I was tempted to use the flamebait title
The internet interprets Dave Winer as damage - and routes around him
but thought better of it. On the other hand I think the description is accurate as a pattern appears to be emerging of a Winer on a mission to selfdestruct.
The aggressive debate over RSS seems to mostly be aggressive due to Winer. There's an interesting counterpoint in Winers largesse in describing the content of blogs and his pettiness when it comes to the protocol underpinnings. No willingness to discuss anything it seems.
Obviously there are plenty of flaming bloggers around, but the primary ECHO backers aren't among them.
Arguments against a new shared standard are shallow at best. That the project to develop the new RSS is currently in 'feature explosion mode' is unsurprising. It is just beginning after all. Let's hope that the criticism that the spec changes too much leveled by other people also won't hold up when the dust settles. At least Sam Ruby seems like a nice guy who just wants something standards compliant (i.e. applying XML best practices if there is such a thing).
Fighting has now moved on to another discussion on XML-RPC, SOAP or just REST as publication API (I think we should just all support WebDAV - so that's closest to the REST position). Personally I would like some REST applied to the discussion itself.
I can't really figure out the battle lines. I've yet to see the most prominent ECHO backers do anything spiteful. The whole pledge to Dave thing seems downright absurd and the attack (by Mygdal) on ECHO that there's FUD at play is obnoxious. They started a couple of weeks ago. Designing stuff takes time.
Winer is also busy censoring the Userland community. John Robb's weblog got pulled - and rumours abound that Winer did it personally. It's time to head for the exits if you're a Userland user apparently. Put your stuff in a place where you know it will remain yours. (And by the way, isn't "It should be, net-net, good news for Manila and Radio users, and for the weblog community" just a nasty thing to say in public?) In contrast to that, Dave thinks Tim Bray is saying something awful here. Come again? He is being nice.
Then there's the paranoia on Google's use of the word 'DEPRECATED' to describe the old RSS specs. They are exactly that. It just means that if you're starting to implement now, you should use a more recent spec. And Google isn't to blame, Ben Hammersley is - AFAIK he doesn't work for Google in any way shape or form. Even if he did, why should Google be accountable to Dave for the use of the word?