Carl Camera

No One Needs Atom

One of the most widely followed web design blogizines out there, Jeffrey Zeldmans's A List Apart sports a new design today and everyone is talking about it .

And it's wonderful, great, sensational and innovative of course. Everyone's focused on four columns or center stacked underlines or that it doesn't fit on an 800x600 screen.

I noticed something completely different -- something about the framework design rather than the aesthetics. I noticed that ALA only publishes its feed in RSS 2.0 format. Furthermore, Mr. Zeldman explains why he chooses to publish his subscription exclusively in RSS 2.0. In essence, he states what I've concluded some time ago (web page deleted): no one needs Atom. After three months asking "Who uses Atom?" no one answers. I guess no one uses Atom.

Anything that accepts Atom also accepts RSS so why generate both? ALA and I agree...

...that RSS 2.0 [is] a standard, and that it [is] better to choose a standard and stick with it than to contribute to the fragmentation of the world-wide digital brainosphere.

I'm not attempting to upset the designers of the Atom standard, but rather assist web designers who must struggle with design and website feature decisions. Atom is wonderful I'm sure, but it seems to have lost the de facto standard contest.