Posts tagged 'atom'

WIP #6: Feed-based Integration

This is the sixth in my series of Web Integration Patterns. Check out the intro at this URL


This pattern is about integrating web sites and applications by using standard feed formats to convey timely information, updates, status messages, events and other things from one web application to another.


  • Take advantage of the many tools and services that can produce, consume, aggregate and build work-flows around feeds as a way to integrate web applications.
  • Use a standards-based approach to ensure that that widest range of feed producers and consumers can be supported. Make it so everybody who needs can read your feeds.
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More than bloggy

I’ve been meaning to write on this topic for a some time and to explain how I’ve gone from being an advocate of RSS/Atom feeds, Atom Publishing Protocol and things bloggy to being a proponent of Linked Data (video), Semantic Web, RDF and other things that I previously considered to be nuisances. I've also got a new topic and blog series to announce, so here goes.

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RSS and Atom part of the stimulus plan

Aaron Swartz: As chaunceyt pointed out, the new stimulus bill's implementation instructions require that each government agency report the money it gives out in RSS:

For each of the near term reporting requirements (major communications, formula block grant allocations, weekly reports) agencies are required to provide a feed (preferred: Atom 1.0, acceptable: RSS) of the information so that content can be delivered via subscription.

Pretty amazing to see a government so tech-savvy.

Uncle Sam should contact Manning, who, I'm pretty sure, has stacks of RSS and Atom In Action available for a very good price.

Media Blogging for Roller

For the past five months I've had the pleasure of mentoring two San Jose State Univ. graduate students, Ganesh Mathrubootham and Tanuja Varkanthe, who are working on a project for classes CMP 295A and B. They picked one of the projects that I first proposed for Google Summer of Code and then for Glassfish's student outreach program, Media Blogging for Apache Roller. It's turned out to be a major project and the central new feature in the upcoming Roller 5.0 release. [Read More]

ROME 1.0 RC2 on the way

Nick's Twitter icon

Good news for ROME fans. Nick Lothian picked up the puck and is galloping towards the finish line (sorry, I'm terrible at sports analogies).

Nick Lothian on ROME dev:

I've gone and built some preview jars for the upcoming ROME 1.0RC2, ROME Fetcher 1.0RC2 and Modules 0.3 release.

Those jars can be found here:

I've created source and javadoc jars as well as the normal jars - the idea being that I'll get them uploaded to some maven repository.

If you have some spare time, please take a look at these and test them and let me know of any problems. Assuming there are no big issues found I'd like to do a proper release in a couple of days.

Guess that means I should test Propono with RC2.

Atom news: Apache Abdera graduates

Atom logo

Congratulations to the Apache Abdera team, who've just graduated to full Apache top level project status. The don't have the new site at up yet and they're still not quite at 1.0 yet, but this is a major milestone. They've got the best Atom format and protocol toolkit around, in my opinion.

via Garett and James.

Updating RSS and Atom in Action?

Check out Tim Bray's Atomic Monday post for a summary of recent developments in the world of AtomPub protocol and Atom format. With the uptick in interest in Atom and especially AtomPub protocol's usage in mainstream APIs from Google and Microsoft, I wonder if if would make sense to update RSS and Atom in Action.

Cover of RSS and Atom in Action

The bulk of the book is up-to-date, for what it covers. RSS and Atom haven't really changed and, though the book came out before the spec was finalized, the AtomPub material is basically sound. The ROME material is still current too.

What's missing are all of the new developments: a dozen or more new AtomPub based APIs from Google (GData and OpenSocial) and Microsoft (Live and Astoria) and new tools like Apache Abdera (incubating). Not to mention Windows RSS Platform 2.0 and ROME 1.0 (which is coming soon). Updating the book to cover all of those topics would be quite an endeavor and I'm not sure it's the right approach to covering AtomPub. What do you think?

ROME vs. Abdera

For Java developers starting out with RSS and Atom, here are some notes to help you figure out the differences between the ROME and Apache Abdera (incubating) projects.

ROME is a set of Java tools for parsing, fetching and generating all forms of RSS and Atom feeds. The core ROME library is relatively small and depends only on the somewhat creaky old JDOM XML parser. Available separately are modules to support various feed extensions such as OpenSearch, iTunes, GeoRSS, etc. ROME was originally developed and open sourced by Sun Portal dev team members in 2004.

ROME Propono is a subproject of ROME that supports publishing/editing entries and files to blog servers and AtomPub servers. Propono is made up of three parts: 1) a Blog Client library can publish via either the old lagacy MetaWeblog API or the shiny new AtomPub protocol, 2) an AtomPub client that publishes only via AtomPub and 3) a framework for creating AtomPub servers. Propono was developed by Ramesh Mandava and Dave Johnson, based on code from RSS and Atom in Action and open sourced as part of the Sun Web Developer Pack in 2007.

Abdera is a set of Java tools for working with Atom feeds and AtomPub protocol. This includes a parser, writers, an AtomPub client and a framework for creating AtomPub servers. Abdera's Atom feed parser uses STAX, so it uses less memory and is faster than ROME. Abdera's Atom feed support is more comprehensive than ROME's and it supports signatures, encryption, Atom to JSON, extensions for Threading, Paging, GeoRSS, OpenSearch, GoogleLogin, etc. etc. Abdera was developed by IBM and contribued to Apache in 2006.

Now let's compare frameworks. The pros and cons of ROME are:

  • Pro: complete RSS support, all of the dozen various flavors
  • Pro: it's generally simple and small, depending only one jar (JDOM)
  • Pro: easy to understand and use the AtomPub server framework
  • Pro: MetaWeblog API support
  • Con: Atom feed support not as comprehensive as Abdera
  • Con: parser uses lots of memory, slower, JDOM based
  • Con: community not as active, seems to be in maintenance mode (See also Ohloh stats)

The pros and cons of Abdera are:

  • Pro: comprehensive Atom feed support, lots more Atom extensions
  • Pro: faster more efficient parser
  • Pro: In the Apache Incubator with active and growing community (See also Ohloh stats)
  • Con: lots of dependencies
  • Con: AtomPub server framework poorly documented, overly complex (rewrite coming soon)
  • Con: no RSS support (there is something in Abdera contrib, but it's incomplete).

There you have it. ROME and Abdera folks: think that's a fair comparison? Are you a ROME or Abdera user? How would you like to see these frameworks move forward?

Abdera rocks on

There have been some interetsing Atom items recently on James Snell's blog. There was a link to a nice IBM DeveloperWorks article on using Abdera to write Atom feeds to JSON. (I was kinda hoping for an XSL/T, but not matter how you do it, it's a definitely feature that belongs in Abdera.) And there's a good quote from Adrian Sutton's blog post about the Atom features in IBM's Roller and Abdera based Lotus Connections product. And most recently, James linked to the new Google Feed Server project: an Abdera based AtomPub server from Google. All good stuff.

Gotta say, Abdera's looking better and better. It's got the features (IRI support, encrytion, pluggable auth, STAX parsing, etc.) and it's got Dan and appears to have some good momentum going. At this rate, I'm not sure how much more work I'll be putting into ROME Propono. If somebody were to, just for example, contribute an Abdera based AtomPub implementation to Roller, I might have to stop entirely.

The "all Dave" feed

Another thing I worked on over the winter break was an all-Dave feed, a single page and feed that combines all of the various things that I post to the web: blog entries, Flickr photos, links and Twitter activity. So far, this is what I've got:

Happy New Year 2008

Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog and all the folks who happen to have arrived here via one of the various planets, spam blogs and Google search result pages that include it. I hope you all have a prosperous and pleasant year ahead. I'm hoping for the same. It's nice to start the new year with some good news and I've got some; check this out:

RSS and Atom in Action book

RSS and Atom in Action has been out for over a year now and just as the phenomenal sales are starting to drop off, something wonderful has happened. The book has been nominated for the prestigious Stephen T. Colbert Award for Literary Excellence. As you can see in the photo above, at least one copy of the book is already carrying the Colbert nominee seal. Avoid the rush and buy your copy of RSS and Atom in Action now.

Those who have read Colbert's I Am America (And So Can You!) will understand the significance of this important award and understand the impact on future sales of the book. To learn more about the nomination process and criteria, buy yourself a copy of Colbert's book and then flip to page 214½. Cheers!

Latest Links: Feedsync, AtomPub for SOA, OpenSocial and more

Latest links Nov. 12, 2007: Glassfish, OpenSocial and more

Windows Live Writer + AtomPub

Joe Cheng: I’m starting a (hopefully short) series of blog posts documenting the specifics of how the upcoming AtomPub-enabled release of Windows Live Writer will behave, and what AtomPub-enabled blog* servers can do to ensure the best interop with us. I also hope other blog client implementers can learn from our experience and consider using the same rules and behaviors we do when implementing their own AtomPub support.

Very nice. I'll be watching this one closely, looking for ways to improve Roller's and ROME's AtomPub support.

Creating custom modules with ROME

Google Blog Search turned up this nice article on creating custom modules with ROME by Sujit Pal, and a nice mini-review of my book:

Sujit Pal: "However, Dave Johnson's book provides a lot of background information and a lot of nice examples in Java and C#. I would highly recommend it to anyone who needs to get up to speed quickly with ROME and RSS/Atom."

It's good to see people are still buying and finding the book useful. It's been out for over a year now, but I don't think it's really out of date at all. I've been keeping the examples up-to-date as part of the Blogapps project and even enhancing them: the example Atom protocol client code from the book is now part of the ROME Propono project.

Latest links: AtomPub news round-up edition

I've been in crunch-mode working on a new project, but I've been trying to keep an eye on what's going on the world of Atom Publishing Protocol or AtomPub as the cool kids call it. Here's a wrap-up of some of the AtomPub news I've picked up on the past month or so. [Read More]

Blogapps 2.1 released

RSS and Atom in Action image The next releases that I'd like to announce are the Blogapps 2.1 Examples and the Blogapps 2.1 Server.

If you'd like to learn more about the Blogapps examples and server then read The Blogapps Project article at Here's a quick summary:

The Blogapps project hosts a collection of useful RSS and Atom utilities and examples from RSS and Atom In Action by Dave Johnson. They're designed to be useful even if you haven't read the book and they're available under the Apache License 2.0 so you can use the code in your applications and you can modify and redistribute them as you wish.

What's changed since 2.0? The examples have been updated to include the latest version of ROME Propono, which means that most of them now support the final Atom protcol spec. The server has been updated to include Roller 4.0 RC5, which also includes Atom protocol support and JSPWiki 2.4. And of course, various bugs have been fixed. Here are the release files, installation instructions and release notes.

This blog entry was posted via Atom protocol and the MatisseBlogger blog-client, which you can see in the screen-shot below (which was also posted via Atom.

screenshot of MatisseBlogger

What's next? Not sure at this point, but I will do another Blogapps release once ROME 1.0 is released.

ROME Propono 0.6 released

ROME logo

The first release to discuss is ROME Propono, which includes a ROME based Atom protocol client library, Atom protocol server framework and an Blog Client library abstraction that supports both Atom protocol and the MetaWeblog API.

I've been working on Propono 0.6 off-and-on since May, keeping it in sync with the latest version of the Atom protocol, testing it against Tim Bray's APE and adding various improvements needed in my other projects. Over the weekend I finally had enough time to get a release out. You can find the full-details at the link below but basically this release adds support for the final Atom Publishing Protocol specification and better support for relative URIs.

What's next? Once ROME 1.0 is released Real Soon Now, I'll get a another release out and I'll probably call it ROME Propono 1.0.

A logo for the Ape

Just learned from Tim's blog that Greg Borenstein just came up with a cute logo for the Atom Protocol Exerciser (Ape), which, in case you don't know, is the closest thing we have to a compatibility test for Atom servers. The logo is featured on the Ape's home page.

Ape logo: big ape grooms a small one

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