RSS Graphic Under Creative Commons License

In March, when I wanted to illustrate why web publishers should support the common feed icon, I put together a graphic showing the ways RSS and Atom feeds have been identified on the web. I just received another media request to use this graphic in a publication, so I'm releasing it under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike license. For publications that can't use a Creative Commons license, send requests in email. ... (read more)

Feed Autodiscovery Wiki Launched

Robert Sayre has created a Feed Autodiscovery reference that's growing more useful by the minute. He took the original document created by the RSS Advisory Board, placed it on a brand-new wiki, and is encouraging submissions from the public to cover autodiscovery for all syndication formats. One way people can help is to add software they use to the supporting products section if it supports feed autodiscovery. I like seeing a Creative Commons-licensed document I worked on put to use elsewhere, ... (read more)

Atom and RSS Go Together Like Peanut Butter and Bananas

When Randy Charles Morin and I were trying to wrap up the RSS Autodiscovery specification, we removed references to Atom to avoid discord. Telling Atom publishers how to implement autodiscovery while they're working on their own spec seemed like a good way to spark a war between syndication formats worse than "Dick York vs. Dick Sargent" or "let the rabbit eat Trix." Naturally, our decision angered Atom developers. Sam Ruby: Push the reset button, and get a better attitude. I thought I had the ... (read more)

Use RSS Autodiscovery to Get More Feed Subscribers

The RSS Advisory Board has published a specification for RSS Autodiscovery, the most effective way to let readers know that your web site offers an RSS 1.0 or RSS 2.0 feed. (A similar effort's underway for Atom.) If you're using Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or Mozilla Firefox 1.5 or higher, you might have noticed an orange icon on the right edge of the address bar when you load some pages. This icon indicates that the site offers a syndicated feed. You can click it to subscribe to the feed in ... (read more)

Bloglines Smashed My Atom 1.0 Feed

Something has gone wrong with my Atom 1.0 feed in Bloglines. The feed's valid, but the text of each weblog item is followed by lines like this: 2006-11-22T09:07:54-05:00 2006-11-22T09:07:54-05:00,2004:weblog.3071 rcade These four lines are the contents of several Atom elements that should not be displayed to readers of the feed. ... (read more)

Cry Me a News River, Dave Winer

Dave Winer boasts about earning millions in revenue last year by blogging. Over in another part of the tech blogosphere they're having a discussion about blogs that make big money. I still think Scripting News has the record there, by a wide margin. Last year we did $2.3 million in revenue. Expenses? One salary (mine) and about $1000 per month in server costs. A few thousand for contract programming. Pre-tax profit? Millions. His claim to have made seven figures blogging is a stretch, since ... (read more)

Adding Atom 1.0 Support to RSS Sites

I switched to Atom 1.0 on Workbench two months ago, a move that hasn't been as smooth as I'd like because of one popular aggregator that doesn't support the format. This site is created using Wordzilla, a LAMP-based weblog publishing tool that I've developed over the last year. Writing code to generate Atom feeds in PHP was extremely simple, since most of the code used to generate RSS feeds could be applied to the task. Atom uses a different format for date-time values than RSS, so I had to ... (read more)

I Enjoy Particularly Rigorous Specs

James E. Robinson III has a confession to make: I read specs. While sometimes messing with specs turns into a waste of time. Many times understanding the spec can keep you out of trouble. The problem is that specs are tedious, but the reality is that they have to be. Nothing is worse than a poorly written spec. Being patient and weeding thru specifications helps you understand not just how something is designed to work, but why. I used to read specs because i had to; now i read them because i ... (read more)

Google Calendar Makes Date with Atom

Google Calendar can import and export calendars created as Atom feeds but does not support RSS, according to Byrne Reese: Only a small minority of people will care about this obscure technology fact, but in the syndication community I think this is tremendously significant. To an engineer, adding RSS support is trivial, so the syndication industry must ask themselves, and the RSS folks especially, why did Google only support Atom? Google also introduced their own proprietary Atom elements or ... (read more)

RSS: I'd Rather Switch Than Fight

Jason Young posed a question on Workbench recently: I have followed the whole RSS soap opera from even well before Mark Pilgrim was writing snarky posts about Winer numbers. I've actually taken more than one opportunity to call it "Internet Jerry Springer" among my IT colleagues and others that I was evangelizing syndication (and RSS) to -- and that was prior to the 2006 events with the Advisory Board and what I feel is inexplicable behavior from Winer. The whole hullabaloo has the group of ... (read more)