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Permanent link to archive for Saturday, June 28, 2003. Saturday, June 28, 2003

Radio as a Movable Type outliner. Configuration is still a bit rude, and for the brave. But the outliner works, and it's wonderful, according to Andrew Grumet, who's using it. Brought to you by Ben and Mena who generously added MetaWeblog API support to Movable Type; and by me, who wrote an outliner that can be used to edit weblog posts. 

Rogers Cadenhead has started a mail list to write a new specification for RSS 2.0. As I said in the comments on Rogers' site, this is a welcome development. Thanks. 

Scoble has a long interesting rant about RSS. He's right, when you're trying to get a new activity going it isn't about making the wrong people feel good, it's about making the right people feel excited. RSS has done that, very nicely, over the objections of some programmers who want to play with it, which really means that they want to break it.  

Internet News: "Google has added a 'BlogThis' feature in version 2.0 of the toolbar. But because it's exclusive to Blogger users, rival firms are worried Google might use its wild popularity to sideline the competition." 

10/22/02: "The chance to blow people's minds is to show it working through the open interface of a competitor's product. This is how we show web services working, as they were always supposed to, eliminating lock-in, allowing us to enhance each others' products, and to take the fear out of serving our customers. The BigCo's don't get this, they patent stuff and have powwow's among execs who have no idea what the software is used for. Heh. In the meantime us little folk are building a market. How about that." 

Halley Suitt: "We're alive here, but we're also dying." 

Michael Fraase: "Last year more than 6500 people died waiting for organ transplants." 

Joshua Allen has a talk with Mr Safe, and guess what Mr Safe thinks RSS is okay, cool, let's go, no problemmo. 

Boston Globe: "At 5:30AM yesterday, Krispy Kreme Inc, the highly profitable, highly caloric doughnut chain, finally opened the doors to its new franchise in Medford and entered the Massachusetts market." 

Tim Bray is worried 

Tim Bray: "I am worried that the next-gen syndication process rooted in Sam's Wiki is in danger of going seriously off the rails, because some of the participants have got the idea that it's about trying to invent new technology or improve RSS."

If it weren't so sad it would be funny. Bray's initial posts on this subject formed the rallying cry for ripping up the pavement and starting over. His dismissal of me as a leader of the community inspired others to incredible personal abuse and cruelty. Now he speaks as if he's the injured party.

I'll make a prediction. Because of what he did, control of RSS will go to the BigCo's, probably Microsoft, possibly a battle between IBM, Microsoft and Google. Bray deserves the credit for that. I think this post is his realization that he's going to get it, fully and squarely on his shoulders. Good luck Tim. You're on your own now. Let's see if you can dig out of this mess.

Dave Winer is angry 

Okay, I'm glad I got that out of the way. I am angry that Bray used me in such an awful way to be so wantonly destructive and now that he sees the destruction is trying to scramble as fast as he can into the hills. I've expressed that. Now let's try to move on.

How about let's try to put this back together so that RSS stays what it is, a simple syndication format, with a set of best practices that all parties adhere to, so that the format isn't vulnerable to takeover by one or more BigCo's. If you want to understand why I never took the spec to the W3C, there it is. It's a consortium of BigCo's with a director who is an RDF advocate, and until very recently an anemic patent policy. Such an organization cannot be trusted with RSS, imho.

The IETF is not much of a standards organization. Mark Nottingham turned the RSS 2.0 spec into something IETF-able, and while I didn't endorse it, I didn't stand in its way either. I was neutral on it, because it's kind of an empty thing to do. Anyone could follow such an action with a restatement of what RSS is, and that restatement would be just as valid as the original statement. Not much of a basis for interop, imho.

The other standards organizations are less familiar to me, and probably mostly are controlled by BigCo's who I don't trust (based on experience), so the RSS spec has stayed on, waiting for a group of senior industry people without a major conflict of interest to work with me to figure out what's best for everyone, but most of all what's best for RSS. Maybe that day is here. It kind of depends on what's in Sam's heart, Jon's heart, and even Tim Bray's heart, even though I hate what he did, I recognize his brilliance, and think he probably was just a fool, that he wasn't deliberately trying to destroy the tenuous peace in RSS-land.


Last update: Saturday, June 28, 2003 at 8:02 PM Eastern.

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