[Etech 06] The RSS & Atom cat-fight: Did you have a premonition?

I’m sure Tim Bray had a premonition that a war of words is going to start after his “Atom as a case study” presentation. I hopped into the ballroom, expecting to learn a little bit more about Atom (which I was avoiding for a long time) — but, it looked like an open declaration of war, kinda “KMyA”. It did reach a positive note during the later half of the session, which was informative (When to use Atom? RSS? etc.)

The session started as an open criticism of RSS. Dave Winer (sidenote: Don’t know, but seldom hear about Dave presenting at conferences like this) the man behind RSS picked up and shot back at O’Reilly, Tim & Microsoft.

I heard by reading a bunch of blogs that Tim Bray said some unkind things about me and my work at his Etech presentation. This is what happens when you try to create a monoculture; it has to demonize those who have differing opinions. That’s why O’Reilly conferences so lack substance, because they always only present one side, the side that Tim has invested in.

In the session Tim brought up the fact that RSS has failed (sic.) because of it’s non-rigorous specification. The point being missed here — the charter of RSS was to have modules; wherein it could be extended as desired. On one side, there is openness, collaboration and extensibility and then on the other tight control by a working group. Making both to co-exist can be impossible. Analogy: You can either be Microsoft (tightly controlled Windows APIs) or you could be Linux (derive and add your own flavored logo).

Funnily enough, in his presentation, Tim had a cute photograph of two kittens fighting under the toilet. Note sure if that’s Atom vs. RSS or Dave vs. Tim, after what’s being talked about in the blogosphere. Hopefully, its the former and not otherwise.

FeedBurner might be happy seeing this — maybe they will come out with their own canonical model!

Comments are closed.