Atomic Again

This whole Atom/Echo/Pie thing is getting annoying. I don’t honestly know if a final, usable spec is going to materialize out of this. I’m starting to feel like the whole thing is an attempt to marginalize Dave Winer, who admittedly can be very abrasive, but whose contributions in this area should not be overlooked.

Diego weighs in: I know that many have said that Atom sacrificed backward compatibility for the sake of more flexibility in the future, but looking at the current spec I can’t see clearly where is this additional flexibility obtained. I’d like to see an example of a feature that can be done with Atom but not with RSS 2.0. This would go a long way to make me (and I’m sure, others) understand more clearly why we should revise our position.

This nails it for me. Show me what Atom will do for me. Don’t wax poetic, or political. Just tell me what benefit I can provide for my users by supporting Atom.

The Atom camp started as a genial group of people wanting to improve things. But it has turned ugly. Some of its defenders at the moment are resorting to anonymous comments that say that a) RSS is dead and b) you’re either on the Atom bandwagon or you will be left behind in your little poor RSS world. Regardless of the truth of those statements, I find it worrying that constructive criticism or a clear-minded defense of a belief in a certain direction has given way to (anonymous) aggression. Instead of supporting inclusion for people like me, anyone who doesn’t agree is attacked.

This development is, indeed, unsettling. And disappointing. Revisiting some more of Robert Scoble’s essay from yesterday:

Hey, since we’re gonna have to do two formats, why shouldn’t Microsoft invent a third? Yes, that’s a loaded question. Answer carefully. Like I said, all the stakeholders will read your responses.

A loaded question, to be sure, but a fair one. What’s to stop Microsoft from writing their own syndication format and their own API? Why shouldn’t they, at this point?

And finally, Don lays out his solution and sums it up thusly: The best part of this solution is that everyone will feel like they got screwed. Nicely put, Don. Am I still a Knight of the Order of Selfish Pigs?

PS: Wiki sucks.

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