Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Engineering Discussion: RSS and Atom

Have the flames died down enough that engineers can now talk about RSS and Atom? I hope so, because there is an interesting post by an Amazon engineer that you can do things with Atom that you can not do with RSS.

Unless the Atom was an exact copy of RSS, that would always be true. The real question is “Can you do something significant with Atom that you cannot do with RSS?” DeWitt Clinton provides a good example of why that is true for those that care about the technical details (like engineers). I might find a case in my coding where that is true. And I’d also look at the Yahoo media RSS namespace in that case. However, for the majority of sites providing new information on a daily basis (e.g., news media, bloggers, etc.), RSS is still the best match.

And as Dewitt points out, for the average user or manager, RSS is a fine term for syndication. Which leads me back to my hope that engineers can now talk about Atom and RSS.

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