I've talked before about why I like Atom. It's because it's the fixed point around which all the rest can crystallise...

One, that by using Atom as input format, you could simplify entry into this black-box system and use it, for example, on the receiving end of a UNIX pipe. Content on the source could be either straight Atom or come in some other form that would require transforming it into Atom, but that'd be easy to do, since transforming XML is pretty easy these days.

Two, that by using Atom as the output format you'd have the same flexibility. To generate a feed if you wanted, or transform it into something else, say, a weblog.

So, first I discover Urchin, and now I read this. I tell ya, this is an idea that's catching. Granted, Urchin's all about RSS, and atomflow and dbagg3 are all about Atom, but the spirit's the same:

Feeds go into a searchable stew, come back out as new synthetic feeds. What comes out looks like what goes in, and there's a well-defined spec behind it. Sprinkle in the elegance of loosely coupled UNIX pipelines and filters, REST interfaces, and XML tech like XSLT for munging, and you've got the makings of the next generation of syndication and XML feeds.

I guess maybe I should start checking into this Java stuff again, since smart guys like Diego and Matt are making noises I like, over in that sandbox. Well, at least I'll have things like Jython, Beanshell, and Groovy to toy with over there. And it's not like I haven't played with Java before.

So who else has something like this brewing?

Archived Comments

  • The Jabber folks! hot off the press: http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-saintandre-atompub-notify-00.txt
  • Wow, this feels like a lot of wouldn't-it-be-nice-if's all coming together. :)
  • Check out what Simon Cozens has been up to: http://blog.simon-cozens.org/bryar.cgi/id_6786 http://blog.simon-cozens.org/bryar.cgi/id_6787 http://blog.simon-cozens.org/bryar.cgi/id_6788
  • I'm working on a book on it, does that count? (Well, I'm taking a very component-oriented approach, with the aim of enabling this kind of stuff)
  • AtomFlow really sound like an nice proof of concept to me. Interestingly (talk of synchronicity) Kottkes "Noodlings" (http://www.kottke.org/04/08/web-platform) inspired me to a similar concept, which I'm trying to demo together with a few friends. We would very much appreciate your suggestions/comments on the concept especially because dbagg looks like a nice "persistent storage" for aggregating feeds and - together with the tools you showed in the post "Introducing dbagg3, an Atom-powered client/server aggregator" should also be usable as a kind of debugger for feed-munching tools ... Please have a look: (the link was not accepted here because of the underscores in the url; but you can find it on the homepage of my webblog "A simple (but universal) toolbox for building Blogs (and Websites) from RSS-Feeds")