Wednesday Oct 24, 2007

The Atom dream: A “Publish” button on everything


Hot off the presses, the Atom Publishing Protocol, RFC 5023, has been published.

So what is the Atom Publishing Protocol (AtomPub)? It is an application-level protocol for publishing and editing Web resources. The protocol is based on HTTP transfer of Atom-formatted representations. The Atom format is documented in the Atom Syndication Format.

The development of Atom was motivated by the existence of many incompatible versions of the RSS syndication format, all of which had shortcomings, and the poor interoperability of XML-RPC-based publishing protocols. The Atom syndication format was published as an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) "proposed standard" in RFC 4287, and the Atom Publishing Protocol was published as RFC 5023.

The AtomPub WG was chartered to work on two items: the syndication format in RFC 4287, and the publishing protocol in RFC 5023. Implementations of these specs have been shown to work together and interoperate well to support publishing and syndication of text content and media resources.

Both documents are now Proposed Standards.

So why is this important?

Tim Bray has it summed up nicely on his site.
"Here at Sun, in a blogging-friendly tech-savvy culture, maybe 5% of the people post regularly. So I look at the number of people using the Net and I wonder: “Why aren’t there 50 million, instead of five million, people contributing every week?” The answer: “Because it’s too hard”. We can fix that. Here’s the Atom dream: A “Publish” button on everything. On every word processor and email reader and web browser and cellphone and PDA and spreadsheet and photo-editor and digicam and outliner and sales-force tracker. Really, everywhere. If it doesn’t have a “Publish” button, it’s broken."

Tim Bray and Paul Hoffman co-chaired the standard and Mark Nottingham, Robert Sayre, Bill de hÓra and Joe Gregorio were the editors of the two Working Group RFCs.

Tuesday Apr 03, 2007

Upcoming Atom Publishing Protocol Interop

Here is an exciting bit of news for folks interested in the Atom Publishing Protocols (APP).

Check out Tim Bray's blog posting regarding the upcoming Atom Publishing Protocol interop that is being hosted at the Google campus in Mountain View. Everybody is invited, provided they bring along an APP implementation, client or server.

  • Mon, April 16th, 12:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Tue, April 17th, 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Tim has made the prediction that the APP will be huge and if you look at the folks involved, he could be right.

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