Is it time to the world to move on from RSS and to its successor, Atom? Some considerations:

Atom has an IETF standard for syndication. Atom has an IETF standard for publication. Atom was designed for modularity. Atom supports rich, well-defined activities within feeds.

RSS is effectively frozen at 2.0:

RSS is by no means a perfect format, but it is very popular and widely supported. Having a settled spec is something RSS has needed for a long time. The purpose of this work is to help it become a unchanging thing, to foster growth in the market that is developing around it, and to clear the path for innovation in new syndication formats. Therefore, the RSS spec is, for all practical purposes, frozen at version 2.0.1. We anticipate possible 2.0.2 or 2.0.3 versions, etc. only for the purpose of clarifying the specification, not for adding new features to the format. Subsequent work should happen in modules, using namespaces, and in completely new syndication formats, with new names.

It is full of legacy tags and archaic design decisions:

The purpose of the <textInput> element is something of a mystery. You can use it to specify a search engine box. Or to allow a reader to provide feedback. Most aggregators ignore it.

We are spending all this time duplicating effort. Every feed reader needs to deal with Atom and RSS. Every blog provides an Atom feed and an RSS feed. Users trying to subscribe to blog feeds are presented with an unnecessary choice.

RSS solved a need at the time, even though it was crufty and difficult to use and difficult to parse (remember when RSS XML didn’t have to be well-formed XML?). It served as an inspiration for millions of sites to open up their content to new methods of reading. It inspired a great successor, Atom, which has surpassed it many times over.

We dropped gopher when its time ran out. It’s time to make Atom the primary format for blogs.

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