Connecting RDF

Microsoft, RSS, and CC

The big news at Gnomedex I gather was that Microsoft was incorporating support for RSS in it’s new generation of IE, IE 7.x, as well as other components of the upcoming Longhorn operating system.

In all the excitement, I’ve noticed that not many people have talked about whether IE 7.x will also detect Atom or RSS 1.0. Since several prominent weblogging tools don’t provide support for RSS 2.0, this does limit the effectiveness of the browser integration.

Considering that Firefox has syndication feed support, for RSS 2.0, Atom, and RSS 1.0, I’m not sure why the fact that Microsoft is playing catchup has everyone in a tizzy; I’m sure the reasons will become apparent…eventually.

However, I definitely don’t understand why folks are excited about Microsoft releasing its RSS extensions (lists, where have we heard this before) under a Creative Commons license. Even the CC people seem pleasantly surprised. After all, RSS 2.0 is licensed as Attribution ShareAlike, which says:

If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.

True, if Microsoft received permission from the Berkman Center at Harvard, the company could release the extended RSS 2.0 without the CC license. I imagine, though, that Microsoft is indifferent to whether the extensions are used by others or not. None of this is exactly earth shattering use of technology.

As for Microsoft’s integration of RSS into it’s products, we’ll see how much of an impact this will be by the time December 2006 rolls around. A lot can happen between then and now.

The Channel 9 video about Microsoft’s use of RSS in IE 7.x says the company will also support Atom and RSS 1.0.

From the video, it would seem that Microsoft is looking at RSS and its extensions as the company’s entry into microformatting and tagging, as well as syndication. A sort of RDF Lite, Technorati Tag Heavy.

I can see a conflict already with RSS 2.0 and Microsoft’s use of RSS in regards enclosures. Dave Winer has said, there is one and only one enclosure only per item. Microsoft’s use implies multiple enclosures. I am assuming that the company is working around this issue with namespaces. Hard to say.

SOAP comes to mind — friends is all relative.


Someone commented at the IE Blog post on this announcement that the spec for Microsoft modifications is free-as-in-speech… Considering recent events, this may not have been the most helpful comment to make in support of Microsoft.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email