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RSS or Atom?

Is Atom better then RSS?



5:19 pm on Oct 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


I'v been reading about Atom and it seems like it is going to replace RSS2.0.

I'd like to settle on a feed format as my users are not technically mided at all.

Is ATOM widely supported and is it really the future of syndication?

Any thoughts appreciated.



8:52 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would like some info on this too... I'm already using RSS, and I do it manually, Atom seems to be more complicated but much more powerfull.

What should be used?

Longhaired Genius

9:15 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

All the feed-readers can read both formats so it's a matter of personal choice. I go with Atom.


9:41 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the replies ;)

Reading around the web (and the ATOM Site) it seems that RSS is planned to be phased out. They don't say this explicitly but they do say that the spec will not be updated - unless i read that wrong.

So I was just wondering if RSS will still be about in a year or two and wether to put efforts into learning ATOM rather than RSS.


Longhaired Genius

9:51 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't think RSS will be phased out, too many vested interests, but if you haven't yet done any work with either, I'd go with Atom. It seems to me to be more flexible and straightforward.


11:13 pm on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you want to add your feed to feed directories, then there are quite a few that don't handle Atom, but I can think of any that can't handle RSS.

Ok, I'm a programmer, but I wouldn't have thought that learning RSS or Atom formats would take much more than a few hours each - the concept is the same title, url description + items (title, url, content). Remember the future is not always the 'best' format, sometimes it's the one that got there first (Betamax vs VHS)


12:05 am on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member encyclo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

The Atom specification was created by a group of people unhappy with RSS - not just the format itself but also the company and the person that created the RSS specification. There is some bad blood between the two sides, so what one side says about the other should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Is RSS going to be phased out? Not at all, there are plans for a version 3. Is Atom technically superior, probably yes, but it is more complex too. Most feed readers support RSS and Atom, but the former is much more popular. For ultimate compatibility at the moment, I would pick RSS 2.0 or maybe 0.91 - however if you prefer Atom 1.0 (do not use Atom 0.3 which really has been phased out!) then you are unlikely to have many problems.


4:56 pm on Oct 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Enclyclo,

Many thansk for clearling that up. I was reading the ATOM Specs last night (Atomenabled.org) and they definately say that RSS is now frozen and will not be developed further. I guess that comes from the bad blood ;)

Even my more technical minded readers are put off using feeds, when they see an array of buttoms offering RSS, Atom, XML, One Click Subs - it's not yet a user freindly technology.

Personaly, I prefer ATOM but will stick to RSS2 rather than introduce more complication. I subscribe to Ockams Razor ;)

Many thanks


1:11 am on Oct 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Uhm.. there are services out there that will take your feed and convert it to some other format. So, it doesn't really matter at all which type you choose.

WRT Atom, I only see this used on the Blogger blogs, which is a Google product. I would hardly say that this is the most common format in terms of readership. Everybody else (+dogs) seem to use RSS.

However, if you use RSS 2.0 the difference to Atom is not very big.



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