[uf-discuss] hAtom and blog-post-* need some more work

Tantek Ç elik tantek at cs.stanford.edu
Sat Dec 31 09:20:24 PST 2005

Though I definitely understand (and applaud) the eagerness to get an hAtom
format defined, things have definitely been rushed a bit, and there are
holes in the background research necessary to do a good job. Holes which, if
they were filled, would most likely result in quite a few changes to the
hAtom proposal.

For example:


1. The formats page has yet to describe "basic structure of an RSS
document".  This is a glaring hole.  Given how much more established RSS 2.0
is over Atom in the space of "syndication", it needs to be taken a lot more
seriously than that.

2. The formats page omits another old "blog post" standard - VJOURNAL.  I
believe Outlook supports VJOURNAL, and if so, greatly outnumbers all RSS
readers combined.  I've at least added a starter section for VJOURNAL:


One of the larger points here to consider is:

Just because other standards keep inventing new terms for the same thing,
doesn't mean we should.

Who knows why they invented new terms?  The simplest explanation is that
they just didn't know any better.  Did they do as much research into
existing standards? If so, then you should be able to find URLs to that
research which we should eagerly reuse.

We should actively AVOID inventing new terms for the same thing, even if
those "new terms" come from other standards.

The utility of hAtom comes from the 1:1 correspondence of Atom elements to
hAtom class names. 

This does not mean that the names have to be the same.  In fact, we should
be preferring names from previous microformats, and even previous standards
over new names introduced by Atom.

As long as it is made clear which hAtom class name translates into which
Atom element name, the goal of creating a 1:1 representation of hAtom in
XHTML is achieved.



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