Scripting News Annex

OPML 2.0 Announcement

Late last year I wrote a series of RFCs and guidelines on the main OPML website, ideas for improvement of the format and the documentation for OPML. They were extensively discussed and refined. In February all this work was rolled into a new format and spec, called OPML 2.0.


Today the public review of OPML 2.0 begins, with the publication of the DRAFT spec and the opening of a mail list for the purpose of reviewing the spec. A very small group has been reviewing the spec privately for about 24 hours prior to the public review, to be sure that there weren’t any easy to correct mistakes or omissions. There were, and they were corrected, thanks to the group for their expert advice. The full record of the review is available in the (public) archive of the mail list.


OPML 2.0 is a milestone, much like RSS 2.0 was in the summer of 2002. We now know how OPML is being used, and where the problems are, and I think are ready to produce a frozen and extensible format and spec.

With the OPML Editor approaching version 1.0, it’s now time to get the ball rolling on the format that comes after. The editor will likely not ship with full support for 2.0, it should be able to read 2.0 files, but it will not write them. There’s too much of a bootstrap in front of that happening.

OPML 2.0 adds some important features, notably the include type, ownerId, support for namespaces, several common nodetypes are documented, and a host of niceties, and it finally has a unified spec. I’m confident that this is the OPML we’ll all want to build on later through 2007 and beyond.

About the public review period

I believe the format is largely finished, subject to review, but the spec certainly is not. I’m sure there are mistakes, oversights, missed opportunities, things that require clarification. All the caveats apply, esp Murphy’s Law.

This review period will be leisurely, possibly as long as 60 days. I look forward to lots of interesting and collegial discussions, and lots of new applications for users.


Here’s a pointer to the DRAFT Specification:

And the review mail list:

Here’s best wishes to all of us that OPML 2.0 will be a great engine for growth in our industry and the art!

Dave Winer
Scripting News

PS: OPML 2.0 is easy to understand if you’re intelligent, have common sense and are patient. It’s really simple. I explain, in this podcast, why the improvements in OPML 2.0 will help users.