Atom Or RSS?

I’m thinking of providing XML feeds from my two photographic websites, and I have a clean sheet, and could either use the Atom standard or RSS. So which is best? Are there any significant differences? I’ve heard rumours that Atom is somehow “better” but RSS is more widespread. It’s the old VHS vs Betamax chestnut rearing its head again! And I don’t really want to be on the wrong end of the seesaw in the future.

I suppose I could take the line that, if it’s good enough for the BBC, it’s good enough for me, and go with RSS. Although plenty of sites such as Blogger provide their feeds as Atom.

Do any of you have a choice over which format you use? And if so, which one did you plump for and why? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts

This entry was posted in development, technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Atom Or RSS?

  1. Roger says:

    What’s the Difference Between the Various Formats?

    For a regular person reading feeds, the various versions of RSS and Atom should offer similar experiences. At a technical level, RSS is focused on making simple syndication very easy, and is the older and more widely-published format. Atom is a web standard from the IETF, one of the standards bodies that’s helped define the web, and is more focused on enabling both reading and writing of content with a single format. At Six Apart, all of our tools support both formats equally.

    ‘borrow’ content from SixApart

  2. Roger Kondrat says:


    What the six apart quote doesn’t full explain is that Atom assists with Semantic based web technologies and is therefore a good standard to support over the long term.

    As well RDF is also a good standard for similar reasons as Atom but from what I understand the two, ATOM and RDF don’t overlap.

    For information on RDF go to the W3C and they will explain in excruciating detail. 🙂


  3. Caz Mockett says:

    Hi Roger

    Thanks for the info, I’ll have to do some more reading – but I think I might save the W3C spec until I really need to sleep 😉

Comments are closed.