Dave's prediction

Posted Feb 04, 2004 in XML.

Dave Winer says, "I'm pretty sure users will end up thinking of Atom as a flavor of RSS." Really? Is Dave trying to promote RSS over Atom by classifying the new format as one of the RSS family? I'd never think of Atom as a Really Simple Syndication format. Would you?


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    Nothing more to what I said than what I said. You might want to check it out with some users. We've already seen some of this. Blogger users think that Atom is RSS. And so does Blogger. If you look at the HTML source for a Blogger site, its <link> element says its RSS feed is actually it's Atom feed. People use the RSS to talk about syndication. Since Atom is trying to do syndication, it's *logical* to call it RSS. At least its logical given the user's model for what's going on here.

    Posted by Dave Winer on Feb 04, 2004.

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    > People use the RSS to talk about syndication.

    People talk about RSS in relation to syndication, but I've not noticed people confuse the two. Often people will ask "where's your RSS feeds" because at the moment, RSS is the defacto standard for syndication, not because people confuse the two.

    > Since Atom is trying to do syndication, it's *logical* to call it RSS.

    Since Atom is trying to do syndication, it's *logical* to call it *syndication*. I see no substantial evidence that people think Atom is a type of RSS.

    Posted by Jim on Feb 04, 2004.

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    Oh, and one last thing: if you persist in labelling Atom feeds as RSS, I'm sure you will confuse a *few* people into thinking it is a type of RSS. I fail to see how that is beneficial to anybody though.

    Posted by Jim on Feb 04, 2004.

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    Some people will always fail to realize that technology evolves. RSS has been good for a while, but new --and better-- technologies are bound to born. I think atom is one of them. Atom is syndication, as Jim well says, but not RSS. Get over with it, Dave. It would be like saying OpenOffice is Office (refering to MS Office).

    Posted by David Collantes on Feb 04, 2004.

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    As far as your 10 reasons on why you think RSS rules... what's the part of Atom that is difficult to understand? That reason is silly, for two reasons: Atom is not more difficult to understand that RSS and I do not need to understand either of them to use them. MT (what I use) can produce Atom and/or RSS without me having to worry about it and syndication readers can use both transparently to the user.

    Posted by David Collantes on Feb 04, 2004.

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    Oops! I didn't mean to start a war of words, or anything like that.

    "Since Atom is trying to do syndication, it's *logical* to call it RSS. At least its logical given the user's model for what's going on here."

    Er... not sure I'd agree with you there, Dave. It is true that I have no experience with Blogger (or, indeed, ANY weblog content management system, because I rolled my own instead), but my experience of syndication thus far has led me to believe that the most common description for such things is a "feed", rather than RSS.

    I don't want this thread to explode into an RSS vs Atom argument, by the way. I see them as having slightly different target audiences, and I provide a feed of both for convenience. RSS is probably the format-of-the-moment, and it serves us all very well. Atom will doubtless have its moment in the future, and I am keen to see what can be achieved with it.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Feb 04, 2004.

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    As with anything in its infancy, I think a few people are confused or unsure as to the full capabilities of Atom. When the shopping cart was invented, a lot of people didn't like it, or was confused by it (stores had to give demonstrations on what its purpose was). Now it's a staple of grocery shopping. Atom just needs to flesh out, that's all.

    Posted by Matt Burris on Feb 05, 2004.

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    Like RSS feeds, Atom feeds are easy to create. Once the specification has been finalized, and some more user-friendly documentation is in place, Atom will be able to put its best foot forward.

    Because Atom removes many of the ambiguities that RSS has, I see it as being the probable successor of RSS. This is especially true because so many use content management systems to generate their feeds, so the simplicity aspect is less important.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on Feb 05, 2004.

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    I am one to point out that the fact that RSS is REALLY SIMPLE is a strength. Sure, a more complex format can be generated by a program, but it is useful that a simple text file generated by hand can (and does) syndicate information rather nicely.

    I think we have to be careful about making feed technologies that ONLY software can create. I know we aren't there yet, but think of this as a warning. I am starting to use, and promote, hand edited syndication channels to "publish" my task lists and those of my team mates. If it becomes a pain in the ass or REQUIRES software, it is less useful.

    Just a thought.

    Posted by cascadefx on Jun 10, 2004.