Technical Update

ToolboxOn infrequent occasions I have something to say about the technical aspects of patrickWeb. Today I made a change that is important to me but will go unnoticed by close to 100% of the people who read this blog. From now on Atom is the protocol I use to publish the index to what I write. There is a debate in technical circles about what protocol to use — RSS or Atom. For the most part, the issues are technical. Both protocols accomplish the same thing — they provide an index that allows blog readers (aggregators), and other applications like iTunes, to be able to display the date, title, category or categories, and the content of what I write. The reason I am making the change is that I believe that Atom is a longer term approach. As you know from the many things I have written here about Linux and ODF, I am a firm believer in open standards. Atom was developed by Sam Ruby from IBM and a number of collaborators. The development of the details behind Atom was done out in the open for all to see and supported by a working group within the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which is the closest thing we have to a body responsible for how the Internet works and insuring it remains open. In summary, there is nothing wrong with RSS — it is widely used — but I believe that Atom is a superset of what RSS has to offer and that Atom will continue to evolve and adapt to the rapidly changing world of blogging, podcasting, videocasting, and whatever comes next.