I have been letting my development work get ahead of my blogging. There are lots of things working that I have not yet written about publicly. So I'm going to catch up a bit here. This is mostly for friends who read this blog as a way of staying up on what I'm doing, btw -- not a press announcement or a howto.
1. The EC2 for Poets tutorial and the software it launches reached a new level recently. When you install it now you get an integrated news system for reading and writing, all based on RSS of course. In the past, it launched more of a demo. Now it launches something that is useful. It's been ported to Rackspace and once they offer the ability to publish machine images, it will be available there too. Also working on a general version that will install on Macs and random Windows machines.
2. I'm working with Adam Curry. I know this will surprise a lot of people. But he and I do good work. He's a user who loves to get his hands dirty. He almost prefers if the software doesn't work when he gets it so he can then figure out why. Any developer would see why you like those kinds of users. I also like working with him because he has a vision of how all the pieces fit together, which not only agrees with mine, but he also sees things I don't see. Of course we had a big blowup in 2005, but the dust has settled from that. I may be a fool, but I gotta say work flows much better with AC around. There are some things I don't like about him, like his Twitter icon, for example. But you take the good with the bad.
3. There is a new development community forming around this work. We used to call these "classes" back in the day. There was the class that gathered around the AppleLink forum and then the CompuServe forum. That's how far back this stuff goes. Clay Basket, which is where I met Andre Radke. Then we had the crew that came together around the 24 Hours project which is where Brent Simmons came into it. Then there was Manilapalooza, weblogs.com, editthispage.com -- man the list goes on and on. But I've been working solo for a few years, which actually has been pretty productive. Had a chance to slow down and think a lot about how I want things to work. 15 years into a project is a good time to do that. Now we're adding a new developer every week. Some weeks more than one. Some of them are people I've worked with before, and others are completely new. But they're all really excellent. I see this as a very good sign.
The technology we're using in 2011 to glue us together is a Google Group, an Instant Outline, and I plan to use the code in #4 below to organize the docs which are all over the place and it's hard for me to remember what we have documented and what still needs to be worked on.
4. Okay so here's a really funny story. We're looking for a way to reboot the world outline, and don't want to make the mistakes we made in prior bootups. Adam goes on a hunt to find code. Stumbles across something I didn't know about or remember, html.directory. At some point we factored out the directory code from Manila and it became builtin. It was right there in opml.root. A couple of days ago I wrote a little shell website for it, it just worked. The last time this code had been touched was 2002. I think it's pretty good testimony to Brent and Jake Savin that it worked. I wanted to make sure they saw this. Here's the prototype.
5. I'm going to Europe next week. That should shake things up a bit. I'm speaking at The Next Web conference. I'm going to talk about shrink-wrapping software for the cloud and building a microblog platform without a company in the middle. Then I have a few days to improvise. Right now very tentatively I'm going to move in the direction of London after Amsterdam. But not sure what I'm actually going to do. One thing is for sure I'm going to look up from this screen ahd check out the rest of what's going on in the world.