Invalid Atom

“Next time someone tells you Atom 0.3 is invalid because the validator says so, point them to this page. The validator is full of it, because it doesn’t reflect reality.” If Robert had comments, I would say “I never suggested Bloglines was “best-effort software development” (though I do love it and use it myself) but merely that it has an overwhelming market share. We’ve been tracking feed stats on and Bloglines and Newsgator online both dominate. The Web Standards project never casts stones from an ivory tower, they’ve always advocated practical standards for pratical benefits. Ben’s comment was akin to someone saying that the site sucked because it used XHTML 1.0 instead of 1.1, or if the validator decided to instantly “deprecate” all sites using HTML 3.2, 4.0, and XHTML 1.0 when 1.1 came out.”

14 thoughts on “Invalid Atom

  1. Well, the docs were incorrect, weren’t they? And wrt to the pink note, it wasn’t present when people were being encouraged to add Atom 0.3 support. That happened much later.

  2. For the record, WordPress has included Atom 0.3 support for over two years now. When it was added there were no aggregator problems, because it was a different format with a different name and we gave it a different URL. Now we’re supposed to replace it with a different format with the same name and the same URL.

  3. The Textpattern developers have never implemented a version of RSS past 0.92 – not because they don’t want to, but because they have legitimate questions about how 2.0 should be implemented. Conversely, Atom 1.0 support was added on July 29th last year. I just subscribed to Ben’s feed in Bloglines and it works just as well as the Textpattern and Movable Type Atom 1.0 feeds I subscribe to. Personally, I think you can safely upgrade to 1.0 in the next release and most WP users won’t even notice.

  4. Sorry, but this ‘we want to do it this way, so its fine’ seems remarkably similar to the arguments Microsoft used to avoid implementing CSS properly for 10 years.

  5. You can’t compare the Atom 0.3 and 1.0 formats with the (X)HTML versions, that’s like the proverbial apples and oranges. Atom 0.3 was never meant to be a standard on the same lines as HTML 3.2 or XHTML 1.0 “” it was always looking forward to 1.0 to be adopted as standard. Which is exactly what happened. As early adopter you should have been aware of this.

    Also, I never said the new Web Standards Projects site sucks. I love what they did to the site, it is in many ways an improvement. I was just surprised and disappointed they use the deprecated Atom 0.3 format, so I pointed them to an easy upgrade path.

    If your main reason not to include Atom 1.0 support into WordPress is breakage of (deprecated) 0.3 feeds, then you could add it with a seperate URL (like wordpress/feed/atom1) just like you did for RSS. That way users will at least have the choice.

  6. My 2 cents: The problem is seems that we have decided to be tied to an outdated (not invalid) technology. Even though Atom 0.3 works, Atom 1.0 propose new stuff that may come in handy for aggregators (and users). But if nobody uses these new proposals, why would Bloglines care? It’s all about “pushing the envelope”.
    About the WASP site: I would not say “suck”, but it would kind of them to include the option to suscribe to an Atom 1.0 feed, at least just for geeks, and to let everybody know that a respectful site supports Atom too.
    About WP: Replacing the redirection to Atom 1.0 it’s (personally) a “must not”. If my readers have decided to get an Atom 0.3 for any reason, I won’t take it out just to be cool, but, on the side, I would encourage them to suscribe to the Atom 1.0 feed if it’s ok to them.

  7. The problem I’m “trying to solve” is that the Atom 0.3 format is deprecated, while the Atom 1.0 format is enabling us to overcome limitations of other feed formats, so I’d like to see more people using it. I’d like to see WordPress as a ‘state-of-the-art’ publishing platform that would offer its users this step forward by default.

  8. If your main reason not to include Atom 1.0 support into WordPress is breakage of (deprecated) 0.3 feeds, then you could add it with a seperate URL (like wordpress/feed/atom1) just like you did for RSS. That way users will at least have the choice.

    This isn’t really the ‘WordPress way’ at all. We need to reduce the amount of feed formats (and urls) available, not increase them! Seeing WP implement that proposal would shocking/horrifying/etc.

  9. I agree with you Matt–people should stop complaining to you over someone else’s deprecation.

    That being said, I hope a future release of WordPress will use Atom 1.0 instead of 0.3 because it’s the future. I hope your annoyance at people who complain about the feed validator doesn’t muddle the choice as to whether or not to switch to Atom 1.0 for WP 3 (or maybe 2.5 or something–I haven’t seen your roadmap).

    Anyhoo, don’t let ’em get you down (or worse, piss you off) about this. Keep on working on a great piece of software and lead it in your own way.