Atom is done. Now the editorial processes grind away and eventually the official specification of the Atom Publishing Protocol will be an RFC substantially identical to draft-ietf-atompub-protocol-17; it’ll join RFC4287 as the official products of the IETF Atompub Working Group.
What’s Next? · Now we’ll find out who’s interested. The Atom feed format is a success; RSS isn’t going away, but a steadily-increasing proportion of the world’s new feeds are Atom 1.0.
I personally think the protocol’s going to be a big deal; here’s why. My track record as a prognosticator is good but not perfect. There’s one thing of which I’m confident though: if Atompub takes off, it’ll be in at least one area that makes no sense at all to me, seems completely crazy.
Atom and Me · I started getting interested in in Sam Ruby’s “Pie” project in 2003. The IETF process started in 2004. So that’s four years of my life, more or less.
I don’t regret a moment of it. I got to actually work, not just hang out, with Sam and Joe Gregorio and, well, if I start listing names, this entry will get out of control. Except for Paul Hoffman, who combined IETF process expertise with deft interpersonal skills, exercised not least in putting me on a leash when I wanted to deal with blockages by applying extreme violence. He’s become a friend, and you can’t have enough of those.
I should also say thanks to Sun for paying me while I spent part of my time working on this. Having said that, I think anything that makes the Net bigger and easier and more useful is good for us because after all we sell the iron; so I think it was a decent investment.
Plus, well, I think the Internet and the Web really need the Atom protocol.
I’m kind of hoping, though, that I can take a vacation from standards work for a while.
The IETF? Well, it ain’t perfect, but work gets done. It’s absolutely intolerable, though, that the name of our spec co-editor Bill de hÓra will appear mis-spelled on the RFC because of the IETF’s bone-headed ignorant backward-looking bigoted ASCII-only policy. Speaking personally, it’s a problem I can’t just live with, which means probably not much further work in the IETF. Oh well.
What Do We Call It? · The term “Atom” is hopelessly vague, and most people use it to refer to the feed format, which is fine. We could say “Atom Protocol” or “APP” or “Atompub”; let’s see what shakes out.