A "Publish" button on everything. Although Tim Bray's original vision has not yet become a reality, his vision and the help of many brilliant minds brings us RFC 5023 - The Atom Publishing Protocol.Having been on the blog syndication scene since 2004, the Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) was originally positioned as a competitor to RSS to be the standard for syndicating weblogs. Unfortunately for some members of the media, the predicted "blog standards war" never came to pass. Atom has been quietly implemented side-by-side with RSS and has become simply another syndication format supported by most blogging engines. The one blogging platform that has notoriously dragged its feet in supporting Atom is everyone's favorite open source upstart - Wordpress. While Wordpress version 1.5.2 supported Atom 0.3, Wordpress did not add support for Atom 1.0 until after version 2.2 of the popular web publishing application was released. This omission raised the ire of many APP supporters across the blogosphere, but what could not have been predicted were the potential side effects of this decision. In Tim Bray's short but sweet closing post regarding the availability of RFC 5023, he describes the situation like this:
Joe Cheng at Microsoft will code WLW to use the native WordPress API with WP, and various other native APIs with other things, because they have more features than Atompub (see the comments). If everyone is going to be willing to code their clients to work with every different set of publishing-system idiosyncrasies, then Atompub will have been a waste of time.
That statement is not quite the triumphant denouement that was hoped for, but lets not bury the APP just yet. Achieving RFC status brings with it a new level of credibility within the industry and Wordpress has by no means cornered the blogging market. Competition is a good thing, even for blog syndication formats. Tim Bray's dream may yet become a reality and when your cell phone has a "publish" button, you will know who to thank.