RSS Won the Syndication Standard
RSS Won the Battle
RSS appears to have conquered the last hurtle in
becoming the industry syndication standard.
Microsoft's inclusion of RSS into the newest version
of Internet Explorer and reports that RSS will be
in Longhorn's coming release appears to be the final
nail in the coffin of the Atom specification. Even
Atom's steadfast supporter Google, appears to have
seen the light. Google had previously acquired Blogger,
a popular blogging tool that uses the Atom specification
to syndicate the contents of blogs created on the
Blogger platform. In the past Google had strategically
steered clear of endorsing the RSS specification
hoping that Atom, would take hold.
Google's recent new service that allows web surfers
to monitor Google News using either RSS or
Atom feeds, appears to be an acknowledgment that
perhaps in purchasing Blogger, they chose the wrong
The adoption of a syndication standard was slowed
by the struggle between Atom and RSS. Two defined
syndication standards vying for the number one position.
In an IT industry that clearly favors single standard
solutions, Atom supporters claimed added flexibility,
but RSS' wide sweeping support from heavy hitters
like Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo. Along with the
popularity surge of podcasting, which is based on
the RSS 2.0 specification appears to have sealed
the fate of the future syndication standard.
The history and relationship between RSS and Atom
is a sordid tale that has hindered the progress
of an online syndication standard. Now that the
leader has been defined their is little in the way
of RSS' growth. Businesses leery of becoming entwined
in a standards struggle are now embracing RSS as
a communication channel.
It is clear that those who have lined up behind
RSS as the leading specification are the winners.
Oddly enough, while those entrenched in the industry
acknowledge the difficulties with a dual standard,
users rarely see a difference in feeds created using
the Atom and RSS standards. Most popular RSS readers
support reading feeds in both formats. Though the
purpose of RSS and Atom is the same, the specification
itself is very different, making it difficult and
time consuming for tool developers to move between
the dual standard.
Now that Atom's attempt at replacing RSS has fallen
flat, the syndication arena will likely see significant
innovation and progress.
Large companies are taking advantage of RSS' extendibility
using namespaces adding needed tags. Apple has done
this with iTunes, Microsoft for ordered lists, and
Yahoo with MediaRSS. All use the same basic RSS
2.0 format but supports defined RSS' future is bright
with many companies working proactively to unite
a once divided standard.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds
and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing
for FeedForDev http://www.feedfordev.com
an RSS component for developers. In addition Sharon
manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net
a wireless text messaging software company.