Suppose I want to use one of the blogging APIs, for example, the under-development Atom Publishing Protocol, to post an entry to a blog or whatever, with the expectation that this is going to show up in my syndication feed. Suppose that the entry includes some pictures or movies. Should be easy, people do this all the time, right?

An existing publishing protocol, MetaWeblog, has metaWeblog.newMediaObject, a separate entry-point for this. As far as I can tell, the arguments and semantics of this call are about the same as the newPost entry-point, except for it has a type argument and the Web Resource you generate doesn’t show up in the syndication feed.

In the Atom protocol, the content of each entry already has a type= attribute, so if you wanted a separate multimedia-oriented entry point, the only behavioral difference would be whether it showed up in the syndication feed.

So, I just posted a proposal for the addition of a syndicate="true|false" attribute to the atom:entry element.

The idea is, if you want to post an entry that contains a picture and have it show up both on the site and in your syndication feed, you first post the entry for the picture with syndicate="false", then you stick its URI in the content of the main entry, which has syndicate="true" (true is the default, so you can just leave the attribute out).

The motivation for doing this was to get rid of the type="multipart/alternative" feature in the current Atom drafts, which strikes me as a “wouldn’t-this-be-nice” kind of thing that doesn’t do a good job on the most common use-cases. But I think this syndicate="false" idea ends up generally increasing the usability of the whole Atom protocol.

author · Dad
colophon · rights
picture of the day
April 16, 2004
· Technology (90 fragments)
· · Syndication (67 more)

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