Dr R. Sanderson wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Dec 2007, Ray Denenberg wrote:
>>> Like... who is the author of a search result?
>> And who is the author of an ATOM feed? If the ATOM standard makes author
>> mandatory, and expects that a meaningful author must always be
>> then I have less regard for the "good faith" principle than I've
>> earlier. For author I would have no regrets saying put in the string
> The spec says:
> The "atom:author" element is a Person construct that indicates
> the author of the entry or feed.
> And that's it. Thanks, that was really helpful, Atom.
> One assumes that the author of a feed is the person that creates the
> feed. Normal, expected usage of these things is for blogs, where the
> author is the author of the blog.
> If the <id> in entry is an identifier for the record, then doesn't
> that make <author> in entry ... the author of the record?
> Except there's LOTS of data out there that has no author. And that
> would mean that it was the author of the object being blogged about,
> not the blogger?
> So if author is the author of the item in the resultset (see also John
> Harrison's post) is that the administrator? the searcher?
> the software? the software's developer? None of which are very useful.
Or it can simply be "Unspecified" or "Unknown".
Why are we so concerned with the minor issue of overuse of mandatory
attributes in a small set of cases?
It seems to me like a red herring. We can treat these isolated cases as
spec bugs and simply provide guidance on how to cope with them
when the information is not available. Lets not throw the baby out with
the bath water.
ATOM 1.0 is an IETF standard and has mass market adoption because of its
simplicity and extensibility.
These minor issues are being worked on in the next version of ATOM where
we could provide useful and constructive input based upon practical
However, none of this justifies reinventing the wheel with our own format.
I am sure that we can find quite a handful of warts in the current SRU
response format (e.g. lack of even an option if author etc.)
Frankly I see missing these important attributes (particularly id) in an
information management context to be sacrilege. Having
these as required may be over kill but is is certainly better then
> Or ... we could just say NO to mandatory ATOM.
This whole thread has taken a negative and adversarial stance towards
ATOM starting with its title and tone. Why?
No spec is perfect. ATOM is only going to be better, more in demand and
more ubiquitous over time.
I suspect that if this issue was put in front of open-minded end-users
then ATOM as mandatory and default response format would win hands down
over *ANY* other format.