Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Thu, 24 Apr 2003
James Strachan replied to my post about the AOP JSR.
Though Ted misunderstands the JCP process a little. The JCP process is just that, a process. It can define an API that can be used on any JDK version it wishes. A JSR does not have to tie itself or integrate itself into any of the big API bundles (JDK or J2EE). Also there is no fixed time schedule, so there's no need to rush things to force a standard.

Actually I do understand the JCP process. More than I want to. I've been directly involved in discussions with Sun regarding the ASF and issues that have come up in the JCP. I have lived through multiple versions of the JCP as an IBM employee, as a member of the ASF, and as an individual. In theory, what you say about the JCP is true. In practice, most JSR's end up being bundled into J2{M,S,E}E. Once that happens it makes things much harder to change.

I'm glad to hear that the StAX JSR is making great progress. I'd feel better about the progress if I could see the discussions going on and participate. But I can't. I'd be very disappointed if Rickard, Cedric, Jon, Gregor, and all the othe r AOP folks had to do their work in secret under the JCP or W3C style processes.

Perhaps you're right that standardizing something around interceptors makes sense. I feel that there is a tendency to run to the JCP to get things blessed when it is unnecessary to do so. I don't necesarily believe that things need to be standardized. I do believe that they need to be developed in an open and collaborative process. I think that is what is happening with AOP right now. I'd rather not have it all sucked under the JCP secrecy veil.

[12:40] | [computers/programming/java] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Visual programming?
Carlos and Anthony are discussing the merits of visual programming. Looks like Andy Oliver is in on it too. I have mixed feelings about visual programming -- I've used (briefly) tools like ProGraph, and did some reading on visual programming languages when I was a grad student (the advantage of being an OODB geek was that you legitimately needed to be a programming language, database, and (kind of) operating systems geek). It's a paradigm which has never lived up to its promise (at least in my eyes).

Thinking about this did revive a memory about some work being done by folks at the University of St. Andrews on what they call hyperprogramming. It's not visual programming exactly, but i leverages visualization in pursuit of more leverage at the language level. I haven't kept up with what they've been doing, so my memory is a bit rusty on the details, but it was very interesting stuff when my mind was fresh on it.

[12:24] | [computers/programming] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Other aggregator news
Don Park is going to build a .NET prototype of a newspaper-like aggregator UI. This is really exciting!

The 'Early Adopter' guys are pointing people to the ZaoBao Aggregator in Chandler. I think that we need a version of what Don is going to do as a viewer parcel in Chandler, integrated with the Chandler address book and related to all the other personal information you might have stored in Chandler. Chandler could be a very nice substrate for an RSS aggregator / Blog client. My involvement with pyblosxom has been practice for working on something like this. Until the storage model for Chandler settles down, this is still a gedanken experiment.

[12:06] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Fixing aggregators
A few folks e-mailed/commented to get the ball rolling on this:

Jason Brume wrote to say that nntp//rss 0.3+ supports gzip compression. My logs confirm this.

Joseph Ottinger, one of the authors of RSSLibJ wrote to say that RSSLibJ uses a stream that someone else passes to process RSS, so that its the callers problem. That's probably true. It would be good if the FAQ told people that they should support GZip and ETags and so forth. Most of the problems that Bill and I (and others I'm sure) are interested in are going to be upstream from RSSLibJ

So here's the current score on RSS Aggregators and GZip:

  • Aggie 1.0 RC5 - supported
  • AmphetaDesk - no support planned until after 1.0
  • Bottom Feeder - supported
  • Channel Buddy - couldn't find a web site for these guys
  • effnews - supported
  • Hep - supported in 0.4
  • java.blogs aggregator - no plans to implement GZip support
  • NetNewsWire - added to feature request list
  • Newsgator - support in an unspecified future version
  • nntp//rss - supported in 0.3
  • ping.blog.gs - awaiting a reply
  • Radio Userland - awaiting a reply - Help Dave!
  • RSS Bandit - needs support
  • SharpReader - needs support
  • Straw - supported
  • Syndirella - support planned for 0.92 but no longer being maintained
  • Wildgrape NewsDesk - support in an unspecified future release
[11:55] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Wham, bam, thank you Sam!
There's nothing like blogging a request before bed, and waking up to find it answered:
Ted Leung: Esther Dyson has a blog. Cool. It would be good if one of the bloggerati would help her with an RSS feed, too.

I'm sitting next to Esther. ;-)

Done. Here's the RSS feed. And I'm now subscribed.

Now Sam, if you could get Keith Ballinger similarly arranged, that'd be awesome.

I've never used Blogger, but it seems to me that I've seen (and skipped) a number of blogs without RSS feeds, and many of them were running on Blogger. It seems odd to me that Blogger doesn't set up an RSS feed by default.

[11:16] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 2 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
You never know what log mining will bring
Thanks to Bill's post on fixing RSS readers, I started looking more closely at my server logs. It just so happened that at the moment I chose to look, I saw a referrer from the World as a Blog which is a cute flash app that draws a map of the world and the lights it up with new blog posts in "tool tips" on top of the area where the blog lives. It uses geourl to do this. It is definitely cute. Be a great mode for an RSS aggregator to run in. Go and geourl your blog!
[00:53] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
"Bad" RSS readers
Bill Kearney proposes outing "bad" RSS readers. I did this a bit earlier this spring with respect to doing gzip, and I definitely would like to see this happen for ETag as well. I was successful at getting a few folks to add gzip support -- some folks weren't aware of it at all, and some people were planning to do it later (and still haven't). But if a bunch of people started asking for this support, that might convince people to move things up on the list of features.
[00:33] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Release 4.0
Esther Dyson has a blog. Cool. It would be good if one of the bloggerati would help her with an RSS feed, too.
[00:17] | [computers/internet/weblogs] | # | TB | F | G | 1 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

twl JPG


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