Scripting News for 2/23/2006

Essay: How much has been invested in RSS? 

I love the political storm President Bush is caught in over the UAE port managers, because it is totally unfair, as he says it is. Of course they’re perfectly qualified to manage the ports. They’re not terrorists. They employ Americans. There’s no extra risk. I love it because it’s exactly the kind of dirty trick Bush uses, the same kind of dumb emotional illogic, and like his opponents he’s left stammering like an idiot, caught in the headlights, explaining how it’s not really an issue. It’s the Swift Boat logic turned back at the master. It’s as if Karl Rove was working for the Dems. I love it because it’s funny and it’s justice.  

Helen Rowland: “The follies which a man regrets most, in his life, are those which he didn’t commit when he had the opportunity.” 

Six years ago today: Spicy noodles! 

Attention to the OPML community. We have work to do.  

Amyloo: “Head on over to the OPML Community blog, sub to both the posts feed and the comments feed.” Done. 

Ernie the Attorney endorses Mitch Landrieu for mayor of New Orleans. “We need someone who can build coalitions, inspire passion, promote innovation, and someone who has massive integrity. Mitch will take this job seriously, and will bring a lot of skill to the task.” 

An open note to Rogers Cadenhead 

Rogers, I need to get out of the RSS morass, and back to work on new stuff. Could you make your group less of a threat to harmony in RSS-land? Be a sport and listen a little, give a little. You can make a contribution without being Lord Master God of RSS. (I don’t want to be that either, I just want to be a friend of RSS and be respected for having played a major role in creating it, and having a pretty good idea about what it is and isn’t.)

Here’s the compromise I propose. Change the name and charter of the group you’ve started. Decide whether you’re working on a profile or a new format. You can’t do what you’re doing and call it RSS, that totally breaks the roadmap, and I won’t stand by and let that happen. That’s the committment I made to the people who implemented RSS, that I would stand with them and protect the roadmap. So as long as you’re in conflict with the roadmap, we’re in conflict. And I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not you’re in conflict, since I’m the author of the roadmap, I reserve that judgement for myself. Someone has to have the last word, and when it comes to the RSS 2.0 roadmap, that’s me, not you.

You’ve said you’re concerned because Microsoft is making a strong move into RSS. That’s a concern I share, so that’s common ground. You’ve even found reasons to be concerned, things they’ve done that we need to talk about with them. So define your group on those lines, you’re a study group, or a documentation project, or you’re designing a tight profile of RSS that’s intended to maximize interop, these are things I can support. I hope you see now that my support is worth something, that you can’t just blow by me in RSS, and ignore what I say, that that just isn’t going to work.

Google page creator 

This evening Google launched a totally unremarkable page creator web app. It’s a nice Ajax text editor, with templates, but why isn’t it part of Blogger, or at least connected to Blogger, and where is the feed? The sites have no structure.

Where is the Mind of Google these days? Seems to be back in the mid-90s, re-discovering Geocities. Give me a ring when there’s at least some rudimentary content management in there.

Here’s a sample page. Screen shot.

Score: C.

PS: Support the MetaWeblog API?

9 responses to this post.

  1. I’m only the chair of the advisory board — one vote among nine — though I’ll admit that my voice has thus far been the loudest in its efforts. Changes to the charter, name or focus of the organization require the votes of five members.

    I see no desire to discount your role in RSS or your ongoing efforts to be a leader in this community. But we disagree over whether your current position — leave the existing spec untouched — is a tenable one for the future.

    As I tried to articulate on my weblog this morning, there are consequences to leaving some outstanding issues unaddressed.

    I believe the consequences are significant enough to require clarifications to the spec that describes the format. I share your opinion wholeheartedly that the existing RSS elements and attributes must not be dropped, supplemented by additional elements, or change when their usage is clearly specified. People who want to innovate in this space should employ namespaces or another format.


  2. Funny, I actually had the opposite reaction when first visiting Google Pages: “Oh, thank God, a service my mother can actually use.” I agree with you that GP doesn’t seem to offer much benefit to those who want to update their page on a regular basis; it’s my opinion, though, that there are a ton of people out there who could really use a presence on the web, but who don’t necessarily want to be updating it on a regular basis. I could imagine a lot of small businesses, for example, who could benefit from a nice simple page like this, at least spelling out their details, offering some photos, and letting the whole thing be cached by the search engines for customer retrieval. (And yes, I think most of us here would agree that these businesses *should* be running blogs as well; but that’s a whole other conversation for another time.)

    This is my first comment to you, by the way; I’ve been reading daily for about two years now, and really, really, really, really love the things you have to say here.


  3. Posted by ross on February 23, 2006 at 8:02 am

    a “Busy Developers Guide to RSS”, maybe?


  4. Ross, you read my mind! 🙂


  5. Here’s a hint.

    Why not propose developing a new format that’s defined to be a minimum delta from RSS 2.0 but has a clearer spec.

    In other words, it says:

    1. One enclosure per item.

    2. A new attribute for description that says whether the content is encoded HTML.

    3. ???

    It’s what Atom should have been.

    Call it Molecule? 🙂



  6. If a “Molecule” format was defined and deployed, I would immediately set out to add support for it in the Feed Validator.

    In the process, however, I would make the suggestion that the name of the root element of molecule documents be changed from rss to something else.


  7. Posted by Marcelo Lopez on February 23, 2006 at 1:44 pm

    I agree with Sam. It’s no different than in nature, even “evolved” forms of the same atom ( hydrogen ) have different names……deuterium, tritium come to mind ( I’m not suggesting those names be used, merely providing a clear example of what Sam said ).

    Oh, and Dave, I don’t even think “evil conservatives” are going to argue much with you about the S.N.A.F.U. over the ports ( one of which happens to me our own Miami port, which happens to be the more tourist-supported in the country, if not the world. ). However, to stretch that waistband elastic so far as to draw a swift-boat analogy, p-shaw. C’mon Dave, you’re better than that. Or…maybe you aren’t. Who knows. What we do know is all of a sudden, we hear everyone who’s been up to now sitting on their hands on ( sorry, I have to say it ) national security, all of a sudden pipe up. What is that ? Now, you’ve got an opinion on it ? Did I hear anyone on EITHER side of the fence make a noise when China took over the part of the port of L.A. ? You mean to tell me that somehow they’re less(!) a possible threat ? You mean the same guys who’re responsible for Tiannamen, and keep saying “Dare ya” to the sale of military equipment to the Taiwanese, where much of the hardware that stores the electrons that make up this and other blogs is manufactured ? Let’s shut this deal down, and move along, on to more important things.


  8. Nice choice for the Google Pages example. I almost went with that template, but I was all, “No, it’s too far, too daring.”


  9. is this the first rss 2.0 on googlepages ? ;p


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: