Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Picking OPML: no use swimming upstream

Ross is thinking OPML with respect to Tucows' new Skydasher product. He's worried if he's making the right decisions:

No use swimming upstream. I just wish that this course had been this clear two years ago when I last had to make this decision - and I pray that the decision is equally smart two years from now when I look back on today. Random Bytes by Ross Rader: Skydasher gets OPML

Well, we run with the standards (whether proper spec or running code), prior art, and market direction as we can. Me, I still depend on open APIs and interfaces among loosely coupled systems ruling the day.

By the way, if a slogan for RSS is "suck my feed" or "feed me", what's the slogan for OPML? "Play with my hierarchy" doesn't have much of a ring to it. I nicknamed Dave Winer's product -- The OPML Editor -- to be called "TOE". So..."play with my toes". I like it :P

Related to the adoption of formats, Tristan Louis left a comment pointing to a suggested merge of Yahoo's Media RSS and Apple's iTunes extensions. It's too early to bet on either one, so we have to support both for now.

I keep hearing people complain about different formats. Well, it certainly is an issue from a user perspective, seeing a giant row of "chiclets" pointing to slightly different feeds. But from a dynamic system perspective, it's all sitting in a database anyway, so it's fairly easy to spit out a couple of different kinds of formats.

Is the answer better auto-detection? i.e. stick it all in the head, and let the requesting application figure it out? Some sort of uber-subscribe protocol? Don't know, we'll just have to make it through these rocky in between times.