A post with a place to comment with links to all the bits in the release of the Aggregator API.
XML-RPC interface for the NewsRiver aggregator.
Release notes for users of the OPML Editor.
Here's a look at the "photocasting" feed format that Apple introduced yesterday. It's fairly bad.
We're getting somewhere on the industrial-strength torrent serving project. It seems Azureus can handle much of the hosting problem, but we still need to be able to go from a RSS feed with MP3 enclosures to a RSS feed with torrent enclosures. Of course generating the RSS feed is no trouble at all, but we still need an automatic way of turning the MP3s into torrents. My exploration has led me back to work Andrew Grumet did in 2004 to teach Radio how to download torrent enclosures. All this work should connect well with the NewsRiver aggregator, when we get to that step.
Thanks Ben. OPML is the inside name, the same way RSS is inside podcasting. Still thinking about the next-layer-up. In Cambridge last week I spent a lot of time talking up the World Outline Foundation. I want Harvard to help get the ball rolling on that. Then I want to pitch the NY Times and Yahoo. I was pretty open about this in my roadmap for 2006, a lot of which came true yesterday and at CES. Google is going to give us DRM, and the iPods are getting FM support. I didn't bother predicting that Apple would ship a too-expensive laptop to milk the Mac power users before providing an affordable laptop for my buddy Patrick. That was obvious on its face. And photocasting was predicted pretty well by FlickrRivr.
Jeff Jarvis: "It's scandalous that car companies have ignored the revolution in consumer-controlled media." Amen.
Now, zoom back to December 2002, over four years ago. Radio's aggregator is pretty much the only show in town, and Jake Savin got almost all the way to releasing an API. He got close, but didn't close, if you know what I mean. When I went looking for the API I found it, and then added an item to my to-do list: shortly after the initial release of NewsRiver, I wanted to finish the job that Jake started back in 2002.
Today, I have the code working and checked in, I just have to write some docs, and show you how to use the test scripts.
What does this mean? Hopefully, quite a bit. There has been a lot of interest in putting an AJAX user interface on NewsRiver. I'd like to see the work done. I'd also like to see a Flash user interface (maybe Kosso can do this). It is possible to do all this inside the OPML Editor scripting environment, but it's an unnecessary hurdle, if the aggregator has an API. Now that it does, it is possible, and relatively easy to create a new UI in any development environment. You can even put the engine on a server, and the UI on a workstation.
We use XML-RPC of course, so you can work in any environment that has XML-RPC support, and that is basically every environment. (It's almost eight years old now, btw.)
So I'm sending a heads-up to the members of the Web 2.0 workgroup, and of course posting it here. Here's a link to the API docs, and the release notes for OPML Editor users.
And thanks Jake for blazing this trail!
An open note to Guy Kawasaki.
I met with Alice over the holidays and talked with her about the obvious connection between RSS and Filmloop, and given yesterday's announcement from Apple, it seems they agree.
Guy, for old time's sake, bury the hatchet. Whatever it is that keeps you from working with me, get over it. I can help you and your company, and there's nothing in it for me but the satisfaction of helping family and an old friend who's pissed at me for some imagined slight.
This is what getting old is about, you learn that your shit stinks, and you're not right about everything and you need help from friends. I sure learned that. Let me help.
Here's an example. Look at Memeorandum this morning. Scan for the word Filmloop. No matches.
Now, yesterday they announced and shipped a Mac version of their mainstay product. Until now, you could only use their product on Windows.
Also yesterday, the platform vendor of the Mac, a company Guy used to work for, a company that Guy symbolizes, almost as much as Steve Jobs does, announced and shipped a product that sounds a lot like Guy's product.
Now you'd think the combination of those two events would generate some heat, and it might have, had Guy started his blog a few years ago, instead of a few days ago. Or, if he had worked with me to help inform the market of their shipment, with even a tiny bit of fanfare. I did offer, he responded with silence and presumably pride.
So here's one of the rules of the blogosphere, for my old friend Guy, who totally doesn't get it.
Rule #1. We're all folks here. Come as you are.
Which is a variant of the old Rule of Links.
When you look at his blog it screams at you how Guy gets it and you don't. The joke is that Guy doesn't get it. That blog could be helping him, and it will, the day he points out, the day he helps someone else, the day he glorifies someone other than Guy Kawasaki.
And that's what he needed yesterday, help from friends, when his excellent product broke through to a new platform where it would be appreciated, and where his former employer stole his thunder.
Oh and when Guy gets it, it will be a thing to behold. He's one fucking powerful dude. A Scoble who eats red meat.
Why did I paste a picture of a Young Jean-Louis Gassee next to the bit about Kawasaki and Filmloop? Why did I pick a pic where he's playing an imaginary violin as if he's orchestrating something complicated and maybe fun? Because JLG is an artiste when it comes to conveying information in a light that shines brightly on you, and in doing so makes you love him.
This is the polar opposite of Steve Jobs who stands on stage and demands that you love him because of him, you're only part of the equation to the extent that you may line up and pay in advance, and even if you do, you're only one of 25 billion souls who are happy to do the same. In the Jobs vision, 2006 is just like 1984.
Gassee was the Apple God of Blogging before there was even such a thing, he flipped it around, and made you feel like the king, in every way possible. Except for a tiny bit of gullibility on the part of Gil Amelio, we would be living in JLG's world today instead of SJ's. Maybe it wouldn't be so good, or maybe it would be much better. We'll never know.
Anyway, I put the picture there because I hope Guy reads it and I hope he still loves JLG, and it brings a smile to his face. We were both students of the great Jean-Louis, back in the salad years of the Macintosh. We both loved him. It may be a bond that ties us together.
And if Jean-Louis himself should happen to read this, I hope you're doing well in your new life as a VC.
All around me are people re-entering my life, people from the long-gone past, people who slammed the door on the way out, in anger, people I felt sure would cross paths with me again, and now are.
I have one former friend who's going through a second tough divorce and lashing out at people all around him, in a huge expression of rage. Last time he was getting divorced I was a confidant, I listened and helped the best I could. I didn't ask for anything in return, but now I am getting it anyway. No good deed goes unpunished.
Two ex-friends have started blogs, one of them talks about me on his, in condescending terms, as if he had insight into my soul that I myself don't have. I see the arrogance of his youth hasn't faded, yet, but it will, I think it always does. If it doesn't happen in life, it certainly happens when you die. At that point you are not all-powerful and not omniscient. My opinion only, deal with that sooner than later, and you can have some amount of joy in your life before meeting the grim reaper.
Steve Jobs is also a vector to the past. Compare the new Steve and the old one. Today's Old Steve and the young one from the past. People change in some ways, and in others they don't. Jobs presses a button in me, a negative one. I search my past for someone who acted like he does, and I don't know who it is. Maybe he has a trait that all my relatives had, a smug and prissy way of expressing power, like a teacher's pet. I haven't figured it out. But yesterday, before the keynote, I was happy about my Macs, and after the keynote, I felt cheap and used and taken for granted.
I'd like us all to find some balance. For my friends, those who evoke fond memories and those who represent pain, and everything inbetween, I wish the best and make a request. Leave me out of your nightmares. I am not responsible for your pain. I am not your father or mother, or your brother or sister, someone who hurt you. I am not "just like" them either. I grew up in my own hell, and unless you're a close relative of mine, you have no idea what makes me tick. Not that you would want to know.
Someday, Murphy-willing, I will write a memoir. You may be in it. It's going to be a best seller, I promise you. Please, be nice to me.
One thing I'm doing in a deliberate way is passing good energy down the generations, to younger people, whenever I can. You can buy love, it turns out. I do it whenever I can.
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