Dave Winer seems to have misheard my exchange with the Gillmor Gang about RSS and HTML: I was asked, at around 36 minutes into the show (not 20 minutes), whether the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group considered RSS to be “completely orthogonal” to HTML, and I said (paraphrasing slightly) “RSS is not on the WHATWG’s radar, we are extending HTML to better support web apps”.

Steve Gillmor then went on to aver that RSS and HTML were orthogonal, and asked about browser built-in HTML editing support for bloggers.

Based on this brief exchange, Dave blogged: “I agree with everything Brendan says up to the point where he says RSS and HTML are orthogonal. Take another look, RSS wraps chunks of HTML with useful metadata.”

Now, wrapping chunks of HTML in RSS sounds like a proof of orthogonality to me, especially if the HTML can be wrapped and unwrapped freely. But maybe I’m using too mathematical a definition of “orthogonal.”

WHATWG may yet be interested in RSS for HTML metadata, but no one involved has brought RSS up in connection with web apps. Dave, if you care to make a proposal, here’s the list info.


7 Replies to “WHATWG and RSS”

  1. I don’t have a proposal to make, and I don’t think whether or not it’s orthogonal is a big deal. 99 percent of what I said was in total agreement with you, and praising what you’re doing. Peace.

  2. Hi Dave, thanks for clarifying. Another thing you said rang true, though: HTML stagnation drove innovation on “the web” into other, similar media types, mainly RSS. That does suggest that WHATWG should look at RSS and see what could be built upon, or used as-is, for better web apps. Still, WHATWG has no RSS experts involved that I know of (someone correct me if I’m wrong).

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