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Unfortunately I could not attend and can only occasionally catch up with this community so I’m trying to get a sense of what happened from what has hit the web so far today. The feedback on the ATOM list from the community meeting seems to indicate that the tone of the room was leaning to the W3C. However the meeting minutes, oddly also written by Tim Bray, seem to show than an IETF hum indicated a preference for that organization. To me that hum is indicative of exactly why I would rather see ATOM go to the W3C. The entire syndication world seems to be averse to process which is even why ATOM is necessary because RSS can’t be standardized (I’m not going there, sorry). Without process people, ok most people, can not work on things like ATOM unless it is part of their day job. I can practically guarantee you that if ATOM goes to the IETF you will not see anyone from SAP working on it. If it goes to the W3C I and others around here would certainly make a lot of noise to at least try to get involved. I don’t think we are the only major software company in that situation. I would be willing to bet there are a lot of employees at media and publishing companies in the same spot.

Ultimately maybe it just doesn’t matter. Just finish it and give me a stable version. That ultimately is the largest failing of RSS. I’d rather be able to participate in the process to get there but I guess we don’t always get what we want.

Of course none of that seems to have hurt the adoption of ATOM so far (or RSS for that matter. A lot of blog tools support it now. The coolest new use I have seen is at Google Groups Beta. You can get an ATOM feed from any usenet feed there, like say this one. I know of another really cool site that provides ATOM feeds but unfortunately it’s a secret and I can’t tell. I know who can and that he reads this, so c’mon! Let the cat out of the bag!

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