For all the lively debate, I don't think we're in violent disagreement.
1) Atom Feeds will NOT be mandatory. Sorry Farrukh, but they aren't
even mandatory in OpenSearch.
2) We will come up with a mechanism for clients to request Atom Feeds as
The only Atom Feed details to nail down are the mandatories that we
don't like. Here's my heretical proposal: if you don't like an element,
don't use it. Nothing is mandatory. What, are they going to come and
shoot your dog if you omit a mandatory element? If you can find a
useful value to put into a standard Atom element, then do so. If you
are delivering up bibliographic data, then fill in the author element.
As several people have pointed out, there are plenty of other systems
that are non-compliant and we haven't heard of a rash of dog shootings.
We'll join them. As Farrukh has pointed out, the Atom developers are at
work on their standard now. I'm sure that they are aware that it is
being used for more than they intended and I suspect those mandatories
will go away soon. In the meantime, don't obsess about it.