The Scripting News posted this shocker today:
So from this strength, I've outlined a plan to merge RSS and Atom, much the same way we merged UserLand's format with Netscape's format in 1999. By making this offer to the Atom people I'm giving them a chance to get out of conflict with RSS. I think it's something users can support. I hope they get together and make a serious counter. Why shouldn't they?Which redirected people to the actual proposal. Why is this such a big deal? RSS and Atom are competing syndication formats, as you can see even on this blog we support both just to be safe.
Syndication for the uninitiated allows a computer program to parse through the data found on a website much easier than if it had to parse through the HTML. Both RSS and Atom are XML based file formats. Programs like NetNewsWire (Mac) and NewsGator (Windows) allow users to be told what is new on a blog/website without having to go it. I visit websites considerably less now that RSS is around, and can bring in a lot more view points regarding a wide array of topics. If you don't take advantage of RSS now, give it a try.
Back to the story... as I said before, RSS and Atom are competing technologies, in short they do the same thing, are there is the issue; two free to use formats competing against each other? why? RSS has already taken hold, even Apple and Microsoft supplies RSS feeds for there knowledge bases, so why would those developers put effort in adding Atom support as well? Its not likely. But if Atom and RSS were to merge, then RSS (3.0?) would gain the key features people like so much from Atom giving customers one format to support.
put aside our differences now, and come up with a format that honors the work that's been done in the past and today and makes it possible for things to be better in the future, without the wasted energy that comes from disagreement and disrespect?I agree with Dave's plea to the Atom group. Lets get all onboard with one Syndication format and make it the best possible.