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Subject: Re: [emergency-msg] CAP Channels

At 03:28 AM 8/14/2003 -0400, Allen Wyke wrote:
>On Tue, 2003-08-12 at 10:35, Rex Brooks wrote:
> >[...] RSS will not be my own
> > particular choice of instrumentality to implement much of anything
> > aimed at the general public, and the majority of B2B, IT, and e-gov
> > agency communications because it requires a familiarity with its
> > particular format and so is not suitable to anyone who is not
> > conversant with the format before they receive it.

RSS is expressed in XML. Anyone using XML is dealing with a
"particular format"--that ability to convey data particulars is
precisely the advantage of XML versus presentation-only formats.

> > I may change my
> > mind later if RSS becomes very widely known and implemented, but I
> > won't be adding to the general creep of special communications
> > formats, such as wikis, blogs, etc, which once their novelty has worn
> > off, will either be adopted into some larger set of such formats,
> > such as html or xhtml, IM or what you have you or will fade.

I'd like to raise a perspective on the work of a standards body as
distinct from separate implementors. I believe the function provided
by RSS (servers listing recent alerts and clients retrieving them at
will) is essential for situations where parties are not continuously
in communication. That situation is important for emergency managers
and of immediate interest in the provision of CAP messages.

For those who accept the premise that we need the function, the next
question is whether to adopt existing work or develop something anew.
Although RSS may not be fully mature yet, RSS is certainly widely
deployed with lots of useful tools and experience. I would strongly
advise the ERM TC against developing an alternative way to achieve
what RSS does.


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