Re: Article: RSS: Lightweight Web Syndication

Dan Brickley <> wrote:

> IMHO RDF has something to learn from the way in which the lightweight RSS
> format has taken off. While it's a pity the later RSS specs lack a mapping
> into the RDF model, the simplicity and ease of adoption of RSS (RDF-based on
> not) has to be admired.

Indeed, as someone from the RSS world, I've been disappointed at the slow
progress of RDF. A big key to RSS is its simplicity. The RSS format is easy
to read, understand, parse and aggregate. Rael has recently proposed(1) a
modular RSS using namespaces to add functionality, but he's met with
resistance from Dave Winer who wants to keep RSS simple and threatened to
fork. It's all been covered(2) on XMLhack.


Now, as I said, I'm rather new to the world of RDF, but it seems to me that
what got RSS to take off was the "killer app" of My Netscape. If we were
able to create a number of RDF formats and web applications for them, I
think that perhaps we could help RDF take off.

That's my position. I believe that the W3C should take the lead in
supporting groups trying to create XML- and RDF-based standards by providing
them with mailing lists, web space, etc. to:
    1) develop a format
    2) create applications that take advantage of the format.

The key thing about RSS was that publishers knew that they weren't just
wasting their time with some silly and pointless buzzword/standard. Netscape
was out there with the power of their many users and a real application and
thus reason to publish in RSS. As far as I know, there's very little of that
(if any) with RDF.

        Aaron Swartz         |"This information is top security.
<>|     When you have read it, destroy yourself."
  <>  |             - Marshall McLuhan            

Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2000 23:05:37 UTC