Apple: "Safari RSS, a new version of Apple’s innovative web browser that provides instant access to the most current RSS information on the web."
Here's a really cool demo of their RSS reader. Based on squinting at this demo, it appears they did it right. It's not three-pane, it's one panel, with the items displayed, from all your feeds, in reverse chronologic order. This is the most efficient way to read for the user. A lot of designers think RSS readers should work just like mail apps, but that's too inefficient. With mail you need to keep spam and mail list content segregated. For news, you need a different interface. I've been saying it for years, the Apple designers apparently didn't get sucked into the design mistake so many have. One thing I wish Apple had done differently is respect the white-on-orange icon. Such a small thing, but so important. One would think Apple, of all, would understand the value of consistent user interface.
5/24/99: "Let's study User Interface again."
And thus begins the developer dance, how this is good for the market, etc. I expect we'll be hearing a lot of this, first among Mac developers, and then inevitably, among Windows developers. I don't know what's going to happen. Maybe the few cross-platform aggregators or centralized aggregators will be what's left standing, although Yahoo and MSN and Google, at least one of them must be preparing a competent aggregator or RSS-based blogging tool (Google's still doesn't support RSS.) With Apple bundling a blogging back-end, that market changes too, don't miss that. What does Microsoft have planned here? I'm sure there are companies that would happily sell them what they need to enter the market quickly.
Now a commercial message. As of Thursday I've got lots of free time. I am available for consulting on strategies related to RSS, blogging, aggregators, etc. I'm not cheap, but you'll get your money's worth.
Bryan Bell has notes from MacRumors about the RSS capabilities of Safari. Apparently you can search the contents of the feeds. This is something Steve Gillmor has been asking for, for ages. Feedster on the Desktop. Of course it can only search the feeds you're subscribed to. Already got a call from a reporter wanting to know if Microsoft can be far behind. Yeah, probably not too far behind.
A note from inside Apple's WWDC: "Jobs is showing off Safari's built in RSS reader at the keynote right now." I've gotten a boatload of email about this. Have they turned on WiFi in the hall? How about a screen shot?
Essay: How to avoid flamewars. I added a second section, on what to do when you're on the receiving end of a flame.
Mary Jo Foley: "This Web site is not Gates' foray into blogging."
NY Times: "In a surprise, secret ceremony that was hastily convened to decrease the chances of more violence, United States officials today handed over sovereignty to Iraqi leaders, formally ending the American occupation two days earlier than scheduled."
The NY Times is now providing its own RSS feeds, with several new categories including media and advertising, most-emailed, real estate, theater, Times on the Trail, multimedia, theater, Circuits, Week in Review and the Sunday magazine section. Unfortunately the education, dining and wine feeds and perhaps others are gone. The continuing feeds redirect, so most aggregators should adust automatically.
Some feedback on the new feeds. Why do the author names have to be in uppercase, and why include the word By in the name? I've become such a aggregator-potato when it comes to my NYT feeds, any change makes me want to read the Daily News (well, not really). I care who the author is, but please, uppercase is like SCREAMING at me, and my aggregator already inserts the word "by" so now I get "by by" followed by by some guy's NAME in upper case. Not good human factors.
Last year on this day Tim Bray had the right idea about what Atom should be. (It was called Echo then.) I found it interesting to write down his goals, and see how the Atom project has deviated, which is now on track to reinvent NewsML or ICE, anything but Really Simple Syndication.
Bray's nine goals for Atom, in a top-10 list.
What he proposed and what I later proposed are remarkably close. "Can we put aside our differences now, and come up with a format that honors the work that's been done in the past and today and makes it possible for things to be better in the future, without the wasted energy that comes from disagreement and disrespect?"
Interesting RSS support from LabourStart. "Where trade unionists start their day on the net."
Frank Rich: The Best Goebbels of All?
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