APP Interop


I took two days out of this week to attend the Atom Publishing Protocol interop event. Unfortunately I returned to Redmond to find a lot of urgent issues waiting for me, so I’m a little late in posting my thoughts–other guys have done a great job of summarizing what happened (most linked from Joe Gregorio’s post ). I’ll just add my delta to the pile.

At least three major blog platforms are shipping APP support soon, and one of those will only support APP. We (the Writer team) were waiting for the other shoe to drop on APP, and it just did.

Nobody was talking about MetaWeblog. Given that this is the most common blogging protocol today, I would’ve expected it to come up once in a while, but the only person who talked about it was me. I got the sense that in the minds of this group, MetaWeblog is already obsolete. I wouldn’t go that far, but I look forward to that day.

No other shipping blog editing client application (not library) was there. The only other one that signed up was Flock, and they were a no-show. Shame, I would’ve been interested to hear their takes on APP.

As others have noted, authentication hasn’t been solved, and if you can’t authenticate, the rest of the protocol doesn’t matter. Elias pointed out that basic/digest HTTP authentication is impossible for WordPress (and others) when the webapp is run in CGI mode. All signs seem to point to WSSE as a backup–it made sense in 2003 and it makes sense today.

More work needs to be done to flesh out specific applications like blogging. The core protocol is supposed to be as general as possible, so a lot of features that are required for full blogging support are missing (autodiscovery, trackbacks, comment policy, extended entry, etc.). I’m eager to see all of those additional features get specified as well, and it seems like James Snell is going to get that going. I’m glad I joined the conversation early enough to be able to participate in that work, since it’s stuff that is near and dear to Writer. We have a lot of hard-won knowledge to contribute, and we will benefit a lot from a good APP blogging spec.

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