I announced today that I'm interested in continuing for the next two-year term as chair of the RSS Advisory Board, the group that publishes the RSS 2.0 specification and helps foster interop on issues such as RSS autodiscovery and the common feed icon.
The board went public one year ago with eight new members, publishing our charter and conducting all votes on a public mailing list. Previously, we operated in private and were accorded little credibility -- when I joined the board in 2004 at Dave Winer's invitation, Mark Pilgrim linked to the news with this headline:
entire puppet government of RSS resigns in protest; new puppet government quickly installed
Since going public, 1,200 messages have been posted on the board's mailing list RSS-Public, making it one of the best places to get help with RSS 2.0.
Looking forward, I'd like to see the board publish the RSS profile, a set of best-practice recommendations for feed publishers and software developers, and the clean rewrite of the RSS 2.0 specification. I believe that following the RSS roadmap means freezing RSS elements and attributes and all defined behavior but does not require us to treat the language of the current spec as if it were carved in stone.
But as I told the board, I'm pretty conservative in my approach to our mission. I'd rather work through issues patiently and help incrementally where we can than push through controversial changes, which is why we're still puttering away on the spec rewrite one year after its first draft.
-- Rogers Cadenhead
Of course, RSS being frozen will loose ground overtime but you can save developers a lot of frustration as they implement dual RSS/Atom functionality and chase the evolution of the technology. It will evolve rapidly through the efforts of the big players leveraging the ideas into their platforms and services.
If Atom Publishing solidifies and is implemented broadly then RSS and it's "sealed" functionality will decline slowly.
But I believe you are en effective RSS Overlord... I haven't caught you yet benefitting in any way for your efforts and I suspect you never will. If Dave stops blogging you may even be able to get work done without mortar shells being launched in randomly.
For me, RSS is a lesson in the complex nature of character and group dynamics. The ideas should matter more then the personalities... the credit... the respect for any individual. But historically that has not been the case.
Good luck... "onward Rosinante".
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