Reliable Syndication

After reading Sam’s slides on Atom, Scoble posted three times about how syndication could evolve. Of course, Scoble has his Longhorn-colored glasses on. Dare pointed out that “The major problems with syndication today have little to do with the syndication format and more to do with it’s associated technologies.” I agree with Dare. IMO, the only thing that the ATOM syndication format has over RSS is a namespace declaration. I care about that because one of the “associated technologies” I care about is SOAP and the lack of an RSS namespace makes it hard to embed an RSS item inside a SOAP message.

I think Scoble should be asking how syndication will evolve in the face of Service Oriented Architecture in general, not Longhorn specifically. Granted, Indigo is going to make Longhorn a great platform for SOA. (If you check out the Longhorn Interoperability and Migration Guide, Chapter 2 is mostly dedicated to describing SOA.) But I think the real change to syndication is going to come from WS-ReliableMessaging. In order to truly evolve syndication, I think we need to break free of the synchronous polling model we have today. Polling only works in scenarios with a central syndication source (like a weblog). However, as the sources of syndicated content get to be more distributed (phones, P2P networks, etc) that polling model breaks down. I need to be able to send messages when things change without regard to network availability. With WS-RM, I can send messages and the infrastructure (i.e. Indigo) can take care of the ugly details of making sure the messages get delivered to their final destination.