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Do you remember how OPML used to work?
By Dave Winer on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM.

This post is for Scripting News veterans, as well as the River-of-News group that formed around wikiriver.org last month. #

We used to do show notes and directories in the podcast world with OPML, because both were booting up at the same time. Every time we did a podcast, we'd do an OPML version of show notes.  #

We were also trying to keep track of all the programs, so we'd have a directory of directories, each in OPML. I had software that browsed these networks of OPML directories#

You could do inclusions -- where I link to your outline, but when a user expands it, it appears to open in mine (it actually does). #

I eventually stopped trying to make this work, but all my tools still do it. In fact in OPML 2.0, the protocol for inclusion was streamlined, to follow the practice that had developed. #

Now here's something I just realized that's fairly interesting. I bet in today's browsers it would be fairly easy to implement this kind of OPML directory. Javascript programmers would rather have it delivered in JSON. Of course it doesn't matter what the format is, what's needed is a community of authors building a great wandering world directory that is open to anyone, where we hold hands in cyberspace with new power. #

This is a big honking idea. If this were to actually happen, it would be an incredible complement to Wikipedia. It probably would help search companies build new engines that give us not just answers, but context. And choice of context. Unlike Wikipedia there could be many ways to arrive at a spot. That would be subject to editorial judgement, and would not require consensus. I think that's a huge deal, and would increase participation. But I'd love to do it mostly cause it would be huge fun. :-) #

Right now, if you're a Javascript programmer, here are a bunch of links for what we were doing in 2003 and 2004. Have a read, and think about it, and let's discuss if you're interested. #

June 2000: The first blog post here about the World Outline. #

June 2002: The Googlish Way to do Directories#

Not sure of the date: Editing the SoapWare directory with Radio's outliner#

A Google search for "world outline" on scripting.com in chronologic order starting in 2000. #

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