Anne van Kesteren

Dive into Atom

The last couple of days I spend on Atom; Atom! To me it is something new to explore, something fresh. Although I probably haven't discovered everything there is to learn about HTML it is always nice to learn new things (ATOM!). My link log is now more Atom compatible than before (use a real aggregator I you can’t follow that link, and use Atom, since both my RSS and RDF files are deprecated and will probably be removed in the future (I will redirect them to the Atom feed)).

Thanks to some nice guidelines (and some help from markp on IRC) I was able to make my HREF - link log Atomfied, using all nice features like rel=via and rel=related. I can even make up my own stuff now. I also added support for xml:lang, hreflang (not in Atom, yet) and some other obscure attributes like type="image/svg+xml" (actually, I just implemented the TYPE attribute, I can use any value I want).

I also changed my ID element, violating the guidelines (these are not official, but are probably more understandable then the specification; Anne admits he never read nor saw the specification), to match the one Mark Pilgrim has, since after all, I’m just a simple Pilgrim fan-boy and simple fan-boys follow leaders (yeah, just kidding, the current one wasn’t correct)

O I should not forget détente, which is really a nice write-up. You probably read it already, o well…


  1. So, can you name a good atom feed reader?
    Cause RSSFeedEater just sucks.. and doesn't support atom very well..

    Posted by Christoph Wagner at

  2. Personally, I use bloglines, which has a pretty good Atom support although it isn't really good in handling this "new" Atom link logs (it doesn't support rel=via and multiple rel=related).

    The feed parser from Mark Pilgrim seems to be quite good as well.

    Posted by Anne at

  3. Give Sage a try. Sage is a Firefox extension. It's basically the RSS Reader Panel with a few bugfixes and enhancements.

    Posted by Ben at

  4. Anne, it would be nice if you got involved in the Atom process. I think you will get up to speed fast enough. Just start subscribing to the Atom-syntax mailing list, and browse a bit around on the Atom Wiki.

    Suggestions, like 'hreflang', would be great to receive on the mailing list.

    Posted by Asbjørn Ulsberg at

  5. Support for xml:lang and hreflang would be great. I was surprised to see those attributes missing from the spec, which I checked after reading Mark's latest post. I can't believe they didn't think of that.

    Besides, Atom's gonna need all the advantages over RSS you could possibly throw at it, if it's to stand any chance of becoming a widely implemented standard.

    Posted by Lars at