Sam Ruby responds to Dave's question:

I am not a stakeholder in this naming issue, nor can I claim based on personal experience that any of the above references are authoritative, but based on these references alone, it seems to me that one could ask the converse to both of these questions: i.e, why is RSS 0.91 called RSS, and why did the RSS 0.91 branch use instead of [rdf:rdf]?
This is basically what I'd started writing as a response the other night, but I lost it in a browser crash.

I browsed around a bit, revisited some old links I'd followed when first I started hacking with RSS and frustratedly discovered the format fork. As Dave tells it, his adoption of RSS started in cooperation with Netscape, and the later resulted in his continued support and development after Netscape had wandered away from it and shed the developers responsible. So from his seat I would think that it looks like RSS was abandoned in his lap and thus he felt free to continue on shaping it toward his own ends, namely those of simplicity and real dirt-under-the-nails use versus further design and planning.

Then, later RSS 1.0 comes into the picture. About this point in history I'm fuzzy. Most accounts and articles I see do not mention how v1.0 came about and who birthed it. Most of what I've ready just basically says, "And then there was v1.0" But who said so and when and why?

That 1.0 has more in common with the v0.9 roots than any of Dave's v0.9x series is clear, so maybe in this respect one could say that this naturally lends v1.0 a "natural" claim on the name by virtue of bloodline and original intent.

On the other hand, one could also say that Dave's v0.9x series has a claim on the name due to virtue of having actually been in active development directly after the original v0.9. Call this a claim by virtue of squatting rights? By virtue of principles of Do-ocracy, as Sam wrote about Apache?

But then, on another set of hands belonging to another body altogether, why did Dave keep the RSS name if he was so radically changing the nature of the format by ditching RDF? (But the history confuses me - I seem to remember that change started when it was still in the hands of Netscape.)

So where does that leave things? Ugh. Seems like Dave's RSS should be so because he kept the torch burning in the Dark Times. But it seems like the Other RSS should be so because it's the heir to the original throne.

Then again, I could have the whole history mixed up.

I say, everybody get up! I'll start the music, you all run around, and pick new format names before I hit stop on the CD player.


Archived Comments

  • "Yes, our site is fully SYNDICATO MASTER OF SPACE AND TIME 9.0 compliant."
  • To see the trail the 1.0 fork left, look in the archives of the Syndication list, starting in August 2000. The main problem with that fork is that the 0.91 installed base was pretty big when it happened. When 0.91 forked from 0.90 (Netscape's decision), the installed base was insignificant.