RSS+RDF, Atom 0.3, and RSS 2.0 to Atom 1.0 Conversion Utility

by M. David Peterson

Update to "One additional note:" below: Uh, found the link, and it seems the way I remember things being handled is different than it is actually handled. In short, they handle things the same way.

So I guess my whole rant is effectively pointless, and meaningless.

On a related note: that really bites! ;)

EXTENDED POINT: You would have thought that making a fool out of myself on the Atom syntax mailing list when MS first announced they were going to handle things this way would have been enough to keep me from making a fool out of myself in the follow-up below.

My only response to this is,

You don't know me very well, do you? ;)

Okay, now that we have that clear, here's why what I stated below is a bunch of bologna,

99% of the worlds population are (somewhat) normal.

The other 1% of us are not. Of course, "the other 1%" refers to us geeks.

To us geeks, we get web feeds. We've adopted them as part of our daily lifestyle.

The rest of the normal people have not.

As such, MS, Apple, and any other company in the business of presenting content served up by web feeds have to be as flexible as they can be, providing a consistent user experience from one web feed to the next.

With this in mind, the reason why,

* <feed is enough information to pass the XML file to the web feed rendering engine
* <?xml-stylesheet ... must be ignored

is the fact that the user experience MUST be consistent regardless of the edge cases where someone (like me) has chosen to preface the top-most parent of an XML document with something like feed-transform-init, or someone (again, like me) would REALLY like to invoke a browser-based transformation of a web feed using the <?xml-stylesheet ... processing instruction.

The truth of the matter is that folks (you guessed it > like me ;-)) can find other ways to hack around things of this nature (e.g. using a bootstrap XML file that imports an external web feed via the document function (yo Opera, < See why the document function is so important? :D) for rendering locally.) where as normal people who visit a web site, see the little orange icon "light up", and click it, expect to see whats contained in the web feed rendered in a consistent manner.

If they don't,


Henry Story
2006-08-16 11:47:01
Excellent, now I will be able to tranform everything into AtomOwl:
M. David Peterson
2006-08-16 12:00:38
Hey Henry,

Oh, nice! I didn't know about this project. This will actually provide a nice use-case to test against.

I'll put some more time into this later this afternoon after returning from a meeting with one of the folks pulling together all of the official/legal business paperwork for the Viberavetions project (still VERY MUCH alive, btw, to those of you who might be wondering -- just can't talk about most of it at this stage much past "In Process" :D).

I'll update this post accordingly.

Thanks for the info regarding atom-owl. Looks interesting!

2006-08-17 01:21:01
Nice work!

Incidentally, a few years ago Morten Frederikson did an anyfeed to RSS 1.0 normaliser, I used it extensively in my (RDF-backed) syndication play. But post-Atom I think the Atom/OWL model is going to be more useful, so (a little ironically) even the RSS 1.0 to Atom will be useful in RDF terms...

I'm planning on getting the Atom2AtomOwl XSLT sorted out this week (I did one ages ago, but was unfinished and is now out of date), see

M. David Peterson
2006-08-17 03:11:39
Hey Danny,

Thanks! We should try and coordinate our efforts such that the areas we're each working on can compliment each of our current efforts. I can be pretty flexible, so if you want to let me know where you think I should place the primary focus, and I will adapt accordingly.