OPML support in Java – Missing in Action

March 6, 2006

Now that OPML 2.0 is out as a draft specification, I want to bring up the issue of the lack of support for OPML on the Java side. There are 2 libraries dealing with the idea of creation and consuming of syndication feeds: Informa and ROME.

Informa is an open-source (LPGL) Java framework for parsing, processing, and creating syndication feeds. The current release supports RSS 0.9x, RSS 1.0 / RDF, RSS 2.0, and Atom 0.3. Informa also support for OPML documents but it hasn’t seen any development since early June 2004. The news section of the Informa site claims that there is active development but I haven’t seen anything from them yet. I have used Informa in the past and it works great but hasn’t kept up with changing specifications.

The other open-source (Apache) Java library ROME, created by 3 Sun engineers is also a Java library for creating and parsing RSS and ATOM feeds. Today it accepts all flavors of RSS (0.90, RSS 0.91 Netscape, RSS 0.91 Userland, RSS 0.92, RSS 0.93, RSS 0.94, RSS 1.0, RSS 2.0,) and Atom 0.3 and 1.0 feeds. Unlike Informa, ROME has active development going on and the team is putting releases quite frequently. But the major item missing is OPML support – ROME does not support OPML at this time and have no timelines documented on their roadmap.

Jakarta FeedParser is another project that I should probably mention but it’s currently dormant in the Jakarta commons sandbox.

Is anyone looking at implementing OPML support for Java? Anyone know of another open-source effort going on to support OPML creation and consumption? Is Informa ever going to come out of hibernation? Anyone interested in starting a new project to implement a Java library for OPML?


3 Responses to “OPML support in Java – Missing in Action”

  1. Please pardon me if this is a dumb question, but to get the support, who would have to do the work, people in the Java community, or people in the OPML Community?

    I have a blog, OPML Fan, that’s a roundup of developments in OPML and news of people in the OPML Community, and I would be interested to know. Feel free to drop me a line at lisa AT cadence90 dot com, or, if you feel moved, write another post and tag it as OPML and I’ll definitely read and respond to it.

  2. Hi Lisa. I think it would be a great thing if the Java community and OPML community would collaborate on a solution that would be an accepted (I don’t dare use the word endorsed 🙂 ) and stay current with the evolving standards.

    There are a couple of projects out there that have OPML support and I want to see if those efforts are going to look at implementing the new specification or if I should just start something new to do this. Duplication always leads to conflict and so I would rather contribute to making an existing solution like Informa or ROME step forward and take a stab at implementing it.

    As as aside, I did email Dave this morning to see if he can use his mojo to get some people moving on this 🙂 Thanks

  3. Bharat said

    Just dumb suggestion but “RSSOwl” uses “Parser for the OPML 1.0 Format” which uses jdom to parse ompl files.

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