Dec 17, 2003

atom support

I know we’re only at 0.3, but is someone mapping adoption of Atom, so that we can look back and determine just where the tipping point was, and what helped push the format to critical mass? In this classic chicken & egg, feed producers are obviously taking the lead – in addition to the 0.3 spec, Mark Pilgrim’s published a Movable Type template, there’s Blosxom support from Rael Dornfest, and Jason Shellen announced on the blogger-dev list that support for the AtomAPI is coming soon. Things are also heating up on the feed consuming side: Newsgator supported the 0.2 version of the spec with their 1.3 release, and Bloglines just added support for Atom. I’m unclear on FeedDemon, since it supposedly went “gold” on Friday at midnight, while the Atom 0.3 spec was released on Saturday.

Way back in July I posted a bit at the old place titled “why who needs echo?” where I wondered aloud just how the benefits of this new syndication format are going to be explained in terms that make it worthwhile for end users – either as publishers or consumers – to adopt, either through an informed, transparent choice (“I’m switching to a new syndication format because…”), or through a more opaque, reasonably uninformed choice (“I’m switching to this new aggregator because look at all this whiz bang stuff it supports.”). I still don’t really understand the answer to that question…

In other words, will Atom cross the chasm? If so, why? And when?