Two-way Data Web

Jon Udell writes:

Ive gotten plenty of mileage out of XPath and XQuery, and my dream is that these XML-oriented query disciplines can be federated at large scale. But first things first: We need to create the data web. And recently, two leading figures have dropped major hints about how thats going to happen.

The first was Bill Gates, who, in a September interview, told me, the RSS data web is a natural development coming out of the acceptance of XML … and weve got some ideas internally … about making RSS work two-way.

Historically, RSS has been a read-mostly affair. There are APIs through which blogging tools can inject content into publishing systems, which then reflect it back out as XML feeds. But while the blogosphere has at last realized the vision of a two-way Web, RSS as a data transport remains largely asymmetric. Microsoft evidently wants to change that.

The second and much more explicit hint appeared a month later in Adam Bosworths ACM Queue article. Atom is both a feed format and a publishing protocol. The latter, Bosworth noted, is a simple HTTP-based way to INSERT, DELETE, and REPLACE entries within a feed.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.