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Permanent link to archive for Friday, July 04, 2003. Friday, July 04, 2003

Dave Jacobs, my friend with advanced PKD, writes: "I have had email from all over the world. Not only has the weblog world helped me, but you have raised awareness about organ donation. Everybody can save someoneís life. I donít know anybody who would refuse an organ if they needed one. So I think you should be willing to donate one. Thank you for posting the story about my need."  

Simon Carstensen writes to ask if it's safe to implement a harmonizer clone, ie will the API change. The answer is, it's safe. I don't expect the API to change. It works, I've heard from happy users. I'm happy. Haha. Go for it.  

BTW, Adam Kalsey wrote me a kind email where he said. "It occurred to me that in all this mess, no one has asked you why you froze the RSS and XML-RPC specs. Why did you freeze the RSS and XML-RPC specs?" I wrote Adam a lengthy reply, but then realized my post in response to Simon, above, was actually a concise repsonse to that question. Simon asks Is it safe to start? As a designer of a new protocol I have to decide. Am I willing to live with this API forever? I give it some thought. Based on past experience -- yes. I know there are limits, things I'd like it to do that it can't do. On the other hand, I weigh that against the amount of time I have to put into it, now and in the future, against the value of having other developers pushing this into other environments. As with all things software, there are tradeoffs. Given more time it would get better. But people would lose interest. A better spec that no one else implements isn't worth anything. So back to Adam's question. RSS is frozen, as is XML-RPC, as a signal to developers that it's safe to implement. We won't rip up the rail and abandon your town. Dear developer, go ahead and build. It's safe. 

On this day in Y2K, a sunset in the Sierra. 

On this day last year the Economist asked: "So what do big media groups stand to gain from adopting a format that delights in promoting competitors' content, and relies on relinquishing editorial control?" 

July 4, 2003 

Silent in the recent michegas are the people who have been laboring over software and feeds and quietly working with people to create and use RSS. Imho, those are the people who should be setting the priorities, not engineers from other disciplines. I can't open a post for user and developer comments, because the usual people will take over. We're being controlled from the outside, that's the feeling I get, and it feels like crap.

Earlier this week I talked with Joi Ito about this, and have been emailing with a Google exec. Both were adult conversations. I want to engage SixApart and Google at that level. I would be happy to talk with IBM as well, on the chance that this is not part of an IBM strategy to own this space. I don't think Google wants to control blogspace. I think Evan does, and there's a disconnect. I don't like the way UserLand is omitted from his list of competitors. It gives me the chills. Imagine if Microsoft left Netscape off the list of their competitors. Maybe they did. But then Netscape didn't have a weblog to discuss it with the rest of the world. Esp on Independence Day in the USA.

Talking with a friend last night I said that we're (ie the weblog world) supposed to be above this. No behind-closed-doors exclusive deals. But in the last few days this little world has shown itself to be no different. Sad day.

Do you hear anyone saying how happy they are that all our cards got thrown in the air? No one asked me if it was okay. Of course they gloat, that was the point. Tim Bray brags that he can kick me out. Hey if he can kick me out, he can kick you out too. Or does he even know who you are or care what you think? Send him an email and find out. I've sent him a few, I've begged him to take the hex off. He never responds.

It's still not too late. Blogger could get a new much more powerful API, on their terms, in a matter of days. An API that's already supported by Movable Type, Radio, Manila, and virtually every other tool and editor in existence. Evan says that once the new stuff is finished all kinds of innovation will happen. Fact is so much innovation has already happened that users don't know about. Now is emphatically not the time to rip up the rails, it's time to polish the apple, to spread the gospel, dance in celebration at the miracle of the technology we've created. Flamers will always be there to stop forward motion. When you try to build a community on flames, you never get anywhere.

     

Last update: Friday, July 04, 2003 at 5:11 AM Eastern.

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