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re: What's the Betamax of your field? VIEW POST


I feel like RSS/Atom are getting this treatment with the proliferation of the new hotness of ActivityPub and a widespread (but incorrect) belief that "nobody uses RSS," or that Google killed it by killing off Google Reader. I hope that with the renewed interest in the independent web that Atom can make a big comeback; there's a lot going for it with use cases that ActivityPub simply can't handle (and it also supports optional push via WebSub).


I think consumer RSS is gonna make a comeback as people get tired of email digests.


I hope so! My big fear is that developers focus on ActivityPub for everything, when it’s a protocol that handles the same basic use cases but not nearly as well or as simply, and adds a lot of extra overhead and limits your publishing opportunities (but is being billed as a universal standard that everyone must do).

I feel like I've heard of ActivityPub, but only just barely, so... I guess you might get your wish?

It's the underlying protocol for Mastodon, PeerTube, and a few other things. Right now it's the darling of the distributed social networking crowd (because there's a lot of well-deserved reactionary attitudes towards centralized social networks) but the reasons it's caught on instead of a resurgence of Atom or whatever feel a bit... contrived.

The main things I hear from ActivityPub folks is "it's a W3C standard!" (yeah, and? Atom is an IETF standard and its components are also part of W3C recommendations?) and "everyone's using it! RSS died when Google Reader did!"

Also I feel like the fact Atom is XML with a fairly strict schema while ActivityPub uses JSON as its primary serialization spec might have a lot to do with it. Even though the actual nuts and bolts of serialization don't really matter, and there's a lot to be said for self-describing data structures and so on (and not to mention that Atom also functions perfectly fine in a static publishing context and tolerates failure better and don't need a lot of resources to scale based on subscriber or subscription count and so on). But whatever.

Obviously I could rant about this quite a lot, and in fact I have on my blog way too much, especially lately. :)


You know, you've just reminded me about the whole concept. I guess I kinda dropped my newsreader at some point.

Case in point?


Yeah, i agree so hard. I am always so dissapointed when a blog of someone does not have an rss feed. I can't keep track of all the blogs I like, so I have an rss reader to do it for me. Every time there is no feed, I am like: "I guess I would read your blog then"

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