[uf-discuss] hAtom draft - utility of feeds

David Janes -- BlogMatrix davidjanes at blogmatrix.com
Wed Dec 28 05:41:00 PST 2005

I've been thinking about the feed issue for a while now (obviously), 
plus I've had a few e-mails with Benjamin and so forth. For a while I 
was leaning toward depreciating or removing the feed element, but I'm 
more or less back to where I've started, with one minor mod.

- feed is a part of Atom which suggests (but does not require) its 
presence in hAtom
- feed is easy and harmless to add to templates
- conceptually, it's a good idea to group like things
- requiring an explicit feed element makes it easier to avoid 
"accidental" name space collision

- multiple feeds on one page can be differentiated by the id/uri fragments
- if not expecting multiple feeds, the first feed can be considered the 
feed for the page, even if others exist.

Although not covered explicitly in the examples, my latest thought is to 
allow a Feed element to be embedded in an Entry element. Why? To model a 
comment feed, which obviously is blog like content.

Regards, etc...

Benjamin Carlyle wrote:
> Ryan,
> Rather than trying to get into too detailed a discussion over email I'll
> try to catch you in irc some time. Email isn't the best forum for the
> resolution of technical questions :)
> I'll just summarise my main feelings at this time:
> * The hAtom specification does not define any child elements of a
> class=feed element, except for class=entry elements. The specification
> is at a tipping point where the additional feed-level elements could all
> be defined or all be left out. I lean towards the latter, except for the
> definitions of the required <atom:id> and <atom:updated> fields. These
> are the only things missing from the current specification required to
> translate hAtom to valid Atom.
> * I think that the <atom:entry> concept is more important than the
> <atom:feed> and is in a good state in the current hAtom. I think
> defining the set of elements for <atom:feed> may be a case of
> diminishing returns.
> I will do some more thinking about how feeds would work in the examples
> currently available. I am in two minds as to whether I feel they should
> be available for use or not. It seems reasonable to be able to define
> disjoint feeds on a single page, but these would have to be addressable
> using id attributes for parsers to subscribe to them. Nested feeds would
> not be supported, but categorisation within a single feed could affect
> ordering and presentation in a client such as a feed reader.
> On Mon, 2005-12-26 at 08:43 -0600, Ryan King wrote:
>> On Dec 26, 2005, at 12:05 AM, Benjamin Carlyle wrote:
>>> I have been thinking a little about what feeds are and what they  
>>> will be
>>> used for. Currently my own mostly-hAtom-formatted blog[1] has no feed
>>> element. Essentially, the page is the feed. Are feed elements useful?
>>> Are they required? I have been having the following arguments with
>>> myself.
> ...

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