October 12, 2005

The OPML Vision

Dave Winer says :

Can you see where this is going? The step after this is to have the stories emitted in OPML, then you could browse a blog, as if it were a single document, in an OPML browser. Sure there aren't many OPML browsers in 2005, just like there weren't many RSS aggregators in 1999, or podcasting clients in 2004. Just takes one to get the ball rolling, if the idea is sexy enough.

Is the idea sexy enough? Right now, I'm not sure I feel that, intuitively. But let's see ...


Scribe said...

Thinking out loud.

The most restrictive facet of blogs I face at the moment (and many other things) is the lack of integration with other resources. You can tag blogposts, search through them, etc, but it seems like they're very much list-based - deriving from their news-source-based origins, I guess. Does OPML go any way towards making blog posts into "nodes" that can be _connected up_ easily - to other resources, albeit webpages, books, or even just abstract concepts?

phil jones said...

Not sure I understand the question here. For example, individual blog posts normally have permalinks, so they're individually addressable nodes in their own right.

(Actually maybe on this blog they aren't yet because I have the wrong archiving mode. Let me look)

Last year Winer radically reorganized Scripting News to be more explicitly hierarchical. That's why you can see crumbtrail like : "Top > Dave's World > Weblog Archive > 2005 > October > 12" at the top of each page.

And, I'm pretty sure Scripting News is written in the OPML editor. So every posting is a probably a node.

I'm also fairly sure the world-outline hosting software allows you to have a) circularities (ie. the child of a node can be one of its ancestors), and b) transclusion of a top-level outline from somewhere else, *into* another page. (At least Dave has a box in the gutter of Scripting News which includes an outline like that)

I haven't experimented enough with OPML the editor to know whether this would allow, say arbitrary transclusion of one chunk of text into another. But I don't think it's impossible.

For example, I'm not sure how you your "recent updates" list from exmosis gets transcluded into described. But I can imagine making that available as OPML, and having a widget render it.

OTOH, for something like that, RSS would work equally well.

I don't believe in "connecting easily" to abstract concepts. That's SemWeb territory, that is, and you probably know my feelings about that :-)

Scribe said...

I'm still getting to grips with the question myself ;) I'm probably just reinventing "related links", heh.