Why does Bray think there's demand for mod_atom? "I think that the protocol is going to be a big enough part of the Web ecosystem that Apache, as perhaps the world's single most important piece of Web infrastructure, really ought to support it."
Bray describes the module as "stripped-down implementation of the server side of the Atom Publishing Protocol" written in C, which "implements all of the Atom Protocol, near as I can tell." It simplifies the creation of Atom feeds because it "blasts Atom Entries straight into files," which means it's easier to preserve foreign markup.
This is still a work in progress. Bray says it's "not really ready to use" but he published it "because I want to start talking and get some advice and opinions on what I should do about some things, and thatÃ¢â¬â¢s easier if you can point at source code."
Bray says it's missing two pieces, one big (HTML) and one small (collection paging), and a "major enhancement" he wants to add:
The big enhancement I want to do is non-destructive editing. Right now it implements PUT by replacing the old data with the new, and DELETE by, well, deleting the data. I think it would be better, in all cases, to copy the data aside, uh, somewhere. But I want to talk to people about this one too, because I suspect it may involve weird corners.
Bray offers some suggestions in his post for other prospective tinkers, including trying it out on a variety of systems, since he says he's only tested it on Mac OS X. The module is licensed under the Apache License, version 2, and Bray says he has Sun's blessing to "sign over whatever to whomever," if the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is interested.