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Permanent link to archive for Thursday, October 10, 2002. Thursday, October 10, 2002

Apple: XML-RPC vs SOAP

Brian Jepson is blogging the Sells Brothers Web Services conference. 

News.Com: "In a letter sent to more than 2,000 university presidents, the RIAA, MPAA and other copyright owner trade groups told university officials that large numbers of students were using college resources to violate federal law." 

Mary Wehmeier: "Yesterday explosions lit up the bottom of the old Moline Public Hospital Building." 

Rogers Cadenhead: "I think Dmoz is a pretty amazing accomplishment -- 52,000 editors, 13 million sites, not $1 in income, and yet it's the best directory on the Internet." 

Werblog: "Andy Oram doesn't get it." 

Aaron Swartz: Mr Swartz Goes to Washington

Ernie the Attorney: "Lessig did a great job, but the larger forces are against the argument that he advances." 

Steve Zellers: "I'm getting ready for my first real vacation in about 14 years." 

John Robb: "Without 14.4 modems, there wouldn't have been a Internet boom." 

In today's NY Times, David Pogue reviews Microsoft's new entertainment PC spec and OS, awkwardly named XPMCE. 

On this day last year, Mark Pilgrim wrote: "Welcome to my weblog. I hope you enjoy it. I just got fired for it." 

Two years ago today: "Someday there will be new explosive-growth technology, like PCs, graphic user interfaces and the Web. When it happens we'll know it. Unfortunately wanting it isn't enough to make it happen. The time has to be right. And there has to be real new value, something inefficient that's routed around, and nothing that can be done to stop the wheels of progress." 

I love The West Wing 

A picture named mcgarry.gifAlmost needless to say, another kickass West Wing last night. It's like a great movie, every Wednesday night. I mean a really great movie like Any Given Sunday or Fail Safe. Best line. Camera zooms on McGarry after hearing that the Israeli Foreign Minister's plane was shot down over Lebanon. "Now why didn't I see that coming?" Runner up. CJ says that Ritchie would have to set his podium on fire to lose the debate with Bartlet. (She actually says it in the inverse, he wins if he doesn't set his podium on fire.) And of course, the closing line, where Bartlet gets ready to drill a new one for Ritchie, the twinkle in his eye is what makes you want to tune in next week. What a great show.

Namespaces in UserLand's aggregator 

Yesterday we released changes that allow script writers to catch namespaces in RSS 2.0 feeds. This is part of a pass we're doing over UserLand's aggregator to add features, performance and depth now that RSS 2.0 is deploying. This feature is part of the depth.

Here's how it works. You can, by adding a script in the right place, have a script "catch" an element of any namespace. When it appears in a feed the user is subscribed to, your script runs, it can store the information in the compliation table for the feed, or act on it in any way it wants (it could download a file, play an MP3 file, make a phone call, anything a script can do).

Here's a screen shot that shows the built-in module drivers. Of course there's also a user-table that allows you to override the built-ins.

What does this feature mean? At the very least we'll be able to support different ways of saying the same thing. We hope this part isn't necessary, that implementors of RSS 2.0 feeds use the core elements whenever possible. But the expandability is there in the format, so the expandability should be in the aggregator. The next step is to add the balancing feature in the UserLand RSS 2.0 serializer, to allow geeky users to easily add their own elements to their RSS 2.0 feeds.

DMOZ on aggregators 

Check out the news readers category on DMOZ. I wonder why Radio UserLand isn't listed. If anyone can shed some light on this please let me know. Thanks.

A picture named hospital.gifIt's even worse. Look at the taxonomy for that category, it's under RDF, under Libraries. There are so many things wrong with DMOZ (it's even worse with Yahoo), they all trace back to one thing, unlike the Web, the directories don't admit competition. Once someone owns a category it's theirs until they give it up. To cure the problem every section should have at least three editors to be sure you don't have political outages. And the name of the editor should be public information. And it should be possible to organize the data in different ways so you don't end up with an important category like news aggregators deeply buried in a niche. Libraries are important, but news is for more than libraries.

Postscript 10:50AM Pacific. The system works, sort of. Radio is back in the news readers category on DMOZ. Apparently it had been there before previously, but the editor took it out. Radio never stopped being a news reader, so it's not clear why it was taken out of the category.


Last update: Thursday, October 10, 2002 at 6:56 PM Eastern.

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