Explaining the marriage of SOAP and RSS

Dave Winer: Explaining the marriage of SOAP and RSS

UserLand's development process has always been frustrating for me. They'll work on something for a bit, then jump onto something completely different and leave the other area rough. Sometimes they'll go back to an old idea and work on it again, finally realizing the potential of that older idea.

Last fall, when Radio UserLand was still focused on music, and the "world-outline" and upstreaming was new and cool, there was a lot of potential in that area. But UserLand moved their attention elsewhere, leaving those areas very rough and certainly unfinished.

This new "desktop website" application is a perfect example of going back to something that was left unfinished. The potential for publish-and-subscribe in the world-outline was always there, and people dreamed about it way back when. I wonder what things would have been like if it hadn't taken nearly half-a-year to get there.

I haven't looked at the RPC interfaces for the publish-and-subscribe system yet, but I hope it's generic, not be centered around RSS files and this particular web application.

The World Outline is cool, and so is upstreaming. But I still have trouble getting excited about this because I know it'll only be a couple months before their attention goes elsewhere, leaving uncovered stones unpolished again.

I guess what's frustrating is that UserLand is so small they can't do all these things at once.

Written on January 7, 2001