[PP-main] Technical/implementation matters

Nick Lothian Lothian.Nicholas at lmsol.com.au
Fri Mar 3 02:32:59 CET 2000

I'm a late subscriber, so I had to cut & paste this from the webpage
archive. Sorry if it screws up anyone's threading!

I'm working on a bit of software (called TownCrier) that I initially wanted
to do basically what my.userland.com does - basically create a continually
updated list of stories from RDF sources.

I'd love to include content, too!

Anyway, I have some comments on the technical side:

>> * How do we exchange them?
>>   There are two or three basic ways to do it. First of all, should it be
>>   centralized or not? That is, should there be a single point all the
>>   passes through? I think so. This is dependant on timely delivery, so a
>>   distributed system would be too slow, and would also consume a lot of
>>   excess bandwidth. The other question is, do you poll for new items once
>>   a while, or do you open a connection and get all the stuff pushed to
you as
>>   it happens? Or maybe you do a combination. I don't really have an
>>   about this, input would be appreciated, as usual.

>I think that ultimately, it needs to be centralized to some extent. This
>doesn't mean there can't be failover and redundancy built into the
>architecture, and IMO, there should be.

I think it is fairly important to separate the XML/HTTP based protocol for
publishing stories, and the "value added" type stuff for the trust matrix,
rating of stories (dare I say moderation?)

I quite like the way RDF works - site publish the files, and sites that are
interested in them retrieve them.

I could see the value of a central site to register sites that publish
stories, but I feel that it should work the way something like UserLand
does - sites ask it to check their site every 30 minutes or so, and then if
there is a change, it publishes the stories.

The advantage of this is that it is fully open - if another person wants to
start up a site that competes with UserLand, they can, and it can do what
UserLand does without any changes on the part of all the RDF publishing site

If we have a client push, central site based architecture, it basically
locks power into that central site. Imagine if, in a couple of years, say,
PeerPressCentral.org goes the way of Slashdot - it begins to get trolled
(somehow), and moderation is introduced (or whatever - just for the sake of
argument). Now no one can come and produce their own, competing site,
because it has to take the feed from PeerPressCentral, unless they can
persuade all the sites in the PeerPress network to push their news directly
to them, too.

  Nick Lothian

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