Echo - an emergent syndication format
I've recently been playing around with RSS – first by trying a few readers, then by setting up my own feed. I wasn't entirely happy with any of the readers I tried, so I've been building my own to more closely match my own needs, and to learn about RSS issues along the way.
It's pretty clear that everybody has a different idea about the semantics of any given version of RSS. Every reader has to have lots of special cases and heuristics to cope with different ways of doing things.
Sam Ruby's open process to define a new, more tightly specified, yet more general, syndication format is admirable. The work is happening right in front of our eyes at the Echo Project's Wiki. It can be a little difficult to follow (I missed the name change to Echo), but you can watch the changes as they happen using the Wiki's RSS feed.
I hope that the end result of this process will be something that will make Tim Bray's next conversation with Mr Safe go a lot more smoothly. Count me in!