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rss and pie/echo/atom news

CNET's Paul Festa reports on the (not)echo/pie/atom v. RSS argument. Long, long article. Little of substance, and lots of focus on the "personality issues", which is too bad. But that's how it is. (And, strange that neither Blogger or MovableType were quoted in the article even once, when as far as I'm concerned their initial support to pie/atom/whatever was a big factor in getting it started).

I've been silent lately on the topic of PAW (Pie/Atom/Whatever)--hey, PAW sounds like an interesting name! :). Mainly, I guess that I've felt, as others have expressed, a bit of frustration with the overall process--and that together with the recent release of clevercactus beta2 had the result of me stepping back a bit from public discussion on the topic, and from deeper engagement on the Wiki (Btw, maybe Shelley's comment on the 'consortium' refers to this?). Then a posting on Sam's blog (on which I commented) made me realize that I had ended up not commenting on this issue at all.

At the moment I can say this: I still contribute to the Wiki in what I can, and make my concerns known either through comments or through email, and try to propose solutions for the problems I see--which is all I can do, even though I constantly feel that I am being "passed by". I've received some replies, in other (only a few) cases I've been either ignored or shot down for no good reason. I'm still uneasy about some things, not least of which is that I can't readily identify who is responsible for the decisions that are being made (and make no mistake about it, decisions are being made). This is not to say that the Wiki shouldn't be used. It should. I know that's the nature of the Wiki, but it needs (I'll say this for the bazillionth time) a steering committee of sorts, a group that we can identify decisions with, and that will take responsibility for how and why decisions were made. It's [Wiki]+[clear direction] what's needed, not an entirely new process. Having some idea of when discussion on particular topics will begin to be wrapped up would also help it gain focus, in my opinion.

Sam replied to my comments on his entry saying that all of this was very much on his mind, so not only I'm not saying anything new here, but Sam (who deserves a some kind of medal for his stewardship of the process so far) will probably be formalizing the process incrementally as time goes by. That aside, my feeling is that stable drafts are imminent on a number of areas, and that is a Good Thing. :-)

Since RSS is also part of the topic of this entry, in the middle of the pre-release rush there was a big piece of news I didn't comment on: Dave's announcement of the move of the RSS spec to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Whenever control of a de-facto standard moves openly and clearly to a not-for profit organization, it's a good thing. Any qualms? Not really; to be honest, I was a bit confused about the choice of "location" for the spec, and whether it meant something, or not. I've reached the conclusion that it doesn't seem to be of consequence at the moment and that it's probably good in that it keeps the bureaucratic load to a minimum (I suspect, though, that the decision could have impact long-term if the P/A/W spec moves to the IETF or W3C). The move is unequivocally a step forward, as evidenced by recent examples of work done towards clarifying the spec. I look forward to seeing new processes emerge around it.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on August 4 2003 at 5:07 PM

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