The reinvention of the broken wheel

I thought 2004 and 2005 was about doing the web the right way. Newsfeed technology, lightweight semantic markup, no forcing of style down people’s throat.
I was obviously wrong: I just unsubscribed from Engadget’s newsfeed:
* Permalink link embedded in the main markup. No thanks, I already got that permalink elsewhere.
* Technorati links. No thanks, I do already know about Technorati. And if I hadn’t known, I probably wouldn’t have been too interested.
* A separate comments link. To the same place the permalink is leading. No thanks.
* An “email this”. No thanks, I won’t spam my friends. Neither should you encourage it.
* A copyright notice. Oh well. I already knew I was subscribed to Engadget, and I know that your stuff is copyrighted.
* A text telling me there were ads. Not that I see the ads, because my feedreader suppresses external content (by default _and_ by choice).
All of this fluff stuffed in markup which I, at best, would consider being “all 1995”. Goodbye.

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  1. This reminds me of that video I saw from the `Longhorn Browsing and RSS-team` – they’re stupid enough to put their money on RSS when Atom is so close to beeing complete.

  2. Chris Hester

     /  2005-07-06

    No, they’ll need RSS because it is still so popular. RSS will not disappear when Atom is perfected. Just like we still have vinyl released today even though CD is available. I sometimes even see new albums and singles on cassettes! Plus not all feed readers can handle both RSS and Atom. Take Opera 7 for example. Not everyone has yet upgraded to Opera 8. Indeed, some folk still use Opera 6 and refuse to upgrade. So RSS needs to be produced for a good many years yet. Best of all, provide both Atom and RSS, like many sites do.

  3. Microsoft should have designed their extension for and with Atom and rather retro-fitted it for RSS. They should invest their time in new and openly standardized technologies, not old and dying ones.
    I do not care at all whether they call Atom or all other feed formats “RSS” or not, I only have a technical viewpoint on this which is that RSS is best left dead. Use it as much as you like, but please don’t invest more time into “improving” it.
    And the idea of providing several feeds in different formats is a very bad one, at least from a user’s point of view. Having to choose between an Atom feed and RSS feed is to many user an impossible choice. In most cases they will give the user exactly the same, probably leaving him even more confused than if it didn’t. If a feed reader doesn’t support Atom by now or even after it goes 1.0, you can provide RSS with content negotiation or don’t care about that feed reader at all. There’s not many feed readers to talk of that doesn’t already or won’t support Atom.
    Regarding Engadget, I couldn’t agree more. I think I was a subscriber for 1 week or so, then I unsubscribed because there was just too much cruft.