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   Re: [xml-dev] best practice for providing newsfeeds ?

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> What is holding Atom up? Where is in its growth to final (too early 
> <--> very close)?

About all I know about Atom is what I read on xml-dev, so take this 
with a huge dollop of salt:  I'd say that anyone reading this thread 
should get an appreciation for how *hard* it is to develop good 
standards.  It seems so easy from the outside, and after a few weeks 
your friends stop finding the obvious bugs ... but then you run across 
use cases that seem reasonable but are at odds with your original 
assumptions, you realize that prose that seems crystal clear the 
original group of people is interpreted very differently by outsiders, 
you wallow in the infinite complexities of error handling in a world 
that doesn't tend to accept the draconian principle, and ultimately you 
have to deal with the slimeballs who find it amusing to leverage your 
spec to raise havoc (or sell their fake Viagra, or whatever).

There are several real dilemmas -- standards should describe best 
practice, but best practice is intimately tied up in adherence to 
standards; standards are intrinsically about interoperability, but the 
goal of any business is to differentiate itself from competitors; the 
process of building a good standard requires lots of creativity by 
individuals, but also a willingness to form a group consensus.  
Finally, standards need be stable to be acceptd, but also need to 
evolve as the world changes -- gracefully when possible, but by 
extinction of a spec that has outlived its usefulness and ability to 
accommodate change when necessary.

I have no idea when Atom 1.0 will be "final". I doubt if anyone else 
does either.  The main thing I like about it compared to RSS 2.0 is 
that it doesn't *claim* to be frozen; its owners implicitly acknowledge 
how hard this process is and that all versions are interim versions, 
subject to revision on the basis of whether they really work for real 
problems faced  by real people.


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