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news and thoughts on and around the development of the iCite net
by Jay Fienberg

New blog software, changes in URLs, rolling again

posted: May 6, 2003 4:14:05 PM

Over the weekend, I converted my blog software to blojsom, and have launched this blog on it. If you were here before, you will notice some design changes too. The other important change is that blojsom has a different URL for the RSS 0.92 feed, plus it also support RSS 1.0 (RDF) and RSS 2.0 feeds. Also, the blog's HTML page URL is now just .

Although I set up a redirect (using some Java servlet mapping cleverness) for the RSS 0.92 from the old URL to the new one, here are the new URLs for the feeds. If you have previously subscribed, it is best to update your subscription to one of the new URLs. FYI, if you don't know for sure that your newsreader supports RSS 1.0 (RDF) or RSS 2.0, the standard that most support is RSS 0.92, and you should use this one.

RSS 0.92:
RSS 1.0 (RDF):
RSS 2.0:

I know a lot of folks think it is ridiculous (e.g., bad design / usability) to have all these buttons / links for these feeds, and that the programs that use them should just auto-discover them. Here is a good rant (plus some feed auto-discovery code) on this. I pretty much agree with this, and am working on an auto-discovery plan for iCites (inspired by this rant!), which will make use of "icu" (which is an acronym for either "I cite you" or "iCite URL", plus sounds cute like "I see you") being in at least iCite file extensions (/, and possibly also in iCite file names (/mysite_icu), directory names (/icu/mysite), or parameters (/mysite/?flavor=icu).

But for now, with this blog's feeds, I am using the convention of having buttons for the newsfeeds because people are used to them. I think a lot of the reasons people can figure out how to use blogs is because so many blogs have the same simple or similar design or page layout. Of course, I think my having three bottoms instead of one will confuse people and undermine any usability this site might have gained through utter conformity to blog page layout.

But, I am betting that the readers of the blog at this point will largely be folks who know enough about the difference between RSS 0.92, 1.0, and 2.0 to figure out the buttons. And, I am betting a lot of them will have newsreaders that support multiple formats. So, I am interested to see which feed is most used, and also see if this changes as RSS 2.0 gets more popular.

Although iCites will be able to support any of these feeds, at this point, I get the sense that RSS 2.0 will be the one that gets the most attention. For example, iCites can represent threads (or portions of threads), and should offer feeds that indicate threads using potentially, for RSS 2.0, Easy News Topics, or for RSS 1.0 (RDF), mod_threading. But, from what I can tell, lots of people are talking about getting thread support into RSS 2.0 consumers (like newsreaders) and no one is talking about getting it supported in RSS 1.0 (RDF) consumers.

Anyway, I am all set up now with this blog and its new engine, and will post more soon about what I went through with the conversion and what it suggests to me about the portability features for iCites. I think I mentioned before: one goal with the iCite net is that every iCite is 100% portable between iCite containers, and that iCite containers can be implemented in a variety of programming environments / languages and each have the option to store data in a variety of possible formats (e.g., XML, RDF, databases, etc.).

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