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A new XMLization 

Good morning! This weekend's project is to explore a new format called outlineDocument. It's basically an XMLization of outlines, which come up a lot in our work, and I felt it was time to have an exchange format that's based on XML.

As often is the case, the first demo app for the new XML format is Scripting News. This outlineDocument is statically generated every time I make a change to this page. You can read the XML file, run it through an aggregator, render it differently, or mail it to yourself or others, or whatever.

If you build something that reads this file, send me a URL and I'll link to it. But be ready for change, this format is still evolving.

You can ignore the <rules> sections in the outlines, or if you want you can process them. Rules are explained on the Pike-Beta site.

HTML is preserved by the format. Left angle brackets, ampersands and double-quotes are entity-encoded. Is this the right way to go? Let me know what you think.

I'm working on a spec for this format. When it's ready I'll point to it here.

Chris Langreiter, REBOLier extrordinaire, has already got a way to view the new format, which he calls Bare Bones.

I posted a note about this on the Syndication mail list last night, so far no comments.

Jerry on amateurs 

I got a nice email from Jerry Michalski about the mini-piece I wrote last night at deadline (10PM) about amateurs taking over from the pros on the Web.

It reminded me of a NY Times story I read at SFO on Thurs (dead trees still have their uses) re About.Com's editorial meeting. They use a model similar to the one we use on UserLand.Com (I think we have a better name). Well, what impressed me is that fewer people showed up at About's meeting than showed up at ManilaPalooza in March.

About has run through many millions of dollars to get their thing going. Well, everyone here works for free, and we haven't spent more than $10K on promotion, if that much. This leads me to believe that you don't have to buy users and editors, that there are enough amateurs with talent who love to write and learn from others, for its own sake.

I said to Jerry "I couldn't believe how close Max Frankel came to figuring it out." The full blueprint is in the Making Money piece. I think a lot of people could benefit from reading the whole thing top to bottom. I just did.

OK, there's been a market correction, so you might not get the huge market cap. But perhaps Son-San was right, and this correction is just shaking out the low quality garbage, and we'll get back on track once quality becomes the buzzword in Silicon Valley, not stupid bullshit like P2P.

(Which is really just an invite back to the pyramid schemes of the late 90s the VCs made so much money with, and raised all those $billion funds on the basis of.)

Another Hack-the-Planet question 

For some reason I felt like asking these questions over on Wes Felter's excellent site.

I want to play MP3 files from a script on Windows.

I also need to know when the file is finished playing so I can launch another one.

I want to turn Pike into a playlist editor. I want branching and reorganization.

Is Napster scriptable?

Answer came from Brent. Microsoft has a Windows Media Player SDK. And they have a playlist format, in XML! All right. We're getting somewhere.

Tom Clifton has a Frontier responder that streams MP3s. I wonder how it works.

Today's Random Links 

Matthew Wilson is connecting Pike to Perl, and is almost there, but has a question.

I'm certainly going to buy one of these Philips CD players that can handle MP3 format. Coming in August.

Why not have a cuppa coffee with Surprise.

Watch this Space: "I can only talk about music for a short while and then I have to go do music."

Today's songs 

Robert Palmer: Addicted to Love. "Your lights are on, but you're not home. Your will, is not your own, your heart sweats, your teeth grind, another kiss and you'll be mine."

The Supremes: You Can't Hurry Love. "I can't bear to live my life alone." Bummer!

I like to quote this song when asked when a certain feature will be released.

Drury's not diggin 

Ian Drury: Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick.

Oy, he died on March 27. Sad sad!!


Last update: Sunday, July 09, 2000 at 8:58 AM Eastern.

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