Re: [syndication] Results from RSS survey

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From: Dan Brickley (
Date: Wed Sep 06 2000 - 09:42:06 PDT

Hi Dave + half the planet,

Interesting survey. Good that most agree that progress is needed, and
slightly suprising that there were less votes for the
namespaces-but-no-RDF option than for RDF.

It wasn't what I'd call scientific though. For eg. if you'd included
the xml-dev crowd (and if they'd decided it was worth the pre-vote
effort of signing up to, when lacks
a privacy policy...) they'd likely have had a different take. I've no
idea who radio-userland users are, though I'm sure they're having great
fun. Maybe if we'd pinged the Napster crowd, or www-rdf-interest, or
www-annotations, there'd have been a different perspective again.

This is not a complaint; surveys are necessarily partial, and it always
depends who you ask and what you ask them.

re the conclusions at:

I don't think you need a survey such as this to establish a forking of
RSS. What you need is a bunch of likeminded developers who'll take the
time to work with you on it. Quite likely some (but not all) of the 95
votes for adding elements will be interested to participate. The
interesting thing then will be to figure out which of the additional
elements 'make the grade' and get incorporated. Who gets to decide? What
does a 0.93 processor do when it encounters RSS 0.94 elements? Or a 0.94
processor when it encounters (6 months later) elements ratified in

Sounds like a real tough job but if you're up for it, good luck. I look
forward to writing XSLT to slurp whatever gets blessed into RDF... :-)

BTW for future surveys of the RSS community, I would much prefer it if
the survey system was hosted on a site that carried a clear privacy
policy. Ideally one such as
that comes with a TRUSTe committment. While I'm happy that Userland
won't intentionally compromise my privacy, I do believe that public
surveys should be run from sites with a clear privacy policy.



On Wed, 6 Sep 2000, Dave Winer wrote:

> Good morning!
> I'd like to report on the results in the survey I ran yesterday, asking how
> to evolve RSS.
> As of 8AM Pacific, 217 people participated.
> 4 -- It's fine exactly as it is, don't change a thing.
> 95 -- Add a few elements so it can become richer. It's a maturing format
> with a large installed base, it needs to grow slowly to fit the needs of
> content developers and aggregators, but keep it simple, that's the biggest
> thing it's got going for it.
> 26 -- Add namespaces so developers can use the Dublin Core and create their
> own vocabularies. This is a good thing to do because it avoids silly
> innovations like the "blink" tag, as happened in the browser wars between
> Microsoft and Netscape.
> 49 -- Add namespaces as above and add required elements that make it part of
> RDF, so developers can build new kinds of databases and search engines that
> will do dramatic new things, not just with syndicated Web content, but all
> kinds of information.
> 15 -- I don't have an opinion about how RSS should evolve.
> 28 -- I don't understand the issues well enough to offer an opinion at this
> time.
> In addition to Scripting News readers, members of the following mail lists
> were invited to particpate: the syndication, rss-dev and radio-userland
> lists on eGroups, Cameron Barrett and Phil Suh's CMS list, and the
> registrants of channels on My.UserLand.Com.
> I posted my observations and conclusions on these results in yesterday's
> Scripting News.
> ion
> Dave

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