December 14, 2003 | Category:

Thoughts On Atom 0.3

A brand spanking new Atom snapshot is out (Atom 0.3 examples are available on diveintomark).

Due to FTP problems, I can’t upload the new templates at this moment, but I’ll at least talk about what will change.

To be honest, not a lot has changed. The link tag (feed level, and entry level) has changed in syntax (it’s now an empty tag). It also now requires a rel attribute (generally going to be set to “alternate”) and a type attribute.

The former could allow some interesting and smart parsing of documents (once the rel values are bulked out). The latter seems utterly useless. It doesn’t take into account multiple representations (one of the lovely aspects of a URI), or allow for content without a registered media type. It adds nothing (except a lot of extra bytes on a feed).

The new mode attribute will make feeds easier to parse, but seems to be lacking a plain text value (currently acceptable values are xml, escaped and base64).

That’s really about it. I added type attributes, changed some syntax and got absolutely no returns from it. At the moment, that particular attribute looks like bloat.