Amazon S3 in the OPML Editor

Thanks to Les Orchard for getting us started with a tool for the OPML Editor that has basic support for the Amazon S3 interface. It’s the starting point I’m using for my initial exploration.


1. I copied Les’s tool into Guest Databases/Apps/Tools and restarted the OPML Editor.

2. I downloaded and installed Andre Radke’s crypto extension, which is required. If this stuff ships, I’ll ask for permission from Andre to include this extension in the basic OPML Editor installation.

3. I ran amazonS3Suite.init, it created user.amazonS3, wich calls for two magic strings, which are provided on Amazon’s website.

4. I did my first call, and got a security error.

5. Jeff Barr says I should check to make sure there aren’t any extraneous blanks, which there were, once I got rid of them, it’s starting to work. Excellent.

Day Two

Working on some test apps.

1. I’ve created a bucket and uploaded a text file. Now trying to figure out how to access it in my browser. The technical docs are a bit hard to find. They don’t help much. I got a clue at Jon Udell’s site. Here’s my text file. (That link may not work later.)

2. I’ve written a script that uploads all the images I’ve used on Scripting News since 12/26/03. Here’s an example. I tried passing up metadata, but when I did, it screwed up the credentials. When I didn’t send any metadata, it worked fine.

3. After the image-uploader finishes running, I’m going to write a script that outlines a bucket.

Day Three

1. My Internet service has been sucking the last few days and it finally went down so my S3 project got stalled. Comcast. Grrrr.

2. The folder uploader is running nicely now. Its purpose is to provide a good basic application that, once working, I can simplify by making the API do more for me. Once the uploader is finished running I’m going to begin working on system.verbs.apps.s3.

17 responses to this post.

  1. Hey Dave, great to see you trying this out.

    When you copied your keys from the Amazon site I am betting that you must have inadvertently copied a trailing space on one or both of them. Some of the most popular browsers select this automatically (for some reason) when you double-click on a word.

    — Jeff;


  2. […] I finally got some time to start working with Amazon S3 today.   […]


  3. Dave, I think the crypto commands are now compiled into the kernel. I don’t have new docs yet, but the commands are listed at I’m not in front of my development machine, but I think it’s all in langcrypt.c.

    If my understanding is correct, you should be able to recompile the OPML editor (which shares the open source Frontier Kernel codebase, right?), and it should give you the crypto commands without needing a DLL.

    — David


  4. The blanks-in-the-credentials sounds like a good thing to check for when this thing gets a proper treatment in the preferences pages of the OPML Editor. Otherwise, that’s a good gotcha to catch!

    And, from what I’ve seen in CVS commits on the open source Frontier project, the crypto extension indeed look like they’ve made it into the core app. But, of course, it’ll probably be a little while before a CVS build becomes a production build for the general OPML Editor population.

    Lots of exciting potential for the OPML Editor as an S3 client!


  5. David, I don’t want to rock and roll the OPML Editor right now, so I’ll go for the easiest path that doesn’t require a whole new round of testing. Then after the 1.0 release, hopefully there will be some coordination between the communities. Breakage of users is not something I want to take any chances with.


  6. Posted by David Gewirtz on April 6, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    > Breakage of users is not something I want
    > to take any chances with.

    That’s a good point! Good luck with the S3 integration. I’m really intrigued by what that might mean. It might also give Frontier another backend datastore, which is also really interesting.


  7. Do any of the readers of this blog (or you Dave) anticipate an enterprise grade web service running off the S3 API? Just curious.


  8. Yes. I’d expect the objects on S3 to be rss, opml, images. I also still expect it all to be tested.


  9. So Dave Winer is developing in public, right in the web’s eye? Not that he hasn’t done this before.

    But how many folks have the experience, the depth of character, the strange, narcissistic need for validation, and the just plain drive to do this kind of thing.

    Oddly, that’s a short description of any innovator or entrpreneur. Maybe.

    I think what really makes the difference is the long time that Dave spent in the Well.

    Is that so, Dave? And this seems to be working well, good luck.



  10. […] Day 2 with Amazon S3. Playing with some test apps.   […]


  11. Kingsley asks:

    > Do any of the readers of this blog (or you Dave)
    > anticipate an enterprise grade web service running
    > off the S3 API? Just curious.

    Well, we at Amazon certainly expect people to do just that. Every object has a URL, and I think that you will find the performance acceptable in this case.

    Check out the AWS blog ( and you’ll see that Adrian over at Chicago Crime has moved all of his media objects over to S3.


  12. Jeff, we should have an S3 Camp in April somewhere.

    It’s a very interesting but strange system.

    Lots of cool applications, I keep thinking of them, but…

    But there are lots of questions, like how much cloning are you going to tolerate, where are the patents, etc.

    What about reseller programs?

    I can think of lots of stuff we can do, some of which should be free, that I don’t think I should have to pay for, and then businesses I can see building off this.

    I’m afraid of the patents though.

    So if you want to have a open-for-all free meetup, let’s do it, soon.

    Want me to host it?

    I’m interested.


  13. berkeley or seattle. right on. either place and i’ll most likely attend.


  14. Pick a date and I can check availability at the Hillside Club in Berkeley.

    R (from Madison, WI; listen for me on Whad’Ya Know today)


  15. […] The value of writing publicly on the Internet is that you can solve problems quickly, by using a network of people who pool what they know to create something larger. When the Internet works this is why it works. It’s why conferences of VCs and their employees miss the point on technologies like RSS and even new stuff like Amazon S3 (which isn’t actually entirely new, but it’s still cool, very). […]


  16. […] Day 3 with Amazon S3. If the net stays up, I’ll begin working on the internal API.  Posted by Dave Winer Filed in Scripting News […]


  17. […] Scripting News Annex » Amazon S3 in the OPML Editor (tags: s3 amazon opml) […]


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