Forced to use Atom. Well, it's happening... My friend Paul English has been using Blogger for the longest time for his personal blog. I often complained to him that I used a Blog Reader (FeedDemon is my current favorite, until BlogBridge comes out :-) and wouldn't be able to follow his blog until he had a feed...
Well as you may know, Blogger now has a feed, and it's uses the Atom format. In the 'tempest in a teapot' department, you might have followed the Atom/RSS battle, which took an interesting turn when Blogger (=Google) decided to support only Atom as their format. Clever strategic move or small minded vindictiveness?
So, Paul's blog is the first time that I have been forced to use Atom. Luckily the latest Beta of FeedDemon does support Atom and so I can read Paul's blog right along all my other favorites.
This is just another in the continuing format, API, or protocol conflicts which arise constantly in the our business. It's a good kind of conflict because it raises important issues and allows things to evolve to a better place.
Remember VIM and MAPI? That battle shook the very foundations of the software industry at the time. (VIM stood for "Vendor Independent Messaging" but the running joke was that it really stood for "Vendors Ignoring Microsoft", led by Lotus. Remember Lotus ;-) And more recently, how about SHTTP vs. HTTPS? HTTPS eventually became SSL which of course is all anyone remembers.
My point is that as our products and visions and customers and platforms move forward, there is a constant tension between evolution and compatibility. It's clear that this is a good thing in the end, although a whole lot of glass is broken along the way. The one thing I know for sure is that it's way too early to stop the evolution right now.