I didn’t mean to stir up the shit today, but it looks like that’s what I managed to do. Among other things, I got some very rational observations in my comments on the piece about the Echo project that made me think twice about the whole issue, namely that this could be a way to avoid the whole RSS 0.9x vs. 1.0 vs. 2.0 battle for good (which would be great) and that Echo is aimed at building a full blown, honest to God standard, which would make RSS an easier sell in more conservative vertical markets like banks (see Tim Bray for a remarkably well written scenario that illustrates the problem). Thanks to Matt Haughey for the pointer, and for the reference to Evan’s post about the Blogger API vs. the MetaWeblog API which (in between some fingerpointing), Evan illustrates a serious technical concern about MetaWeblog, namely the lack of support for appkeys.
Then Dave rewrote his original pointer to my piece to quote a long snippet of it and posted a qualified endorsement of the Echo project, saying that if and when the format reaches closure, he will recommend that UserLand support it and RSS 2.0.
Today felt like a therapy session for me. I posted something that went against the groupthink that was starting to form around Echo, Dave linked to it and got the concerns out in the air, and then there was some forward movement. Amazing. This actually, despite some of the peripheral mudslinging that’s been happening, speaks quite well about how everyone in the community is going through this process.
Is the air cleared? Good, then here’s the takeaway from what I wrote today:
- There are sufficient technical and business concerns with the way RSS and the MetaWeblog API work today that Echo isn’t just about rebuilding things for the sake of doing it.
- Users and institutions who have already embraced the existing paradigms will continue, like me, to freak out about this. There better be a pretty good marketing guy associated with Echo to work will the existing adopters.