RSS Inventor Couldn't Care Less That Google Reader Is Dying

The impending death of Google Reader has sparked much wailing and gnashing of teeth, petition-signing, alternative-seeking and rending of garments. But what about the people who made RSS? Dave Winer, one of the fathers of the both RSS and the blog, couldn't care less.

He posts on his blog:

I won't miss it. Never used the damn thing. Didn't trust the idea of a big company like Google's interests being so aligned with mine that I could trust them to get all my news.

And besides, I didn't think the mailbox approach to news was right. Who cares how many unread items there are. I like the river of news approach and I have a very fine set of rivers that keep me well supplied with news and podcasts.

...Next time, please pay a fair price for the services you depend on. Those have a better chance of surviving the bubbles.

Interestingly enough, he shrugs off the value of unread counts, the lack of which is why many users claim Twitter is an unworthy replacement.

Google Reader is going to uproot a lot of routines when it finally goes, even though there are some replacements stepping up to take its place. But not everyone is going to be sad to see it go, no matter how much it may feel that way. [Dave Winer via ZDNet]



    mailbox approach? a paid for rss reader does the same thing - caches feed content until read.

    Well if Google would give me the option to pay for it, I would be right there!

    Dave Winer isn't a 'founder' of RSS in any sense. RSS was invented by Netscape employees, and when Netscape dropped support, the RSS-DEV group unofficially took over and Winer (through his company Userland) forked the project as well, basically splitting the format into two incompatible tracks. Winer's versions 0.91 and 0.92 contain some of the worst and most convoluted modifications to the RSS standard. He's not a founder or father or inventor of RSS in any sense. He's done more damage to the standard than anyone else. I've written code to parse all of the RSS feed formats and Winer's versions are horrible.

    The schism of format compatibility between RSS versions effectively caused Atom to be created. If you want a proper feed format, Atom is it. The sooner RSS dies and is replaced, the better.

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