March 15, 2004 2:58 PM PST

XML guru joins Sun software

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Extensible Markup Language guru Tim Bray has joined Sun Microsystems' software group to work on XML-based syndication technologies and advanced search.

Bray said that in his position as technical director in the software group, he will look to incorporate blogging software and content syndication based on the Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, format in Sun's software line.

"There are some VIPs (very important persons) in Sun who are very, very hot on the whole area of blogging and syndication," Bray said. "There's a vision of next-generation technology around the intersection of RSS, XML and advanced search technologies."

Bray, one of XML's co-authors, said the new position came about during his job hunt, when he met with Sun software's chief technology officer, John Fowler, to whom Bray will report. Bray began his new position Monday.

Although Bray does not have responsibility over any Sun products, he said Sun's Java Desktop System would be a likely recipient


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of his work in search and syndication. Java Desktop System is Sun's bundle of open-source desktop software, which includes Linux and the OpenOffice.org productivity applications.

"No desktop is a first-class citizen without blog aggregation and authoring software," Bray said.

Bray, who has been active in the debate over syndication formats, did not specifically comment on a proposal from Dave Winer--commonly considered the arbiter of the RSS format--to move RSS to an Internet standards body. But, Bray said, "it's in everyone's benefit, and no one's suffering if (syndication) got some formal process around it."

Backers of RSS have been warily eyeing advances by a rival format called Atom. Spearheaded by IBM engineer Sam Ruby and backed by Google-owned Blogger, that format is on track to be standardized by the Internet Engineering Task Force.

CNET News.com's Paul Festa contributed to this report.

 

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