June 29, 2003
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Echo, PIE, RSS, and bad feelings

Boy, there's a lot of tsures over new weblog syndication formats. (Bray, Winer, Google, BenTrott. Swartz, ) Users are chiming in, too (Alwin) with ever more anxiety.

It's a mess. It's generating tons of energy, charging off in all sorts of directions. It's generating tons of visible anger. It's generating lots of bruises.

What's the big deal? RSS 0.9 is easy, RSS 2.0 is easy. RSS/RDF 1.0 is a little harder, but it's pretty easy too, and Echo will almost certainly have to be easier than that.

I still don't understand why this is such a big tsimmes; if echo gets closure, we each spend an afternoon building an echo facade and an echo template and then post the press release. If echo doesn't get closure -- if there are too many cooks and the oven explodes -- well, they're not on our payroll.

This is not a format war, because the format is so small. I still don't understand what the fuss over "funky" feeds was about.

But the damage is real. At the very least, we've stirred up a lot of unpleasantness and hurt feelings, and not a little business angst. That could be worth it, if we were marching toward something bright and new and exciting. But, if we're just saving an afternoon or two of coding here at Eastgate, UserLand, Google, SixApart, Ranchero, and a dozen or so other places, let's just resign ourselves to the task and do it. Otherwise, we're going to be buying so many beers to patch this up that it'll take months.