Sam Ruby is charging ahead with the idea of taking Atom to the IETF, and I generally approve. Sun thinks it would be a good idea for me to put some cycles into syndication technology, so I told Sam that and he came back in about fifteen seconds saying “Wanna co-chair?”
I think this is generally a good idea. These things move along way better when there’s someone actually getting paid to do the work, and not stealing the time from their day job.
In particular, the two kinds of jobs that really need time investment are editing specs and chairing. Atom seems to have decent editors on board in the form of Mark Nottingham and Joe Gregorio, so that leaves chairing.
And I feel good about chairing, because I’m not that emotionally invested in how Atom ends up looking. I’ve never written an aggregator and am not in the group of the one hundred people in the world who know the most about this.
Thus, I’ve recently lost two big arguments (one about having three dates, the other about having guids) and I don’t feel that bad. Both of these things feel a little bit stupid to me the way they are but, to use the IETF jargon, there’s clearly rough consensus among the implementors that this is the way to go, so it’s fine with me.
I may get stroppy if there’s a proposal that is really bad XML citizenship, such as for example Atom elements not being in a namespace, but as for the application semantics, I’ll just play the process cop on this gig.
I think Sam and I and Sam’s employer and mine are all in about the same place on this; with little investment in what the tags end up being. On the other hand, a lot of us are convinced that getting a format and an API written down cleanly and in one place and with some process around it will help the whole industry to grow faster; and help the software to be generally a little better. Which can’t be a bad thing.
So I’m fine with doing the co-chairing thing for a while.
Now, this not is a done deal, since the IETF hasn’t yet agreed to take Atom on board. But it’s worth a try.