Folks are working on RSS 1.1, an update to RSS 1.0

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 15, 2005

Folks are working on RSS 1.1, an update to RSS 1.0. BTW, the heck ever happened to Atom?

Reader comments

Philipp LenssenFeb 15, 2005 at 12:18PM

I'm saddened by the fact there's so many different RSS flavors, Atom being yet another one. In the end all Atom ever did was not replace RSS, but add yet another version of it everyone needs to support -- and no one who's serious about supporting RSS (aggregators like Bloglines) would ever risk supporting only Atom just because it's nicer and more XMLish from the start.

I'm saddened especially because the whole use of RSS is that it should be simple to parse, and not complicated. Who knows if it grows to be just another HTML, which went down the road of table layout years ago? Then we'd need yet another format to make use of our data again. Maybe it would have been smart to add the features we needed to HTML itself (... etc.). That would also have avoided redundanc in content, and the XML buttons no "normal user" would really understand. Some more of my thoughts on this, back when Google switched to Atom, are kept here: http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2004_02_12_index.html#107661796120872164

Oh, and I totally don't get RSS1.1, because I thought there's RSS2.0 (which is the one I'm spitting out for my blog). But I'm sure this will be explained in the comments following...

Philipp LenssenFeb 15, 2005 at 12:22PM

(My HTML above near the "etc." got stripped out; it was describing an h2-element which has an attribute class="rssHeadline".)

AzraelBrownFeb 15, 2005 at 12:45PM

I run a handful of sites that update content regularly, and I'd like to add RSS to them -- but I get all frumbled looking at the variety of RSS flavors...this is compatible with that, this is backwards-compatible, this one isn't compatible with this one, just that one..so I haven't even bothered. I'm sure there's others like me, and there's others frustrated that they can't read this site's RSS or that site's feed because of the incompatibilities. RSS is so close to being important to the whole internet, but if there's all this splintering it'll kill itself.

Gary FlemingFeb 15, 2005 at 12:53PM

Philipp: RSS 1.1 is a progression from RSS 1.0, which is an RDF based syntax for syndication. Basically, it was an early fork in the syndication timeline. RSS 2.0 is closer to RSS 0.9x, in that they are all XML based.

The only way to stop the splintering is to settle on a single spec. People are unwilling to do this the way things are, and so Atom is an attempt to rectify matters. Whether it will or not...

Jason: Atom is in it's last few cycles before formalisation. Atom 0.4 is now available, and will hopefully be finished when these last few issues come together.

YozFeb 15, 2005 at 1:12PM

The people who were making loud violent fusses about Atom have now mostly stopped, and the people who were doing the work have quietly continued. In the meantime, I find Atom feeds on every other blog I visit, and my feedreader handles them just fine.

In other words, what happened to Atom is that it became ubiquitous and most of the supposed problems never materialised. It has become invisible and a non-issue in the manner of most things that just work.

Neil T.Feb 15, 2005 at 1:39PM

I think the best thing to do now is to choose one format and stick with it. They're all pretty much replaceable now - any application that supports one format will most likely support most or all of the others.

Personally I'd go for either RSS 2.0 or Atom 0.3 but I don't think it really matters.

Anil DashFeb 15, 2005 at 2:38PM

Basically, Atom went into "shut up and ship" mode over at the IETF. Remarkable how quickly things progressed once the conversation focused on people who actually needed to ship things instead of bicker. That's always the way.

Atom's not just another flavor of RSS, though obviously I'm biased. On the feed side, it's a nice complement to RSS if you need a tighter spec or prefer the way Atom does extensibility. On the API side, there's somewhere upwards of 10 million blogs that support the Atom API, which as Yoz mentioned, is one of those quiet successes which would be noticed more by its absence than by its presence.

StewartFeb 15, 2005 at 5:15PM

10 million blogs that support Atom? Does that mean that Blogger secretly supports it? What's the breakdown on that?

CZFeb 15, 2005 at 6:14PM

Blogger publishes Atom feeds only. Livejournal does RSS 2.0 and Atom.
Right there you've got millions, easy.

Simon KingFeb 15, 2005 at 6:38PM

Luckily I can just publish one feed and let FeedBurner handle the rest. This has to be a burden on those writing news readers though.

joshFeb 16, 2005 at 11:08AM

it seems like it's more common to find a full-content feed in Atom. Based on that completely uneducated observation alone, I'm a fan.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.