RSS and disappointment

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I am disappointed.

I am disappointed that the work I did yesterday to show that RDF can work well within a simplified RSS environment is for naught because assumptions have already been made, decisions sealed. Jon Udell writes, paraphrasing Sam RubyAssuming that the RSS core is now frozen…. Why is there an assumption that the core is frozen? Why is there an assumption that Userland owns RSS 2.0? Because Dave Winer says so? Because a few – a very few– other people say so?

What of the community, who must continue to be faced with issues of two different RSS specifications; who will have to face the difficulties inherent with this again in the future?

I’m disappointed because assumptions have been made that the efforts of the RSS 1.0 working group and Userland can never merge. The result of this assumption is that those who wish to write or read RSS in the future must bear the burden of both groups lack of cooperation.

I am disappointed because we were starting to see such good questions from the user community — questions such as those that appeared in the comments attached to my postings. Questions that allow us to define why some of these issues are important to many of us. Questions and comments that serve to make technologists take a good hard look at what we arrogantly decide is ‘good’ for the community.

Both RSS groups have been working far too long in a vacuum, and this week the lid got popped and fresh air came in. And I have never seen groups, normally so diametrically opposed, work together so well as these two did this week, trying to put that lid back on as quickly as possible.

I am disappointed that the RDF working group didn’t join the debate and benefit from such an open discourse with the user community, in addition to taking this opportunity to clarify much of the confusion and complexity about RDF. However, the debate was so short, the working group may not even be aware that it happened.




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