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echo and RSS

Sam responds to Dave's comments on Echo in this entry. The discussion has been quite civilized up to this point (although there were some close calls in the last few days) and it's clear where everyone stands. With Echo endorsed at this point by most of the developers in the space (with the caveat that Dave's endorsement is tentative), I think it's clear that it will be widely adopted, which is great.

Jon Udell gives a good summary of the Echo/RSS situation in his Conversation with Mr. Safe. He sticks pretty much to the line that it is a political problem, which I think is only partly true. If people can't agree to move forward a spec technically, it is indeed political, but mostly those involved claim technical reasons for that. So it's a muddle. While Jon makes a good point about the simplicity of RSS, he doesn't go further in noting that, differently than other formats, RSS is mostly used for "impermanent" things--not for archives (at least not publicly). So a migration won't be like, say, changing Ethernet for Token Ring or whatever. This is key, since it changes the cost of evolving the standard in non-compatible form. Additionally, in the RSS world "non-compatible" already has no meaning, since almost all tools have to support both RSS 0.91/2.0 and RSS 1.0 (RDF), they are already prepared to deal with another similar, yet incompatible, format. This affects the timeframe required to support the standard across the board, which will be measured in months, not years.

The other important element is that Echo will also provide, first a properly specified system (which doesn't exist today) and, two, a common weblog API based on that standard specification, which is extremely important for future evolution of distributed tools based on the evolving read/write web.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on June 27 2003 at 4:16 PM

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