Web RSS (Syndication) History
A "syndication" standard has been dealt two blows: the "push" bubble and
RSS fork. See The
Evolution of RSS for more introduction of the different versions and History
of the RSS Fork for a political history, and RSS Links for the
evolution of some of the specific technical features.
- Dec 96: While at Apple, Ramanathan Guha proposes a (pre-XML) Project
Sauce/X MCF format, "which stands for Meta Content Framework, is an
open format for representing information about content." Dave Winer, of
UserLand, is a (skeptical) early
- Feb 97: Business Week starts the "push hype" by declaring an age of
"Webcasting" in a cover story, the bubble grows for the likes of Marimba,
PointCast and DataChannel.
- Mar 97: Microsoft submits the Channel Definition Format
(CDF) to the W3C
- Jun 97: Netscape submits the Meta Content Framework Using
XML (MCF) to the W3C
- Oct 97: W3C publishes the first public W3C RDF Working Draft, inspired
by MCF and PICS.
- Dec 97: Dave Winer of UserLand proposes
<scriptingNews> format, which is very similar to CDF.
- Mar 99: My.Netscape.Com
is launched based on RSS 0.9 (RDF Site Summary) which uses RDF syntax and
XML Namespaces. Interestingly, marketing folks at Netcenter caused this
to be a stripped down version from the author's original, "semantically
richer", RDF version. Dan Libby, the author, captured the original
conception in a Futures
Document which is very much like today's RSS 1.0.
- Jun 99: Dave Winer introduces
scriptingNews 2.0b1, and raises
some concerns with RSS, such that it only has headlines and no
content/text, and he repeats an interest in collaboration with
- Jul 99: Despite the fact that the "push"
bubble bursts, syndication remains a compelling application even if
based on "poll then pull."
- Jul 99: Netscape loses interest in the format, but given requests from
UserLand and others, Netscape publishes RSS
0.91, renamed as "Rich Site Summary", devoid of namespaces, based on
a DTD, and contains elements from UserLand's <scriptingNews>.
- Dec 00: The RSS-DEV group release RSS 1.0, continuing the RDF syntax of
RSS 0.9 and closer to Dan Libby's original RDF conception, using XML
namespaces, and focusing on modularity/extensibility.
- Sep 00: Debate erupts when Winer proposes a name split and accuses the
RSS 1.0 community of theft and interference; animosity simmers.
- Dec 00: Userland releases RSS 0.92, compatible with 0.91 but with new,
- Aug 02: Dave
Winer proposes RSS 2.0 with XML namespaces, some in the RDF community
ironically propose a
- June 03: Given difficulties demonstrated of the history of RSS so far,
a working group forms with the goal of creating a new Weblog and
syndication format Atom. (formerly
Echo) with the goal of being "100% vendor neutral, implemented by
everybody, freely extensible by anybody, and cleanly and thoroughly
- March 04: Dave Winer proposes a
fusion of RSS2.0 and Atom via IETF standardization.
20040413: See this history of RSS with
respect to specific technical developments and proposals
20040407: On April 06 2004 Dave Winer posted his own history.
(However, his version elides many non-ScriptingNews events; I referred the
version you are reading now to many folks — including Winer — and
corrected it based on feedback, so I'm relatively confident in its
20040407: There's another history in French at