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    It’s been more than a decade since the Syndications Wars but I’m still an Atom guerilla - here’s the Atom spec.

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      I’ve mostly been a consumer, up until Google Reader shut down, and more recently with the release of NetNewsWire 5, so I haven’t really looked at the specs, nor have I formed an opinion on one or the other. (That being said, Atom does generally look like a net improvement over RSS).

      Ideally, I’d like to see more adoption for JSON feeds. Also interesting is the Indieweb take against external files: https://indieweb.org/feed

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        why pray tell

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          It’s less ambiguous, and has a bunch of nice additional features over RSS (links, separation of publication and modification date, a better extensibility story than RSS, &c).

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            sounds mostly good but the “extensibility story” has me worried

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              In practice, it doesn’t seem to have mattered. OStatus was built on top of atom, while the iTunes podcast extensions were built on top of RSS. The relative success and failure was dominated by the usefulness and politics surrounding the extension itself, rather than the ability of the syndication format to support it.

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                How so? Atom’s basic extensibility - <link> tags - is pretty straightforward and covers a lot of cases that would require ad hoc extensions. The <content> element was thoughtfully designed to allow it to be general (you could specify the MIME type of the contents of the element) while keeping the base case of text and HTML straightforward. These kind of things are thoughtfully designed and consistent.

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                  sometimes i worry about extensibility because whether or not an extension is “ad hoc,” it requires support from the client.

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              Atom is a “real” spec - it takes care of embedded HTML etc.

              Also RSS is promoted by Dave Winer, who is a bit of a d*ck.

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                what do you mean “takes care of”? i see html embedded in rss all the time.

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                  As the linked Profile says:

                  The specification has lacked clarity regarding whether HTML is permitted in elements other than an item’s description, leading to wide variance in how aggregators treat character data in other elements. This makes it especially difficult for a publisher to determine how to encode the characters “&” and “<”, which must be encoded in XML

                  Atom has no such lack of clarity.

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            I stumbled upon this document by accident. Seems pretty comprehensive and covers some of the gotchas that are still relevant to a new generation of feed enthusiasts, now that static site generators are all the rage and each implements its own RSS plugin.

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              Been using RSS/Atom since forever. Still haven’t run into enough problems with either to have a clear preference.

              Sad on the one hand but actually really ok with this. It’s rare that both contenders work equally well for me. Not equally bad or not at all.