The web is 20. Is it still relevant?
Looking at the efforts Dave Winer is undertaking in terms of getting OPML to become yet another standard, I’ve been thinking about how formats get adopted. The key insight I came up with is that standards are actually a form of social contract and increasingly, data formats is following the same path. Looking at the history In order to look forward, it always pays to look back. The dominant standards for the web today are undeniably HTML (or its variances like XHTML) and HTTP. More recently, XML has emerged and, increasingly, RSS is becoming the dominant type of XML for sharing a variety of data. How did each of those standards become a standard. It is obvious now (hindsight is always 20/20) that standards bodies have relatively little bearing when it comes to influencing the succes of a format. Take, for example, SGML, which was the dominant standardized format for document formatting. It was quickly superceded by HTML which, at the time, was not considered a standard. The same is true of RSS and other standards for syndication. Formats like ICE, CDF, and NewsML were touted as the future when they were first introduced. However, they’ve recently been superceded by…Read More
A few weeks ago, Amy Gahran, of contentious.com, started a contest to find a new nickname for RSS. I submitted Elert as my entry. Today, I found that it’s one of the top entries in terms of votes but I need help getting it to the top. This is where you, gently readers, come in. Please vote for Elert! Here’s why I chose this particular name as my entry: First of all it is short. By comparison, people talk about the “web” instead of the “world wide web” so any nickname needs to just roll off the tongue. Second, it has to represent the concept: When I get a tip from an RSS feed, what am I getting? First, I’m getting a reminder that something new has been posted. In some cases, it’s a portion of an entry, in others, it’s the whole entry. In either case, I am alerted to the fact that new content has been posted. This alert comes electronically, hence the replacement of a single letter to form the new elert term. An elert is an electronic alert. Why no web mention? Well, I thought of that one for a while, as the term web has…Read More
Many people have written to me to point out that they still get duplicate entries in their user-agent table after using the GroupAgent trick I highlighted. To remove those, you need to use the HideAgent directive. Here is the list of HideAgent directives I have in my file: HideAgent rv:1.4 HideAgent 3.01 HideAgent 3.02 HideAgent 4.01 HideAgent 5.0 HideAgent 5.01 HideAgent 5.12 HideAgent 5.13 HideAgent 5.14 HideAgent 5.15 HideAgent 5.16 HideAgent 5.17 HideAgent 5.21 HideAgent 5.22 HideAgent 5.23 HideAgent 5.5 HideAgent 6.0 HideAgent 348NorthNews HideAgent Alcatel- HideAgent almaden.ibm.com/cs/crawler HideAgent AmphetaDesk HideAgent antibot HideAgent AppleWebKit HideAgent http://Ask.24x.Info/ HideAgent ASPseek HideAgent aspseek HideAgent augurfind HideAgent AvantGo HideAgent Awasu HideAgent Baiduspider HideAgent BarraHomeCrawler HideAgent BBot HideAgent BFS_method HideAgent Bilbo HideAgent Bison HideAgent Blazer HideAgent blo.gs HideAgent BlogBot HideAgent Blogdigger HideAgent Blogosphere HideAgent BlogPulse HideAgent BlogShares HideAgent Blogwise HideAgent boitho.com HideAgent [email protected] HideAgent [email protected] HideAgent BorderManager HideAgent brainoff.com/geoblog/ HideAgent www.business-socket.com HideAgent Camino HideAgent CE-Preload HideAgent Check and Get HideAgent china HideAgent China HideAgent CJNetworkQuality HideAgent cloakBrowser HideAgent combine HideAgent COMBINE HideAgent compatible) HideAgent CoolBot HideAgent CoologFeedSpider HideAgent CopyHunter HideAgent curl HideAgent DA HideAgent danux HideAgent Dattatec.com-Sitios-Top HideAgent daypopbot HideAgent DoCoMo HideAgent DTS HideAgent Ecosystem/development HideAgent EgotoBot HideAgent Elaine HideAgent EmailSiphon HideAgent Ericsson HideAgent ETS…Read More
I’ve been working on cleaning up my webalizer.conf file in order to get better statistics. Since I haven’t seen anyone posting the following information, I figured I would, since it might interest people who are using the Webalizer stats tool. Adding the following lines to your webalizer configuration file (webalizer.conf) will allow you to get much cleaner reporting of user-agents. GroupAgent Check&Get Program: Check&Get (Bookmark Manager) GroupAgent eXactSite Program: eXactSite (HTML authoring. stupid user!) GroupAgent FavOrg Program: FavOrg (Bookmark Manager) GroupAgent Fetch Program: Fetch (Offline browser) GroupAgent GetRight Program: GetRight (Download Manager) GroupAgent HTTrack Program: HTTrack (Website Copier) GroupAgent Lachesis Program: Packet Loss Report (ftp.intel.com) GroupAgent lachesis Program: Packet Loss Report (ftp.intel.com) GroupAgent MSFrontPage Programming: Microsoft FrontPage (stupid user!) GroupAgent Offline Program: Offline Explorer (Offline Browser) GroupAgent Powermarks Program: Powermarks (Bookmark Manager) GroupAgent SuperBot Program: SuperBot (Web Site Copier) GroupAgent Teleport Program: Teleport Pro (Offline Browser tenmax.com) GroupAgent WebStripper Program: WebStripper (Offline Browser) GroupAgent WebZIP Program: WebZIP (Offline Browser) GroupAgent Alcatel- Device: Alcatel Mobile Phone GroupAgent AvantGo Device: AvantGo (Offline Browser) GroupAgent Blazer Device: Blazer (PalmOS browser) GroupAgent DoCoMo Device: I-mode Compatible Mobile Phone GroupAgent Elaine Device: Palm browser GroupAgent Ericsson Device: Ericsson Mobile Phone GroupAgent MOT- Device: Motorola Mobile…Read More
Congratulations to Dave Winer for realizing that his personality had become a polarizing force in the RSS discussions and for basically giving RSS 2.0 to the community. There is really nothing I can say that really expresses how amazing I find this move. By putting the specification under an Attribution/Share Alike Creative Commons license, Dave has essentially manage to make the rights on this specification very clear. This should put an end to any discussion related to how much control Userland exerts on the specification. The creation of an advisory board is also a move in the right direction. If there is one thing I would recommend, however, it is the election of two extra members that would be voted on by the community. This might be to consider in the future but my congratulations go to all members of the current advisory board. It is a tough job but one that I’m sure you will all do well. Once again, Dave, thanks for this great gift to the community. This, to me, has to be the most important announcement in the syndication space in several years and will ensure that the specification will move forward, hopefully putting behind us…Read More