inessential by Brent Simmons

RSS Advisory Board, not on

It was mentioned on Scripting News a few days ago that I’m no longer on the RSS Advisory Board. This warrants some explanation.

I originally joined the RSS Advisory Board for two reasons:

1. I thought that moving and re-licensing the spec was an ethical move that I wanted to support.

2. I thought that it would lead to some peace in the standards wars. Not that it would lead to convergence or one format winning, just peace.

I continue to believe that it was a good thing to move the spec to Harvard and use a Creative Commons license. However, I was guilty of wishful thinking on the second point.

Worse for me is that some people thought that I used my software as advocacy. Some thought I was an anti-Atom partisan, and others thought I was an anti-RSS traitor. Both notions are false. My job is to support both formats, as peers, in my software, without favoritism. And if another format gains popularity, I’ll support that one too. I care about my software and NetNewsWire users a million times more than I care about any one format.

The situation of supporting multiple syndication formats is not new with Atom: Atom is the third major format. The other two are RSS 1.0 and RSS 0.9x/2.0. (I’m speaking in broad terms: I’m well aware of the differences between various versions of RSS.) My point is just that newsreaders have been dealing with multiple formats for a long time.

I wish the new RSS Advisory Board all the best, and I wish all the folks working on Atom all the best.