ATOM, RSS & feeds – have YOU ever known which was the "right" one to choose??

What a friggin relief:

“Microsoft is making a large investment in unifying our developer platform protocols for services on the open, standards-based Atom format (RFC 4287) and the Atom Publishing Protocol (RFC 5023).”

Finally I can try to stop worrying about which of the jillion “feed types” I should select to make sure that the feed subscriptions I’ve amassed are as “future-proof” as possible.  Good gravy, the number of times I’ve gone to subscribe to a certain feed, only to be faced with the choice among 2-6 different feeds (all apparently for the same set of articles) is just paralyzing:

  • Do I want the one with RSS in the final suffix?
  • Should I try to figure out which protocol is most popular/widest supported?
  • Do I need to try to figure out which one provides the most metadata with each downloaded article?
  • And which one might be sending the least data back to the author?  [This is ParanoidMike after all… wouldn’t want to disappoint my fans with a rare moment of rational thinking now]

I don’t normally like any one behemoth [aside: wasn’t that one of Godzilla’s opponent?] dictating to me a single format for anything, and I’m especially wary of any such edicts from Microsoft (having been privy to watching the sausage get made there for six years), but any time they make such an unequivocal commitment to an RFC standard and away from their “not built here” crap, I’m all in favour.

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