Alright, so Atom, it’s a good idea. Not only does it have a catchy name that sounds much better when yelled than “RSS” ever could, but it is open-ended enough that it gives everybody the feeling that “it can do anything.”
Atom seems to have started with the same functionality, in practice, as the RSS species. Of course, now we’ve got Atom APIs, and they are all the rage. Atom API this, Atom-powered that. Hell, even Google is on the bandwagon.
And, as always, we’ve seen it all before with SOAP and XML-RPC, without the catchy name. The difference in Atom, it seems, is that it is the name for both the interface and the display. Of course, that, too, is just XML. But XML can do anything, right?
This is not to say that I think Atom is a bad thing, in my opinion Atom is quite a few steps in a good direction. I simply find it humorous that in every phrase that once held it, “XML” is being replaced with “Atom.”