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I've recently started digging into Atom syndication feeds and are planning to migrate some web services we're running into an more standardized model using Atom Syndication and the Atom Publishing Protocol.

The content of most of the syndication feeds are not created by a concrete user though, but rather auto-generated using data from various databases. I'm probably just a little stuck my head right now, but I simply can't decide what should go in the mandatory atom:author fields.

The spec states:

A Person construct is an element that describes a person,
corporation, or similar entity(...)

So should the author field contain the name of our company, the developer(s) who wrote/maintain the generator, or something completely else? What would be the most semantically correct?

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Given the Copyright Work for Hire rule, your company would be the most logical, and possibly legally required choice.

You may want to consider extending it with the name of the system producing the content such as MY_COOL_COMPANY - BOILER_TEMPS_FEED_CREATOR. That way if multiple systems run to the same feed you'll know where specifically the content comes from.

  • Having had some time to think about it, I'm inclined to agree. I think the atom:generator field is better for designating the service though. Also, adding the maintainers as atom:contributors might be reasonable. – Jo-Herman Haugholt Nov 29 '11 at 10:08

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