Syndication in XML
Thursday, February 11, 1999 by Dave Winer.
Late in 1997 we started a process on my news site to automatically generate an XML version of the home page that's kept in synch with the HTML version. It was a seed-drop, an egg that could beget a chicken, if only there were a rooster to do the deed.
As it turns out we were ahead of the curve, but now we're right on the edge. Our technique is so simple, you just have to load in an XML file and run it thru your page builder.
Well, now one of the biggest portals on the net, netscape.com, has done the development work and soon will be rolling out Scripting News as a channel for my.netscape.com users. Here's a screen shot:
Any other portal could do the same. We have an eclectic and interesting flow of links on our site. Many of the most influential people on the net read the site. It would be a valuable addition to any portal, and right now, it's free! So go for it.
Now let me tell you a story about a journalism class at Northwestern University who did an investigation into the case of a man on death row, Anthony Porter.
They found the real killer and Porter was set free. He had been in jail for sixteen years, at one point he had been just hours away from execution. On release, asked if he was angry, he said "It feels marvelous to be outside! I'm free!"
That's a cool guy. Life is too short to be obsessed with revenge.
Is fast. I can still beat most news sites, just me, one person, a writer with a solid content management system groomed to his writing style.
When CNN gets a big break on their TV network, for example, I sometimes rush to my desktop, go to the CNN site and wait and wait for the story to show up on their home page, even in news flash mode. Within thirty seconds of their story, I'm pointing to it.
But the web should run faster than TV because the web has multiple channels and television is serial, it gets bogged down in the yawning rhetoric of Washington politicians and political analysts. TV is amazingly repetitive. The web doesn't have to be slower, it can be much faster, in its unique way.