Think of the children

Danny Ayers sends a plea along to the semantic web folks working with RDF:

This may seem a strange request from an RDF fan who is on record calling OPML bloody awful (or words to that effect). But I’d like to humbly ask that anyone exposing RDF services on the web consider also emitting the following :

1. Content supplied as RSS 2.0 and Atom
2. Simple resource relations as OPML

In a word: no.

As Danny writes later in his post, by exposing our RDF data as OPML and RSS 2.0, people using tools that work with both can access the data, and eventually they may realize that there’s a lot of rich data out there and maybe they should take a closer look at RDF. It’s an interesting backdoor method to getting ‘the word’ out, and normally I would give it consideration.

Not anymore. If you all want to use crappy specifications, that’s your problem. Spending my increasingly rare free time coding to something like OPML means I have that much less time to create applications that work with a carefully designed and tested specification like RDF. If people don’t want to use my applications because I’m using RDF–even if they’re never directly exposed to the RDF–well, then I’d say they’re less interested in the application, and more interested in being a part of the buzz. Frankly, then, they’re not the type of people I’d want to use my applications.

I will never be part of the buzz. If I spend the next four months sucking up, I will still never be a part of the buzz. I am an outsider, which means that I’m free to do exactly what I want. What I don’t want, is to work with OPML and RSS 2.0.

When Henry Ford was asked what color options the Model T would have, legend has it he answered, “You can have any color you like, as long as it’s black.” OPML is a black Model T, and RSS 2.0 is a black Model T with only one gear: reverse.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email