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Friday, July 22, 2005


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I noticed there was some controversy in the blogosphere given the statement from the folks behind the Atom spec to move away/discontinue support for the 0.3 spec.

I know Scoble mentioned that the RSS support coming in Longhorn/Vista would continue to support Atom 0.3.

Personally, I do not see how they can completely encourage the movement away from Atom 0.3 given how far and wide it has been implemented.


Just curious,

just curious - what's the difference between RSS, Atom, and XML feeds?

I notice on a bunch of sites I can choose between an Atom feed or and index.rdf feed - which one is better? Why? What's the difference?


Jim, you probably don't have to worry about the difference - either feed will have the same content, so you won't notice any difference between the two feeds.

FWIW, I *really* wish people would stop publishing multiple feeds with the same content. It just causes confusion, and slows down the process of getting people subscribed.

Jason, I also thought the "Atom 0.3 denouement" was odd, given that there's no way to force people to update their feeds. Aggregators like FeedDemon will need to support Atom 0.3 for a long time.

Jim: In general, those RSS, Atom, and XML icons mean the same thing: "the file behind this button contains a feed of data from this site."

(NOTE: "RSS" and "Atom" are actually forms of "XML", in much the same way that "paperback" and "hardback" are forms of "books".)

There *are* differences between the formats, in terms of the kinds of metadata you'll usually find in each... but for 90% of Just Plain Users, the differences are virtually invisible. Pick one and don't worry about it.

Nick, I notice that BetaNews already is offering FeedDemon 1.6 Beta 2. Is that authorized? I downloaded/installed and it seems legit. Is it? If so, why is it there and not here on your site? (Or at least I can't find it . . . ) http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/FeedDemon/1057594119/1

Thanks for letting me know about this, Dwight! No - beta 2 hasn't been released yet. Somehow BetaNews discovered a beta 2 download on my site which I only made available to a few testers. It's definitely incomplete, and shouldn't be installed.

I've removed the link from my site so BetaNews will 404 on the download.

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