Tim Bray suggests that Atom might nearly be finished. I read his comments carefully, and find the benefits of the possibly-final Atom to be vague, and the premise absolutely incorrect. Unlike SGML, RSS has been widely deployed, successfully, by users of all levels of technical expertise. There are many thousands of popular RSS feeds updating every day, from technology companies like Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Sun and Oracle, big publishing companies like Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Newsweek, Time, BBC, Guardian, etc, exactly the kinds of enterprises that his employer serves. It’s also widely used by today’s opinion leaders, the bloggers. Where SGML was beached and floundering, RSS is thriving and growing. So to conclude that RSS needs the same help that SGML did, is simply not supported by facts.

I recently advised a client who were planning to add syndication feed production and consumption capabilities to their product, to avoid the Atom format and go with the RDF-based RSS 1.0 and the Atom protocol. That way you get the self-descriptive extensibility and backwards compatibility into a massive installed base of RSS processors, and a simple protocol that integrates cleanly into the Web.

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