Click here to show or hide the menubar.

Home >  Archive >  2012 >  May >  20

Previous / Next

What is a blorkmark?
By Dave Winer on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM.
I'm working on the top-level user interface for the worldoutline software, and have decided, for now at least, that blorkmarks will be a top level feature. I could leave them out in the first version, and introduce the concept as an upgrade a few months after the initial release. I might still do that. But I wanted to see if I could explain what they are to the relatively technical people who read this blog.  permalink
The core idea in the worldoutline is that you can put a marker on a headline that says this place begins a new space. Which allows you to use the outliner to organize all your spaces.  permalink
This way of organizing has lots of advantages. It lets you view a blog as a structure of documents you can edit. And it can allow you to fork off a new blog without increasing the complexity of the world you manage. This is something you're constantly fighting. A lot of spaces shouldn't overly complicate your life. permalink
So how does a seam get expressed? How are these markers implemented? You could either come up with a web service that takes a name and tells you how to find your way to that place, or you could use a system that already does most of the job, DNS. This is one of my basic design principles. When possible use already-deployed and widely-supported protocols instead of inventing new ones. Lots of good reasons for this. That's why I used DNS. It scales, it's widely deployed, and I've always felt it was under-utilized, that there was a lot of power there lying dormant.  permalink
So here's how it works from a user standpoint. I put the cursor on a headline, and choose the Add Blorkmark command. It suggests a name, which I can override. Then it makes a call to a server which in turn calls Amazon's Route53, to register a cname, and associate it with the node you're pointing to. It takes 20 to 40 seconds for Amazon to do its work. And after that you have a way to get to this place. To the reader it looks as if it's a world unto itself, but in your view of the world, it's just a corner inside a bigger outline. A possibly much bigger outline, containing many such spaces.  permalink
The path to the node is stored locally on your machine and on your worldoutline server. If you move it, no problem, the marker moves with it. So that's what a blorkmark is. It's something like a bookmark, but it points into content both in the place you edit it and in the place people read it.  permalink
This site contributes to the community river.

© Copyright 1997-2012 Dave Winer. Last update: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 4:11 PM Eastern. Last build: 5/31/2012; 9:35:15 AM. "It's even worse than it appears."

RSS feed for Scripting News

Previous / Next