This was turned up by Aaron Swartz: The hundreds-of-billion-dollars-big glob of US stimulus legislation imposes a bunch of guidelines on recipients, which seems sensible. Especially sensible is the one saying that those receiving the funding have to do substantial reporting, and that the key reporting data be available in a syndication feed, and I quote: “preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS”. I can’t think of anything to add.


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From: Peter Keane (Feb 23 2009, at 21:29)

This is interesting news, indeed. I do feel like this is not simply a triumph for the Atom community (although it IS that) -- it is more an opportunity that we really need to take advantage of. I'd love to see the Atom folks actively engage ("be the change..." and all that) the deluge of folks wanting to know how to publish feeds, how to model their data as Atom, what opportunities this might offer for exposing other services (AtomPub!), etc. I think still looks great, but is somewhat out of date. I'd love to see folks in the Atom community start blogging "intro to Atom", "modeling data in Atom format", "Atom best practices," etc. Perhaps a well-placed wiki ( seems a logical place -- I think it is Sam Ruby's...) with pointers, FAQs, etc. And there is certainly need for an overview of Atom code libraries in Java, PHP, Perl, Python, C#, etc. -- best-of-breed recs, etc. I suspect many folks will get it all wrong and that's exactly the time to nudge 'em in the right directions (say, unique & persistent ID's, etc.) rather that critique too harshly. Eventually we'll get the smart & tech saavy Govt data pros to start weighing in w/ examples, best practices, and perhaps it'll all snowball into a real universal format. As much as the Linked Data folks want RDF to conquer all (it'd be great, don't get me wrong), I think it's a lot more likely to start happening w/ intelligent use of Atom.


From: Kevin Reid (Feb 24 2009, at 05:30)

What I noticed about that document is that it gives a set of fields and data types, but it doesn't say how those fields are to be embedded in the Atom or RSS - what formal names to use, where to put them, how to represent them in XML.


From: John Turnbull (Feb 24 2009, at 17:03)

Maybe you, Tim, can't think what else to say, but I can: Congratulations to you and all the developers who contributed.

Atom is a Really Useful thing and it's nice to know that people are getting it.


From: Tim (but not THE Tim) (Feb 25 2009, at 20:55)

And maybe they'll put some sort of XBRL in their feeds allowing people's analysis programs to subscribe to the info, too.


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February 23, 2009
· Technology (90 fragments)
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