Jeremy Gray on [atom-syntax] People have often argued that Atom should leverage existing web technology wherever possible but threads like this seem to repeatedly steer us towards re-invention, in a sense, of technology by lifting (and sometimes mutating) it into Atom when it could be leveraged more directly. As a few off-the-cuff examples of pseudo-NIH we have: the overlap of numerous Atom elements with those of Dublin Core, recent discussion regarding definition of and reference to elements for purposes of reuse that would be provided for at a specification level by RDF, invention of API/protocol solutions instead of profiling/extension of WebDAV, etc. Of course, there are times, places, and reasons to _not_ leverage a given technology A in the face of requirement B, but one can only pursue so much NIH before attempts at its justification wear thin. :(
This reminded me recently of Tim Bray's comments on OpenOffice:
The way that these guys store the data is massively, fiendishly, outrageously clever. They have their own XML tag set, which includes (in one namespace) all the basic word-processing, spreadsheet, and slide-show machinery. Then, for graphics they use SVG, for styles they use XSL-FO, for links they use XLink... you get the picture, they've invented the absolute minimum possible.
Update: I couldn't resist. Here is a short form of Mark Pilgrim's Atom feed, and here is the same information with as many of the elements moved into equivalent namespaces for as many equivalents as I could find.