Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Users vs. Programmers

Dave's answer to, "Atom is better," is, "users don't care." Given the fact that users don't care about the feed format, why not do what's best for the programmers? In this case: Atom.

APIs do matter. I'm tired of people trying to use successful end products to validate bad API designs. If the API is better, the end product will be more maintainable.

7 Comments:

Blogger Stephan said...

Oh Dave.

Peace
-stephan

--
Stephan Schmidt :: stephan@reposita.org
Reposita Open Source - Monitor your software development
http://www.reposita.org
Blog at http://stephan.reposita.org - No signal. No noise.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

What's a user?

12:08 PM  
Blogger Steve Jenson said...

Watch out Bob. There's an old saying: 'When you wrestle with a pig, it has all the fun and you just get dirty.'

3:01 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

It appears he added a couple more paragraphs after I posted this.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Eric Burke said...

Oh my gosh, this is a sore subject for me. I've written numerous little apps at work that generate syndication feeds. I've tried generating both Atom as well as RSS, and in my mind, Atom is the clear winner. I've read both specs many times. RSS is just too open ended and vague to produce anything I can count on to work. The mere fact that you can *definitively* specify how to handle HTML/XML/less-than characters (with Atom) is enough reason.

Getting tools like RSSOwl to actually honor the encoding without inadvertently displaying text in bold font and what-not is another issue, but since Atom at least SPECIFIES that stuff, there is hope tools can be fixed in time.

Sadly, however, users (and every programmer I've met), use the word "rss" effortlessly, kind of like "Kleenex" instead of tissue. I've tried my best to educate people I work with, but they all say "RSS Feed", even if I'm producing Atom. Saying "syndication feed" just sounds awkward I guess.

I'm not sure how we can get past this branding issue. When I revive my blog eventually, I WILL NOT support RSS in any fashion, even if I have to hack up Wordpress to disable RSS.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Eric, I had the exact same experience. Having to parse feeds amplifies the difference.

11:47 PM  
Blogger Vivek Kondur said...

Have never played around with code for generating RSS/Atom feed; Definitely second u'r last sentence 'If the API is better, the end product will be more maintainable'. (which adds more agility to u'r system).

Cheers!
Vivek

8:16 AM  

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