Looking forward to weblog future

If the supporters section of the Echo RoadMap is true, then I see no reason to worry about adoption. There will be a period of time starting now where RSS and MetaWeblog/Blogger API will continue to be the most widely deployed and most stable technology for weblog management and content distribution. At some point, the results of the Echo project will be extremely well represented in the weblogging and syndication software market, and there will be a natural move to it, especially if the weblog tool vendors flip the switch.

To suggest that it can't be done is ridiculous. If HTTP can move from 1.0 to 1.1, then weblogging APIs can have their next generation too.

I think the weblogging community will be better off in the long run not depending on specification Dave Winer attaches his name to -- history has shown working with them involve long-running flame wars, nastygrams, and other wasted energy... nevermind the ambiguous or sometimes contradictory text of the specs themselves.

It sucks to say that, but this is one soap opera I would dearly love to see end once and for all. Best of luck to Dave, best of luck to UserLand, I hope they find the time or money to massively upgrade their kernel and interfaces, and best of luck to everyone who stands by their software, now and in the future. Sayonara.*

Dave keeps on saying there must be more to the motivation of Six Apart and Blogger (et al) to work on Echo, other than just "supposed" failings of RSS itself. Well yeah, of course! Here it is... they aren't willing to risk their reputations and businesses (investments) on specifications that every developer can and does interpret differently, specifications that are the core of interoperability, an ideal the weblogging world's infrastructure depends on greatly. This whole recent rehash about string encoding in XML-RPC is proof enough to me that this is the case. Would I bet my fortune on those specs? Fuck no. If I believed I had the pull to fix these things, I would. I applaud the people that got Echo rolling for believing in themselves.

Building a foundation for modern weblogging and syndication requirements, with clear specifications and a recognized way forward is a great thing. And it's going to be much easier to do with only a few leading weblog tool providers and interested weblog and developer citizens than the dozens that will exist in a year or two. Last but not least, I'm very happy that this re-engineering (reset, if you prefer) is being done BEFORE Microsoft smothers this industry.

Onward! ;-)

* I'm aware of the irony that this weblog is STILL powered by software that runs atop Frontier. Once this next generation of software arrives, I want my weblog to be powered by something that supports it. Hopefully Conversant will so I'll have the option to stay put.

Written on June 30, 2003