Atom Publishing Format and Protocol

Document Charter Atom Publishing Format and Protocol WG (atompub)
Title Atom Publishing Format and Protocol
Last updated 2007-10-22
State Approved
WG State Concluded
IESG Responsible AD ** No value found for 'group.ad_role.person.plain_name' **
Charter Edit AD (None)
Send notices to (None)


Atom defines a feed format for representing and a protocol for
editing Web resources such as Weblogs, online journals, Wikis,
and similar content. The feed format enables syndication; that
is, provision of a channel of information by representing
multiple resources in a single document. The editing protocol
enables agents to interact with resources by nominating a way of
using existing Web standards in a pattern.

Atom consists of:
    * A conceptual model of a resource
    * A concrete syntax for this model
    * A syndication and archiving format (the Atom
        feed format) using this syntax
    * An editing protocol using this syntax

The format must be able to represent:
    * a resource that is a Weblog entry or article (e.g., it has
        an author, date, identifier, and content)
    * a feed or channel of entries, with or without enclosed
    * a complete archive of all entries in a feed
    * existing well-formed XML (especially XHTML) content
    * additional information in an user-extensible manner

The editing protocol must enable:
    * creating, editing, and deleting feed entries
    * multiple authors for a feed
    * multiple subjects or categories in a feed
    * user authentication
    * adding, editing, and deleting users
    * setting and getting user preferences
    * creating, getting and setting related resources such as
        comments, templates, etc.

The working group will use experience gained with RSS (variably
used as a name by itself and as an acronym for "RDF Site Summary",
"Rich Site Summary", or "Really Simple Syndication") as the basis
for a standards-track document specifying the model, syntax, and
feed format. The feed format and HTTP will be used as the basis
of work on a standards-track document specifying the editing
protocol. The goal for the working group is to produce a single
feed format and a single editing protocol; the working group will
only consider additional formats or additional protocols if those
charter changes are approved by the IESG.

The working group will also take steps to ensure interoperability, by:
    * unambiguously identifying required elements in formats
    * clearly nominating conformance levels for different types of
    * providing clear extensibility mechanisms and constraints upon

The Atom protocol will be designed to provide security services
for updating and accessing dynamic online resources. The working
group will consider current known issues with requirements for
remote access, along with the fact that many such resources are
constrained by providers who provide the resource owners with
little configuration control.

The working group's primary focus will be on delivering an
interoperable format and corresponding protocol; it is expected
that all but the most basic, generic metadata and functions will be
accommodated through extensions, rather than in the core documents.

Extension development is not included in this charter. The working
group will consider the need to either close or to modify the charter
and document extensions once the core document set has been approved
by the IESG.

The working group has two mailing lists: for
discussing the Atom format and for discussing the