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Scripting News, the weblog started in 1997 that bootstrapped the blogging revolution.

Today's links Permanent link to this item in the archive.

Allen Stern looks at various scams Mahalo uses to make it look like people are using their site.

Kevin Marks: Journalists Slumming Online.

Uncov didn't raise enough to send a delegate to the TechCrunch conference later this month. They can keep my $100, I hope they do something interesting with it.

Should every app be a platform? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named tramp.jpgI've been pushing the idea that every app should be a platform for a long time, that in addition to a user interface, every app should have a programmatic interface. For me the idea came from growing up using Unix in the 70s, where every app is a toolkit and the operating system is a scripting language. Wiring things together is an integral part of being a Unix user. It's why programmers like Unix so much.

The idea then came up again with the push to integrated software in the early 80s. Mitch Kapor and Lotus were selling the idea of an all-in-one package, Symphony, which was a word processor, database, spreadsheet, graphics and communication program, with a macro language tying it all together. Bill Gates proposed a different approach, let each app stand alone and share its data with other apps through a common scripting language. This idea was so good that I started a company in 1988, UserLand Software, to create such a scripting language for the Mac, which then had a rich user interface and a totally underdeveloped scripting interface. Today, the Macintosh has a rich tradition of interapplication communication, made possible by this simple idea that every app should have an API.

This led to XML-RPC, the Internet version of apps with APIs, which led to SOAP, and then REST, which imho, will eventually lead back to XML-RPC (as people realize that standardized marshalling formats have value). However you express the API, today you can write scripts that combine the features of scriptable Internet apps such as Twitter, Flickr and various blogging platforms.

And at least one VC, Fred Wilson, has caught the bug, and is investing in companies that build net-scale technology with APIs. His companies will have the kind of lock-in that will be the envy of the VC world, because when other developers build on your platform, it's mighty hard to replace what's underneath. Imagine moving a coral reef from one ocean to another and you get an idea of how strong a lock platforms have.


Last update: Monday, September 10, 2007 at 6:30 PM Pacific.

Dave Winer, 52, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

"The protoblogger." - NY Times.

"The father of modern-day content distribution." - PC World.

"Helped popularize blogging, podcasting and RSS." - Time.

"The father of blogging and RSS." - BBC.

"RSS was born in 1997 out of the confluence of Dave Winer's 'Really Simple Syndication' technology, used to push out blog updates, and Netscape's 'Rich Site Summary', which allowed users to create custom Netscape home pages with regularly updated data flows." - Tim O'Reilly.

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On This Day In: 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997.

September 2007
Aug   Oct

Things to revisit:

1.Microsoft patent acid test.
2.What is a weblog?
3.Advertising R.I.P.
4.How to embrace & extend.
5.Bubble Burst 2.0.
6.This I Believe.
7.Most RSS readers are wrong.
8.Who is Phil Jones?
9.Send them away.
10.Negotiate with users.
11.Preserving ideas.
12.Empire of the Air.
13.NPR speech.
14.Russo & Hale.
15.Trouble at the Chronicle.
15.RSS 2.0.
16.Checkbox News.
17.Spreadsheet calls over the Internet.
18.Twitter as coral reef.
19.Mobs of the blogosphere.
20.Advice for Campaigns.
21.Social Cameras.
22.The Next Big Thing.
23.It's time to open up networking, again.
24.Am I competing?
25.Time to shake up conferences?
26.Bloggers working with journalists.

Teller: "To discover is not merely to encounter, but to comprehend and reveal, to apprehend something new and true and deliver it to the world."

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