Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 4th April 2003

Letting off some steam

I spent most of today knee deep in RSS, writing an aggregator for a project at work. It has been quickly becoming apparent that “Really Simple Syndication” is anything but! There are currently three major (and goodness knows how many minor) specifications doing the rounds, and the majority of feeds seem to pick and chose between the three at will. Even the three core elements that describe an item (title, link and description) are both optional and heavily overloaded.

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The blogging MP

Could Tom Watson be the blogging world’s best kept secret? He’s the Labour MP for west Bromich East, he’s been blogging apparently since since July 2001 and posts updates several times a day, including an almost daily “Today in parliament” entry. I’m surprised I haven’t seen him linked to by someone before. I wander if any other UK MPs have frequently updated blogs?

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PhotoPal is a new PHP image gallery system by Noel Jackson inspired by the Photos section on Textism. The way it is implemented reminds me somewhat of the Blosxom philosophy—the album’s structures is defined by the directory structure, with simple text files adding additional descriptions, and metadata is extracted from the photos themselves using PHP’s exif_read_data() function.

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Bjørn Borud blogs

Bjørn Borud (a Senior Software Engineer at AllTheWeb) has recently started blogging. His thoughts on wikis make interesting reading. I also rather liked his description of something he calls the “Hansel und Gretel” mode of browsing:

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Interview with Steve Champeon

Meet The Makers are carrying a great interview with Steve Champeon, author, web standards advocate and founder of the Webdesign-L mailing list (which I re-subscribed to today). Steve’s explanation of the concept of “progressive enhancement” is particularly interesting:

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Lively discussion on SOAP

If you get the basic idea of web services but are still looking to get your head around SOAP (I know I am) the lively discussion currently taking place in Sam Ruby’s comment section looks like a great place to start.

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2003 » April