Dave Winer claims on Scripting News today that Google is playing dirty with RSS in favor of Atom:
... Google is going to start reading feeds, but if I understand correctly, they're going to ignore the billions of RSS feeds out there, and ask everyone to convert to Atom to get more currency in search. You can imagine that I don't like this. I wouldn't like it even if I didn't play a big role in getting those billions of feeds out there. I wouldn't like because I have thousands of RSS feeds on my servers, and believe me -- they are not changing to Atom anytime in the next few decades. I don't think I'm alone in that.
Now a little preaching. Big companies always feel they can push the rest of us around, but I gotta say -- I've never seen it work. Usually the lesson they learn is that they would be better off if they would just Go With The Flow, and let the users guide them. Nothing wrong with reading Atom feeds, but to ignore RSS, well guys that's just plain dumb.
Give up the fight Google. You don't have to acknowlege me, but RSS -- that's a force of nature. That's why I did rssCloud -- for you -- to give you the impetus to do what you should have done naturally, support the formats that the users have chosen. It's not too late to get our relationship back on track. I'm not your enemy, I'm just one guy in an apartment in the West Village writing on my blog.
He understands incorrectly.
If he's talking about the news that Google may use PubSubHubbub (PuSH) to allow web publishers to submit new content to the search engine, there's no reason that this development would exclude "billions of RSS feeds." The PuSH protocol does not make feed publishers or software developers choose Atom instead of RSS. The protocol works equally well with feeds in both formats. If a hub is monitoring an RSS feed, it sends RSS data out to interested clients. If it monitors an Atom feed, it sends Atom.
There was some early confusion because the PuSH specification was not clear on this point. To address the issue, I made some spec suggestions in September and Brett Slatkin incorporated them into the current draft of the specification. The spec leaves no doubt that PuSH is designed for both formats.
This blog is proof of that. I upgraded my blog a few months ago to send out updates using the protocol. Although my feed is in RSS format, PuSH has no trouble transmitting updates. People who are reading my blog in Google Reader or Google Buzz -- two of the first popular clients to support PuSH -- will get this blog entry a few seconds after I publish it.
PuSH is the best way to deliver real-time updates to RSS or Atom feeds. Now that WordPress supports the format on all 7.5 million blogs on WordPress.Com, all of the leading blog platforms have adopted the format.
The alternative, RSSCloud, still lacks a specification seven months after Winer revived it. There's only some rough implementation notes and no process in place to enable interested parties to decide what features the protocol will contain or how the spec will be written.
Google, if you're reading this, I'm concerned about our relationship. Why don't you call me any more? Things can be good again, baby. I'm sorry I got so angry before. I love you so much sometimes it just makes me crazy.