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

Who or what will be the BitTorrent of Realtime? Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named fanning.jpgA market develops, a bunch of people get it started, then someone at a big company discovers it, changes its name (sometimes they don't even do that) and relaunches it as if it were something wholly new. The press, many of whom were aware of the earlier efforts, goes for it. "Everyone knows" that it only matters when a big company does it. However, if you look at history that's often not true, it's often the small guy who ends up defining the market, despite what the press thinks.

A classic case is P2P. Ten years ago there were all kinds of early efforts, some remarkably popular (thinking of Napster) and the industry launched a huge hype balloon. Conferences, white papers, press tours, alliances, books, VC, startups, etc etc. Billions of dollars thrown at it. What ends up taking the prize? BitTorrent! An open source project launched by a bunch of nerds, without much PR. I don't know if it was the best technology, but it certainly was good enough. It wasn't glitzy or even particularly easy to to use. It worked, and most important, you could get the music and movies and TV shows you wanted.

It's a good bet that in five years we'll look back and most of the companies staking out realtime today will be forgotten and something like BitTorrent will rule this space, gently of course. ;->

In one way, losing a father is a relief Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I've been amusing myself with illogic this last week, at times giggling with the relief I feel at the passing of my father. I finally found a way to explain it in words.

When I was a kid, like every other kid, when the parents went out and left me alone, I'd do stuff that I wasn't normally allowed to do. But I had to be sure to cover my tracks so my mischief wouldn't be discovered. The lessons learned from the failures were incorporated into my future exploits, I'd never get caught the same way twice!

So all through my life I've been preparing for my father to come home and catch me doing whatever it is is I'm doing. Whether I was aware of it or not, I was always covering my tracks. My subconscious can't get rid of this. It's a program I'll be running forever. But now it has a different ending. He's never coming home.

Good API design at Twitter Permanent link to this item in the archive.

A picture named kevin.gifI've been putting off programming with Twitter lists, but I shouldn't have.

They did a really good job, as usual, with the API.

The project -- convert the page of Berkeley people's tweets to run off a list instead of a special Twitter account. It turns out there's an API call that retrieves the timeline for a list, and it works exactly like the API call that retrieves the timeline for an account. So much so that I didn't even have to change the glue script, I pass in a different URL and it just worked.

It Just Worked™.

That's the Holy Grail of APIs.

I am happy to criticize Twitter when I think they made a mistake, and I'm even happier to applaud when something works incredibly simply, and well.

Thanks!! ;->


Last update: Sunday, October 25, 2009 at 6:47 PM Pacific.

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Leon Winer

A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 54, 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.

One of BusinessWeek's 25 Most Influential People on the Web.

"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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