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Ed Cone: "Tara Sue Grubb's run for Congress may not take her all the way to Washington, but the long-shot candidate is already attracting national attention." 

AllConsuming.Net "offers new insight into what the weblog community is reading at the moment."  

myRSS "enables anyone to build custom RSS channels for virtually any news site they desire." 

Aggregator change 

Yesterday we made a change to the way Radio's news aggregator sets the referer when it checks each feed. We basically undid a change that was started (but not completed) in June. The net-net: if you run a popular news source, Radio will leave fewer items in your referer log; hopefully once the change percolates, just one.

BigPub weirdness 

A note to people writing articles about RSS-based news aggregators. UserLand wrote and deployed the first one, in the spring of 1999. It was called My.UserLand.Com and was quite popular. We then took the same code and converted it to run on the desktop, in the Radio environment. This was called My.UserLand on the Desktop, and it was also quite popular. It was then baked into Radio 7, and enhanced in Radio 8.

To write a review about news aggregators and to not include Radio, is wrong, and if you have a reason for doing it, it should be clearly disclaimed in your article so your readers understand. Already one BigPub has done this (with no explanation). We care about people knowing about our innovations. We don't file patents so other developers can compete with us. But please don't penalize us for our philosophy of generosity. Thanks.


Sam Ruby raised a question on his weblog yesterday that I want to try to address now, in the spirit of the previous post. I used to have the philosophy that I would point to everything that related to what I wrote, or software I shipped, or standards I promoted. Then I learned the hard way that not everyone plays this way, and that if I help someone build flow for their ideas or products, and they don't reciprocate, my business and my art and reputation often suffer. So I don't always point. I did disclaim this at the time I made the change, but Sam is relatively new to Scripting News and it bears repeating every once in a while.

In the section above, I don't point to the BigPub for a different reason. What I said is true. The article is out there on the Web. If you're resourceful you can find it via Google. But if I were to point to it from that section, all of a sudden the note would escalate into an integrity challenge against a single reporter and his or her publication. Other reporters do the same thing. Sloppy habits that come from working in a corrupt industry. I'm trying for an upgrade, not to shame one single reporter and an employer. This time, at least, I omitted the pointer.

Now Sam's issue was really interesting, and I gave a bit of thought before I picked up the phone and asked him if he was talking about the so-called RSS 1.0. He used a quote from me, re Tara Sue and Howard Coble, to try to shame me into pointing to that very confusing "version" of RSS. I think it's okay and even good to point to a competitor, when the competitor plays fair. Howard Coble doesn't run around saying he's Tara Sue. (Wouldn't that be interesting!) His existence doesn't create any confusion for Tara. Another example. SOAP and XML-RPC. Similar, but they have different names, so few if any people are confused. Now, I won't point to something that says its RSS, but offered no compatibility with the installed base, and further, was hatched and designed in private, when there were public lists where the evolution of RSS was being actively discussed. To Sam, I said there's a difference between competitor and anihilator. I like to point to competitors, esp ones who are artful, and have something to offer in return (reciprocity) and don't begrudge us our right to exist. When a competitor plays unfairly, I have no responsibility to help them, and won't.


Last update: Sunday, September 01, 2002 at 10:33 AM Eastern.

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