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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

How About “Up and Atom”? No…?

The feed format bit of the Atom project has finally reached version 1.0.

It looks like they’ve produced a sensible format, and the specification is clear and unambiguous. I’ve only spotted a couple of details that bother me:

  1. Surely comments should be on the basic list of permitted link relationships? Without a link for each entry, some users may create/read fewer comments.
  2. The spec. should clarify whether <content type="html"> can/should use CDATA to avoid having to escape the entire entry’s markup.

It took me about an hour this morning to add Atom 1.0 support to this site’s weblog system, but the feed won’t be going live until better support is in place on the reading side of things (Bloglines and Firefox couldn’t cope with it). Judging from how iffy a few of the known Atom 1.0 feeds look (clutter, outdated elements, incorrect escaping in content), it’ll take a while for developers to fully get to grips with it.

Atom’s also got its work cut out in terms of getting noticed. You don’t see ‘Subscribe’ or ‘XML’ buttons on the BBC site, you see ‘RSS. Promoting multiple formats usually results in too much clutter and confusion, so RSS will probably dominate for years to come (which is fine, it’s adequate).


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