Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

scriptingNews outline for 2/3/2001

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:2/3/2001; 7:53:50 AM
Topic:scriptingNews outline for 2/3/2001
Msg #:22072
Prev/Next:22071 / 22073

This is a programming weekend, but before programming I went for a sunrise drive in the hills on the western edge of Silicon Valley. It's early February and spring is already arriving. The New Yorker in me still can't believe it. How can the air be so soft and full of new fragrances while winter is in full swing in so many other places. I was struck by one thought. If I was a tourist this morning I would be thinking "Wouldn't it be great to live here?" I always want to go somewhere else, to the perfect place, but this morning the thought sunk in -- I'm already there.

Paul Andrews keeps writing great essays.

We got themes working in our Blogging on the Desktop software. It's a mini-version of Themes in Manila. With two mouse-clicks I was able to transform my Handsome Radio Blog into a rough clone of Jake's Brainpan. Now I can say I'm just like Jake! Coooool.

I read a lot of Blogger sites in the last few days to see the reaction to Evan's post. People seem to be taking it in stride. That's what I like about people. They don't really care who's keeping the servers running. I also read stories by various people who used to work at Pyra. Different perspectives. I liked the one written by the Onfocus guy. He explains how they worked internally at Pyra. Nice story.

The work on RSS 0.92 continues. Today there's a new element. We plan to use it at UserLand to link RSS with directories, but there are other uses for it, by people who know more about taxonomies. As usual the goal has been to retain simplicity while adding features to make new applications possible.

Last night, talking with Jake about XML formats for Weblogs on the desktop, we made a decision that feels so right I want to talk about it here. Over the years we've invented lots of one-off XML formats, for user lists, channel lists, etc. Then we invented OPML to make lists easier to manage. But there's another kind of data we generate lots of, arrays of structs or structs that contain arrays, and various combinations therein. Look around our content universe you'll see these everywhere. Now, when I did the Global Shortcuts feature a long time ago, I had an idea that's worth revisiting, imho. Using the XML-RPC object serialization format to share array-structs. Here's the XMLization of the Global Glossary. Look familiar? The advantage of using the XML-RPC format is its ubiquity. Any data we share in this format is immediately accessible in Perl, Java, Python, Tcl, C, you name it. And these happen to be the languages that are used by other content management systems. Yes, it worked, we erased the walls, now it doesn't matter what scripting language you use, we can use Frontier, even though a relatively small number of people do, but our work can be integrated with systems written in more popular languages and environments. Yaha.

Here's a sample script that reads the Global Shortcuts file into user.html.glossary.

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