I can’t believe that Google is letting Mark Pilgrim do their talking for them. Pilgrim is quoted as saying essentially that Dave Winer opposes Atom because “Open standards benefit everyone but [him].” There is so much that is so incredibly wrong in this statement that it’s hard to know where to begin. For reference here is the Perens definition of Open Standards. It would be useful to understand how exactly RSS fails to meet these standards. If you believe there is bona-fide discrimination going on, as opposed to, say, personal opinions about how to protect RSS from businesses with well-documented histories of predatory behavior (businesses that are much, much larger than Userland or Six Apart or Feedster), get specific about it so that we’re all on the same page. As for Winer’s rep or intentions, Mark shouldn’t need reminding about the existence of SOAP, OPML, XML-RPC, metaWeblogAPI and Weblogs.Com. A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into these standards and services. A lot of software running on a lot of different platforms runs compatibly with them. Open source projects are built on them. Products are built on them. Companies are built on them. As far as I know, nobody has ever been asked to pay, much less paid, to use any of these standards and services. Their existence makes the Internet a vastly more interesting and profitable place to work. Maybe there are control and process issues with RSS—more likely there are misunderstandings about them—but please let’s not confuse things by intentionally mis-labelling them as closedness and greed. That’s just plain evil. I could wring my hands I suppose, but in the end if Mark has some grudge to bear there really isn’t much I can do about it. What I don’t understand is how in full grudge-bearing mode he became the public face of Google’s syndication grab. Mark may be a convenient bag man but Google really needs to explain itself. Meaningless, evasive claims (“Google is not taking anything away”) by faceless representatives are not good enough.