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Permanent link to archive for Wednesday, December 17, 2003. Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Changes.xml for RSS feeds. "It seems that aggregators and feed readers can make good use of the flow of changes, to discover new feeds that may interest readers; and to optimize polling." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Today's song: "It was a night like this forty million years ago." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I dialed into one of my servers to be greeted by an error window that made me wonder "How does it know?" Permanent link to this item in the archive.

BBC: "Film fans who have just seen the final installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy have been heaping praise on the much-anticipated movie." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Brent Simmons: "The MetaWeblog API does exactly what I need." Permanent link to this item in the archive.

If you hate the Yankees, as I do, please click on this link, but before you do so, swallow your coffee. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Here's how I'm handling apps that request changes.xml too often. The rule is that you may access changes.xml three times an hour. After that you'll get a 503 Service Unavailable response. I also included a Retry-After response header. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

FreshMeat has a new XML-RPC interface. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Rose Mary WoodsA picture I keep thinking of as I read about the "problems" people have with RSS. How far they have to stretch to explain these problems. It reminds me of Rose Mary Woods, secretary to Richard Nixon, who explained how she accidentally erased portions of the Watergate cover-up tapes. The picture of her foot on the treadle while she answered the phone and accidentally hit Record instead of Stop, was a classic in the world of stretching to cover lies. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Source code for user.html.renderers.top10, the script that renders yesterday's 10 reasons RSS rules. If you know about outline renderers in Frontier or Radio, you can do the same thing. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Reminder, here's the feed of New Hampshire candidate appearances thanks to PoliticsNH.Com. The primary is about a month away (42 days to be exact). If anyone asks if there are any applications of RSS that are temporary, tell them about this one.  Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Randy Charles Morin Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named morin.jpgIf there were an award for being a peacemaker, Randy Charles Morin would surely be up for it. This guy has been standing in the middle of the Syndication developer community, squarely, and doing what's right. Note that I didn't say Atom or RSS, I said Syndication. Because if you pop up a level, in some sense, it doesn't matter what the format is, what matters is that there's agreement on the format, and that technologists don't try to divide the world based on compatibility, as they so often do.

On the Atom-Syntax list, RCM said: "In the next month, I'll present a framework based on Atom API called PaSSAPI that will implement both the Atom syntax and RSS over the Atom API. Then you can choose to do whatever pleases yourself."

Choosing whatever pleases yourself sounds good on paper, but in practice it's bad. The #2 cool thing about RSS is that you can implement it in an afternoon. An API based on doing Whatever Pleases Yourself is something only a large company can pretend to implement, because no one can fully implement such an API. No one will believe that a sole practitioner or even a smallish team could cover all the variability in a platform like OpenDoc or SOAP, or what Atom is shaping up to be.

If you want it to really fly, simplify. Use the guideline if it can't be implemented in an afternoon, it isn't going to fly. The Blogger API and the MetaWeblog API both could be implemented that quickly. Imho, the smartest thing would be to require XML-RPC, and then forget about SOAP and REST.

We've already heard from people who flip it around, force every tool to support SOAP and REST and make XML-RPC optional, but none of them have anything invested in the installed base, so of course they want to change everything. Anyone who had already implemented the Blogger API or the MetaWeblog API would want to keep their investment.

Even when a big established platform vendor does something like this, it usually fails. I've seen Apple, Microsoft even IBM try. Only in very unusual circumstances do you get enough support from developers to make an incompatible corner-turn, a discontinuity. Even Mac OS X had to run unaltered Mac apps. Learn from them, Luke; don't repeat the mistakes.

And to Randy thanks for the good juju you've been spreading around.


Last update: Wednesday, December 17, 2003 at 11:13 PM Eastern.

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